With the rain from yesterday, cotton farmers in the Muktsar district of Punjab may now breathe easy. 20.6 mm of rain on average fell in the district.
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Notably, whitefly has been found so far in 51 fields above the economic threshold level (ETL). According to the Chief Agriculture Officer of Muktsar Gurpreet Singh, it is currently above the ETL in 31 areas.
He continued, “The predominant hot and dry weather and restricted plant growth are the main causes of the whitefly problem. For healthy growth, the cotton crop needs more rain. In addition, the rain will aid in the eradication of whiteflies.
Dr. Nirmaljit Singh Dhaliwal, Associate Director, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Muktsar, stated that they constantly counsel farmers to monitor their cotton fields and should use pesticides as per PAU recommendations anywhere whitefly was above the ETL.
Cotton farmer Gurjant Singh stated, “The seeding of the cotton crop was delayed in several parts of the district due to the long-term blockage of the Sirhind feeder canal. Furthermore, there hasn’t been much rain thus far. Cotton plants were unable to grow to their full height as a result.
Meanwhile, Nirmal Singh, a different farmer from the village of Jasseana, reported that the cotton plants in his field were about 1.5 feet tall. At this point, they ought to have been 2.5 inches tall. The current dry, hot weather was to blame for it. Due to insufficient moisture, the plants were unable to grow to the necessary height. A dusty bug has also arrived significantly earlier in developing plants.
The Chief Agriculture Officer responded to this by stating, “This is a crop-friendly bug, but we are frequently examining the developing crop. However, the precise reason for its early arrival is uncertain.
Wiped Bollworm out from the crop:
For farmers in Muktsar, the recent heavy rains have turned out to be a blessing in disguise because they have reduced whitefly attacks on cotton crops.
To evaluate the cotton crop for the prevalence of whitefly, pink bollworm, and jassid, a team of experts from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) travelled to Sri Muktsar Sahib. According to the research, whitefly pest was detected by experts, while pink bollworm and jassid were not present in the cotton crop. Farmers were happy about the significant rain since it provided relief, eliminated pink bollworm, and reduced whitefly attacks on cotton.
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