Whitefly attack: Punjab farmers asked to use pesticides  

Chandigarh, Sep 1 (IANS) Punjab’s agriculture department on Tuesday asked the farmers in the state to use pesticides to control damage to the standing cotton crop that has been hit by whitefly attack.

“Due to unseasonal rains this year, the attack of whitefly pest on cotton crop has taken serious proportions,” agriculture department director Mangal Singh Sandhu said.

“Farmers of cotton growing region can use Central Insecticide Board recommended pesticides for whitefly and mealy bug attack. The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has also recommended them,” Sandhu said.

The whitefly attack has affected crops in the cotton growing Malwa belt of Punjab. The pest has already destroyed crops in hundreds of acres of land in recent days.

Sandhu said that the farmers are provided these medicines at 50 percent subsidy.

He said that besides reaching out to farmers through media, announcements were also being made through gurdwaras and temples in rural areas about the ways to control this attack.

Agriculture scientists said that the whitefly attack is mainly due to deficient rainfall in the cotton-growing belt and dry spell.

“Whitefly pest flourishes in dry soil and hence the cotton crop should be irrigated properly,” Sandhu said.

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