Friday September 29, 2023

Pest attack on cotton crop due to rains

By Our Correspondent
June 28, 2019

MULTAN: Experts of the Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Thursday observed that recent pest attack on cotton crop was because of heavy rains in the cotton belt.

The agriculture experts said locusts had already attacked the cotton crop in Sindh and in southern Punjab massive rains and climatic change had affected the crop. He said multiple species of pests also had attacked the cotton crop. According to CCRI survey reports, rains and pest attack damaged the cotton crop and now farmers should be careful about their crop.

CCRI Director Dr Zahid Mehmood said growers should protect their crop from pest attack. He advised growers to conduct regular pest scouting to assess pest infestation and take steps in case infestation reaches or crosses economic threshold level (ETL). In case of observing of 4-5 whitefly adults or Pupae on a leaf, on average, or attack of whitefly, farmers should apply spray of suitable pesticide after consulting experts.

Install pheromone traps to tackle bollworm and apply spray in case of witnessing 2-3 bollworms on a pheromone trap. He asked them to remove weeds, which serve as habitat for pests. Agriculture experts said that lower yield is also becoming a major concern in other growing regions, such as Multan, Vehari, Khanewal where the pink bollworm and whitefly attacks have surfaced in cotton plants.

The present climatic changes will cap the size of crop, leading to further spike in prices. The experts said the whiteflies suck plant juices and, in turn, produce a sticky substance known as honeydew. Honeydew left on its own can cause fungal diseases to form on leaves. If the whiteflies are feeding, they will suddenly all fly off the leaves in a swarm, so it's very obvious. Growers may also find eggs laid on the undersides of leaves.