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PAU survey reveals pest attack in paddy straw-managed wheat fields

Armyworm and pink stem borer have damaged what crop in isolated fields in Patiala, Sangrur and Hoshiarpur
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | By HT Correspondent, Ludhiana
PUBLISHED ON NOV 28, 2019 11:41 PM IST

A recent survey by scientists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has revealed that armyworm and pink stem borer have damaged wheat crop in fields in some parts of the state where farmers had carried out in- situ management of paddy straw.

The survey has revealed damage to wheat crop by armyworm and pink stem borer in isolated fields of Patiala, Sangrur and Hoshiarpur districts, said Dr PK Chhuneja, head, department of entomology, PAU.

He said, “Armyworm is a polyphagous pest whose larvae are shy of sun and thus remain hidden in stubble/tillers during the day time, and feed during dawn and dusk. Its attack can be spotted from the presence of blackish-green faecal pellets and/or larvae on the ground, close to the stem of the plant.”

He said, “Pink stem borer attack is generally observed on 35 to 45 day-old wheat crop. Its larva bores into the stem of young plant and kills the central shoot causing ‘dead heart’. The infested tillers initially appear pale brown and ultimately dry up.”

Dr Chhuneja advised the farmers to remain vigilant and regularly monitor their paddy straw managed wheat fields, especially wherein has been sown early, and fields with heavy loads of paddy straw.

Minor attack of pink stem borer is automatically controlled with the first irrigation to the wheat crop, he added. “Thereafter, in January, the growth of this pest gets arrested owing to the prevailing low temperatures”.

In case of damage by armyworm, spray the crop with Ekalux 25 EC (quinalphos) @ 400 ml/acre, he advised.

Dr Jagdish Kaur, additional director communication at PUA said the survey was carried out in the fields across the state, where in-situ management was carried out, following complaints by farmers.

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