Punjab News Now, mealy bug attacks cotton plants


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Abohar, June 22

The mealy bug has started attacking cotton plants, which had already been hit due to various factors , including the rising mercury. The mealy bug first attacked the kinnow orchards in the region more than a month ago and growers had to use pesticides to control it.

Cotton growers of this region had been facing a number of problems ever since the cotton-sowing season began in April. First the acute shortage of canal water coupled with an artificial scarcity of BT cotton seeds caused inordinate delay in the sowing of cotton within the period considered optimum for sowing and subsequent growth. After the farmers managed to complete cotton sowing by May 30, the high temperature started burning cotton plants and a number of farmers were left with no option but to go in for resowing.

Sukhdev Singh, agriculture development officer (ADO), Abohar, said the attack of the mealy bug was not severe. He said the growers were being given pesticides at subsidised rates. They were being educated in methods to control the attack of the mealy bug by carrying out a poster campaign in the rural areas. The scouts, who had been trained in taking care of the cotton crop under the Ratan Tata scheme, were being sent to villages to cater to the needs of the farmers.

Moreover, weeds and congress grass, which were present in the area, had become major reasons for the menace of the mealy bug.Farmers had been advised to clear the weeds and congress grass surrounding their fields. On the other hand, a section of the farmers claimed that the mealy bug had attacked cotton plants in those areas where farmers were forced to use underground water for irrigation in the absence of canal water.