Punjab: Cotton Farmers Threatened As White Fly Return After 7 Years

As per the news, a team of agricultural experts visited different cotton areas in the state on Tuesday and discovered the white fly nearly everywhere, with the situation in Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar, and to some extent Fazilka raising concerns. 

The deadly white fly has once again returned to Punjab’s major cotton sowing districts after damaging roughly 1.36 lakh hectares out of the approximately 4.50 lakh hectares of cotton in the state in 2015. This poses a threat to the crop.

The white fly was apparently found in each of the 751 acres that the Punjab Agriculture Department examined in the state’s cotton belt. Over 50% of the crop under inspection is in jeopardy since the white fly presence has reached the economic threshold level (ETL) in about 370 acres.

As per the media reports, Dr. Gurvinder Singh, the director of the Agriculture Department, had visited fields near Bathinda on Tuesday and discovered an evident white fly infestation in multiple fields. He added that they have been guiding the farmers on how to prevent their crops from white flies. 

Last year too, the cotton farmers of Punjab suffered a lot due to the pink bollworm attack on their crops, resulting in protests demanding the then Channi government to provide adequate compensation for their loss. 

Mr. Vijay Kumar, principal entomologist at PAU, said rain could ease the white fly issue, but it’s still unclear whether the semi-arid cotton-growing regions will have showers in the coming week. According to Kumar, early diagnosis of the twin pests can save farmers from suffering severe crop losses.

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