Source: Times of India

TNN | Jul 28, 2020,

Aurangabad: Pink bollworm has been found to have infested cotton crops in some parts of Marathwada, prompting the authorities concerned to ask farmers to use pheromone traps and pesticides. The danger to the ‘cash crop’ from the pest ahead of likely bumper kharif season due to the good monsoon has left the farming community worried in Marathwada, which is known as the cotton cultivation belt.

According to official data, over 15.9 lakh hectare area is under cotton cultivation during the current season in Aurangabad division comprising Aurangabad, Jalna and Beed districts. Laur division, in which the remaining five Marathwada districts come, has over 4.45 lakh ha under cotton cultivation, .

Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Agricultural University, Parbhani, has alerted the farmers against the attack of pink bollworm on the cotton crop. “The areas where sowing of cotton has taken place relatively early due to timely arrival of monsoon have reported the pink bollworm attack while the crop is in the flowering stage,” the authorities concerned said.

“The intermittent cloud weather currently could cause further spread of the pest. The use of pheromone traps is highly recommended to contain the menace,” added the authorities. The state agricultural university has recommended the use of five pheromone traps per hectare.

Besides, farmers have been asked to spray a decoction of neem seeds and us pesticides as per the need. Farmers may contact helpline number 02452-229000 during office hours for information. Pink bollworm had damaged the cotton crop in Marathwada in 2018, forcing the government to give compensation to farmers and advise against cultivating the crop in the subsequent year to break the chain. (Source: Times of India)