Higher early summer temperature bring a threat of mirid bug to cotton plant in China, according to a research conducted by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. The growing population of mirid bug infecting Chinese agriculture including cotton will act as a major complication factor to the ongoing US China trade war.
Mr Wei Zhang, the lead researcher of the study said, “One of the policy implications is that weather is an important driver of the system, and the projected climate warming could heighten pest outbreak risks”.
The mirid bug, which sucks sap out of the cotton flower, took advantage of the Chinese planting genetically modified type of cotton which needed less insecticide spray. Furthermore the study found that the population of mirid bugs has increased drastically in the past two decades.
Mr Zhang added, “The results are alarming because unlike cotton bollworm, mirid bugs exploit a wide variety of crops, including fruit trees and more than 200 other host species. Weather is gaining its momentum as an important threat [to cotton production in China. Policymakers need to consider the impact of climate change on pest management”.
In the fiscal year 2017-18, China cotton production is forecasted to be 6 million tonnes which is 21.75% of world’s total production. Moreover, the industry provides 300 million people employment in 24 provinces.
As the US China trade war develops, import tariffs in US Cotton by China will put even more pressure on the domestic industry to produce, since US is the world’s top exporter of cotton.