By admin       2018-07-25

The farmers who were hit hard by bollworm attack on cotton crop last year, may have a reason to be concerned about cotton crop this year too. For, moths of pink bollworm have been found in pheromone traps installed at ginning mills. Following this, Agriculture Department has sounded warning to farmers to be alert regarding pink bollworm attack on cotton crop.Cotton and soyabean are the popular crops in Vidarbha region. Many farmers bank on good yield of these two crops, apart from paddy, to manage their finances. However, last year, pink bollworm attacked cotton crop. This wreaked havoc with financial condition of farmers. Still, hoping for a better situation this time, farmers again opted for cotton crop in a big way. Though cotton area in Amravati division has reduced slightly this time, it has increased in Nagpur division.As against total cultivable area of 32,31,840 hectares in Amravati division, sowing has been done in 28,57,993 hectares. The division has cotton area of 10,08,200 hectares and sowing for the crop has been done in 10,08,020 hectares. Soyabean has been taken in 13,51,597 hectares, followed by Tur in 4,04,263 hectares. Amravati division comprises five districts namely Buldhana, Akola, Washim, Yavatmal, and Amravati.As far as Nagpur division is concerned, 61 per cent of sowing has been done so far. Kharif sowing has been done in 11.66 lakh hectares area, of which 6.18 lakh hectares is under cotton. Soyabean has been sown in 2,42,448 hectares, and Tur in 1,54,347 hectares. Nagpur division comprises six districts namely Nagpur, Wardha, Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur, and Gadchiroli. However, in both the divisions, evidence of bollworm attack has been found. Pink bollworm was found in survey conducted by Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth in Akola.In Nagpur division, moths of pink bollworm were found in pheromone traps installed by Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Selsura in Deoli tehsil in Wardha district. Both these findings have been recorded by Agriculture Department. It may be mentioned here that total 60,000 pheromone traps have been installed across Nagpur division, and 10,640 traps have been installed in Amravati division.Agriculture Department officials stated that pink bollworm has been found on cotton crop after 50-60 days since sowing, at some places in Nagpur division. These bollworms feed on cotton leaves, bolls, and flowers. As the bollworms consume seeds in cotton bolls, quality of cotton declines. Besides, the percentage of oil also gets reduced. Considering the damage caused to cotton crop by bollworm, farmers should go for pest management to avoid loss. The farmers should install five pheromone traps per hectare, eliminate moths caught in the traps, change the lures in the trap, spray neem extract (five per cent) if there is pink bollworm attack, spread 1.5 lakh eggs per hectare of Trichogrammatoidea bactrae. If 8-10 moths of pink bollworm are found every day for three consecutive days in pheromone traps, farmers should spray pesticide, added the officials.Against the backdrop of farmers and farm-labourers killed during pesticide spraying last year, Agriculture Department has asked the farmers to use protective kits while spraying pesticides. The farmers should dial toll-free number 1800-233-4000 to get more information regarding pesticides and related matters, the officials appealed.

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