Ludhiana: As many as 500 scouts ranging havebeen deployed to conduct survey in cotton fields of Punjab as part of efforts to curb attack of whitefly pest which destroys the fibre crop. “In a bid to curb the whitefly infestation on the cotton crop, the Punjab Government has mobilized 500 scouts who will survey 1000 villages,” Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, B S Dhillon, said today.
The scouts will be equipped with the required knowledge and training to curb the spread of the pest. Scientists and heads from various departments of Punjab Agricultural University, extension specialists, Directors of various Krishi Vigyan Kendras and experts from various other departments will be part of this massive campaign touring the affected villages of Bathinda, Fazilka, Mansa, and Muktsar.
Dhillon clarified that extensive visits to the affected cotton fields are being regularly conducted after meeting with the State Agriculture Department . He also appealed to the farmers to consult the PAU experts as soon as they spot four or more white flies on a single leaf. Dhillon advised them to monitor the fields regularly and exercise greater caution if the cotton fields are in close proximity to the vegetable fields especially those of brinjal and cucurbits, as white fly flourishes on these vegetables.
He highlighted the need to strictly follow university recommendations while selecting pesticides and sprayers. While explaining the reason for ‘earlier than expected’ white fly attack this year, Dhillon said that whitefly did not get eradicated due to a mild winter last year, which is why it has attacked the younger plants. He said the whitefly crisis is a crisis for the entire state and can be managed by sincere efforts at all levels, especially, collaboration at village level is very important. PTI
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