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Whitefly attacks cotton crop in Haryana’s Hisar, Fatehabad, Jind and Bhiwani

By Sunil Rahar, Rohtak
PUBLISHED ON AUG 27, 2020 02:19 AM IST

Cotton growers in many villages of Hisar, Jind, Fatehabad and Bhiwani districts were left worried after whitefly attacked several fields in their areas.

After a good spell of rain in the beginning of August, especially in some villages of Hisar’s Barwala, Fatehabad’s Bhuna and Bhiwani’s Tosham and Siwani blocks, coupled with hot and humid weather conditions have now led to pest infestation.

Dayanand Dhaka, a farmer from Hisar’s Kirtan village, said his cotton crop on three acres was damaged due to whitefly attack. “This time, we had no rain for the past few weeks and now, the weather has turned hot and humid, leading to damage to cotton crop. Only rain can take away the threat of whitefly. Over 50% of the cotton crop in our neighbouring 15 to 20 villages was damaged,” he added.

Ajit Jaglan, a farmer from Bhiwani’s Kalali village, said pests have been detected in nearly 10 villages in Siwani block alone.

“The whitefly attack is in its initial stage. Agriculture officials should visit the affected fields and guide the growers about proper chemicals and spray methods to kill the pest. The colour of the crop is turning black and its leaves have started shrinking. The next 10 to 12 days are very crucial for this crop. If it rains, the crop would be saved, otherwise the pest will damage up to 50% of cotton,” he added.

Jashpal Singh, a farmer from Fatehabad’s Bhuna block, said scanty rainfall has led to infestation on his seven acres of cotton fields. “Our crop was good and we were expecting a good yield this time. But for the last two weeks, our crop is being damaged due to pest attack. Due to use of insecticides, our input cost will go up. The government should provide us some compensation,” he added.

Hisar deputy director (agriculture) Balwant Saharan said they are giving demonstrations to farmers about what kind of insecticides to be used on cotton field to save it.

“Due to showers received in the starting of this month, plants were washed and chances of damage to the crop were minimised in the district. We are receiving complaints about the crop damage and we are in process of accessing the losses,” he added.

However, the deputy directors of other districts could not be reached for their comments as they were busy in a videoconference with senior state officials.

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