Black bug attacks sugarcane crop
Rajpura/Sirhind April 25:
Sugarcane crop in Fatehgarh Sahib and Rajpura blocks, which is at its early maturing stage, is under attack from black bug. The bug has turned a large section of the crop into yellow patches. After the attack, plants have grown weak. The bug sucks sugarcane sap and affects yield.
Admitting the loss, officials of the Agriculture Department said Saunti village of Amloh block in Fatehgarh Sahib, Chawa and Bhari villages in Khanna and circles of Rajpura were the worst affected. Agriculture Development Officer (ADO) Jaswinder Singh said the insect was active between April to June and farmers had been advised to monitor their fields at regular intervals. They were advised to spray 350 ml Chlorpyriphos 20 EC with 400 liters water with knapsack sprayers.
“The spray should target the whorl to reduce number of insects. The insect enters the plant when it is soft at an early stage and then it multiplies. This leads to crop damage and if ignored could damage the entire farm. Several farmers, unaware of the bug, were informed by the officials of the Agriculture Department and were directed to spray medicines,” Jaswinder said
Farmers said lucrative MSP and easy marketing had increased the area under sugarcane crop over the past few years. Sugarcane was a lucrative option for farmers as its residue (press mud) was also a rich source of organic manure and was used in crop production.
“Sugarcane residue can be used as manure in farms to grow vegetables or even flowers in pots as it is a rich source of organic matter and nutrients for crop production. But farmers do not take residue with them and immediately leave with empty tractor trailers after selling their produce in mills,” Jaswinder said. Though farmers fail to use sugarcane as organic manure in their fields but some brick kiln owners have purchased residue to be used as fuel in kilns.
Officials said area under sugarcane crop was increasing and this year it may cross 5,500 hectares in Amloh sugar mill area, comprising villages located in Patiala, Ludhiana and Fatehgarh Sahib. Despite the fact that experts do not recommend growing sugarcane in April, farmers are still buying sugarcane seeds.