By admin       2018-02-22

Punjab Agriculture Secretary Muhammad Mahmood has said that Section-144 has been promulgated to discourage early sowing of cotton crop. The decision to stop early cultivation of cotton is one of the major decisions to save the production of the upcoming cotton crop from insect and pest attack particularly Pink Bollworm. The early sowing of cotton crop acts as a breading nursery for Pink Bollworm. The step was taken after consultations with cotton scientists and other experts, he said on Wednesday. Mahmood said the practice of early sowing of cotton not only invited sucking pest to the standing crop but also created hurdles in the official annual production target. Before-time sowing is one of the major reasons behind decline in cotton production so the growers are advised not to start sowing before April 1, 2018 to avoid loss, he added. The move is an attempt to arrest the declining crop yield which can be affected because of changing weather patterns and pest attacks. Mahmood also said that this year, according to the cotton ginners' association, cotton production increased up to 7.49 percent, and the credit went to the ban imposed last year on early sowing of cotton. It has been reported that early sowing of cotton crop provides early feed to Pink Bollworm and such early crops become hatcheries for the pests which severely damage the whole cotton crop of the season. The emergence of adults from larvae/pupae due to rise in the temperature poses huge threat to the cotton crop in terms of reduction in yield. The agriculture secretary warned that cotton crop sown before April 1 would be uprooted.

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