Thursday, September 13, 2012



The entomology experts of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have urged the farmers to adopt integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for the effective protection of Bt cotton. Recently, the PAU Department of Entomology conducted a survey, across the Punjab state, on the incidence of sucking insect-pests like jassid, whitefly and mealy bug on Bt cotton, informed Dr. Balwinder Singh, Head of Department. According to the survey, the pest "mealy bug" was mainly observed on weeds grown on the waste land, roadside and water channel, he said, adding that in some villages, it was noted on the border sides of the cotton fields. This insect multiplies on various weed host plants like congress grass, peeli booti, kangi booti, datura, bakhra, itsit, puthkanda, etc. and then shifts to the adjoining cotton fields, he told. Similarly, incidence of "jassid and whitefly" was also recorded on cotton crop at many locations in Abohar, Mansa and Muktsar districts of Punjab, he divulged. Saying that mealy bug and whitefly suck the sap from the leaves, he told that they also excrete honey dew on leaves, as a result, of which black sooty mould develops. In case of severe infestation, Dr Singh observed that the growth of plants becomes stunted and bolls do not open properly. Similarly, nymphs and adults of jassid also suck the sap from leaves, as a result, of which yellowing and curling of the leaves takes place along the margins, he added, saying that the attacked leaves later turn reddish brown to produce hopper burn.

The expert, Dr Singh emphasized on eradication of weeds like kangi booti and peeli booti, congress grass, puthkanda and itsit growing on field bunds, wasteland, roadsides and irrigation channels canal. He advised the farmers not to throw the uprooted infested plants in cotton fields/water channel to check further spread of mealy bug. As the pest is initially restricted to few plants in a row, spot treatment with recommended insecticides is advocated. He stressed on the thorough coverage of plant with insecticides to check the multiplication of mealy bug. In case of infestation, spot treatment with any of insecticides like Buprofezin 25 EC (Applaud/ Tribune) @ 500 ml/acre or Profenophos 50 EC (Curacron/Carinae) @ 500 ml/acre or Chlorpyriphos 20 EC (Coroban/Dursban/ Durmet) @ 2.0 lit/acre or Acephate 75 SP (Orthene/Asataf) @ 800 g/acre by mixing in 125-150 litre of water per acre is recommended, told he.

For the control of jassid, Dr Singh informed that the PAU has recommended the use of insecticide against the pest whenever some of the fully formed leaves in the upper canopy show curling and yellowing at the margins on 50 per cent of the plants. Advising the farmers not to go for costly sprays of insecticides, he said that the PAU has recommended three insecticides including Imidacloprid 17.8SL @ 40ml/acre, Thiomethoxam 25WG @ 40 g/acre and new insecticide Flonicamid 50WG @ 80g/acre, for the effective management of jassid.

Similarly, for the control of whitefly, he advised to spray the crop when six adults per leaves are observed on the upper canopy before 10 a.m. Spray with any one of the insecticides i.e. Triazophos 40 EC (sutathion) @ 600 ml/acre or Ethion 50 EC @ 800 ml/acre, said he. Proper removal and destruction of the alternate host plants like peeli booti and kanghi booti weeds also helps in the effective management of whitefly, he added.
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