Experts attribute control of pest attack on wheat to fall in temperature
The pest attack on wheat saplings by pink stem borer has been contained with the fall in temperature, said agriculture officer Jasleen Kaur. As per agriculture experts, the pest had rampantly attacked the crop which was sown earlier in the last week of October due to high temperature.
As per the survey conducted by agriculture department in five blocks of Mansa district, farms in over 90 villages and the crop on around 926.35 hectares (2289 acres) was affected by pink stem borer.
Jasleen Kaur cited high temperature as the major reason behind pest attack. She said, “Initially eggs of pink stem borer was found in paddy stubble which further resurged with high temperature and farmers who had sown the crop before November faced the problem. However, the pest attack has been under control now and gradually decreasing with the fall in temperature.”
Earlier experts from agriculture department had visited the effected wheat farms in the district and suggested Ekalux pesticide to contain its spread.
The farmers whose crops were damaged in the pest attack have been demanding compensation of ₹5,000 per acre. The farmers have claimed that the wheat sown by happy seeder machine and the fields where paddy was not burnt have been mostly attacked by the pest.
Jaswinder Singh, a farmer of Dalel singh wala village, who has sown wheat on 50 acres, said, “I have re-cultivated wheat crop with 50kg seeds as crops on over 15 acres were damaged in the pest attack. I had to spend around ₹4000-5000 on cultivation of one acre,”
“The government must provide the expenses spent on re-cultivation or we will put paddy stubble on fire in our fields from next year,”
A fortnight ago after the farmers here held a sit-in at agriculture department here, the experts from Mansa had visited the effected fields and revealed that the wheat saplings on over 926 hectares were affected.
Harpreet Singh, a farmer of Jhunir village, who lost crops on 5 acres due to the pest attack, claimed that the wheat that was sown after the paddy was burnt has been less affected by the pest as compared to those by happy seeder machines.
He said before banning stubble burning, the government should offer an alternative to deal with the problem of pest larva which grows in the leftover paddy stubble and attacks the saplings.
Wheat on 350 acres was affected by the pest attack in Bathinda while crop on around 40-45 acres in eight villages of Muktsar were hit by pink stem borer. The attack was contained in both districts, said agriculture officials concerned.
The agriculture officials of Faridkot said pink stem borer attack has also been contained in the district where wheat saplings in 14 villages were affected.