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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Pink Bollworm threat reported in Rajasthan

While the cotton crop is in developing state in South India farmers cultivating cotton in Rajasthan have been advised to be cautious about pink bollworms this year by Department of Agriculture and Central Integrated Pest Management Center (CIPMC).

Last year, pink bollworms caused a lot of damage to crops in Rajasthan. Advisories regarding the same have been issued so that losses can be avoided this time. Agricultural officials said that farmers need to be cautious. They said that farmers who have stored cotton twigs in their fields are at a higher risk of pink bollworm infestation. Therefore, they have been advised not to store cotton twigs in the shade or in the field. If it is necessary to do so, cover them with plastic sheets or burn them.

The department has further advised that after final harvesting, allow animals like sheep, goats, etc. to graze in the field to destroy the half-open and damaged bolls left in the field. In the early stage of the crop, collect and burn the fallen rosette flowers, flower pods and bolls infested with pink bollworms. Farmers should regularly monitor their fields so that pink bollworms can be controlled in time.

The farmers have been advised to install two pheromone traps per acre 40-50 days after sowing the crop and check the traps daily by visiting the field. If 5-8 insects are found in the trap for three consecutive days, then it is considered that there is economic damage due to insects. Further the department has advised that if out of 100 flowers on cotton plants, 5-10 flowers appear closed like roses and on opening 20 green bolls, pink bollworms are seen in 2 of them, then there is a possibility of pest infestation. They should then immediately spray the crop with mixture advised by the department.

The department has advised the farmers to protect friendly insects like Trichogramma, Lady Bird Beetle and Chrysoperla so that the number of harmful insects does not go above the economic risk level.

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