Fifteen days after its maiden visit, the central team of agriculture experts came up with satisfactory reports on health of cotton crop, during their second visit on Tuesday.
The team accompanied by top officials of Punjab agriculture department, inspected fibre crop fields and found minimal attack of whitefly pest in Malwa’s cotton belt.
During their last two-day visit on July 15-16, the central team found that at least 4,400 hectare of cotton area was under attack that to only in border district Fazilka, which has total 36,000 hectare of cotton area.
“The attack of whitefly is below economic threshold level as there were six or less adult whitefly insects present per leaf,” said BS Phogat, assistant plant protection adviser.
Economic threshold (ET), is a level at which the monetary returns are still guaranteed as the returns remain higher than the cost of controlling the pest
He added that even the whitefly attack in Abohar and Khuhian Sarwar blocks was completely under control and there was no threat of any damage at this stage.
The team sent by union agriculture ministry also included KS Kapoor, assistant director plant protection and RK Tanwar, a principal scientist.
However, the team reported attack of other two insects— Jassids and Thrisp—which it claimed that these particular insects would not harm fibre crop.
Director agriculture, Jasbir Singh Bains, said though both these insects were not harmful to growth of the crop, but the central team had advised farmers to go with pesticide spray as recommended by Punjab Agricultural University.
“Moreover, these insects are cotton crop friendly and also help to reduce population of whitefly in cotton belt,” Bains said.