Experts from the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have claimed that the incidence of whitefly attack is less in 2016 as compared to year 2015.
“The university scientists and state department of agriculture are making all efforts to control whitefly,” said Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon vice-chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and head, inter-state monitoring committee on whitefly, on Friday
“We expect we can manage whitefly incidence,” he stated.
In Khuian Sarwar village of Fazilka district, whitefly attack on cotton is a matter of concern. But according to the comparative study of whitefly incidence during 2015 and 2016, the incidence is less this year, he said.
Dhillon disclosed that Punjab government has provided Rs 70 lakh for research in this direction and has recruited 500 scouts and 50 field supervisors to check infested cotton fields and prevent damage to the cotton crop.
Further, he said that PAU has also deployed faculty and students for monitoring the menace. Besides, farmers’ training camps were organised by the university in addition to bringing out a crop calendar and a literature on cotton. Not only this, the university has imparted trainings to pesticide dealers, and organised several radio/TV talks on management of insect-pests of cotton, he added.
Referring to ploughing up of cotton fields, he said that there were many factors responsible for the same like fear among farmers due to last year’s attack, early appearance of whitefly, new tube well connections, poor crop stand due to hailstorm, etc.
Talking about the status of insecticides, he said that the recommendations made by PAU killed 70-90 % of whitefly. “PAU has recommended six insecticides for whitefly control,” he revealed.
Cotton cultivation in Punjab differed from that in Haryana. Long-term strategy has been planned among PAU, Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar; Rajasthan Agricultural University, Bikaner; RS- Central Institute for Cotton Research, he added.