Despite the cotton crop having been severely affected with whitefly in northern states, some progressive farmers in Moga district expect a bumper cotton crop.
Several cotton fields have a good crop with healthy and sufficient number of fruiting bolls as the whitefly population in various villages of Moga district is under control.
Among the progressive cotton-growers, Gurmail Singh of Kotla Rai Ka village, Sarabjit Singh of Saidoke, Baljeet Singh of Himmatpura, Amrik Singh of Nihal Singh Wala, Raj Singh, Baldev Singh and Makhan Singh of Thathi Bhai and Balwant Singh of Sekha Kalan village told HT that they had followed the practices recommended by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and the timely advice by experts of the state agriculture department.
The farmers said they had sown only recommended BT cotton varieties and followed the irrigation schedule besides using recommended dose of fertilisers and insecticides. “We never used unnecessary pesticides or fertilisers,” they said. “I sprayed Oberon (spiromesifen), Trizophos and Ethion insecticides for controlling the attack of whitefly on cotton,” said Gurmail Singh of Kotla Rai Ka.
It was also noticed that these farmers did not use mixture of different insecticides on the cotton crop and followed the advice of agriculture experts while controlling insects and diseases.
District chief agriculture officer Dr Jarnail Singh Dhandha said, “Only whitefly is not responsible for destroying cotton crop in some fields in the district. Adoption of non-recommended practices, like using non-recommended BT cotton varieties, scarce irrigation, non-fertile soils, overdose of non-recommended insecticides, outbreak of foliar diseases, nutritional deficiency and conducive environmental conditions for multiplication of whitefly have been collectively found as the reasons for the failure of the cotton crop in some fields.”
Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal) district president Nirmal Singh Manuke said the officials of the agriculture department had organised training camps and field demonstrations to advise farmers and had worked hard to control the quality of insecticides and fertilisers.
District training officer Sukhjinder Singh Sangha said, “There is no complaint of selling duplicate insecticides or fertilisers to farmers in the district. The farmers who are following the advice of agriculture experts, their cotton and other crops are healthy and the insects/pests are under control. In this year, we have taken 124 samples of insecticides/pesticides of various companies; of these 104 have passed while the report on the 20 others is awaited.”