Stressing his words on ‘whitefly incidence’ here on Friday, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Head, Inter-state Monitoring Committee on Whitefly, said that the University scientists and the State Department of Agriculture were making all out efforts to control whitefly.
He stated, “We expect we can manage whitefly incidence.” In Khuian Sarwar village of Fazilka district, whitefly attack on cotton is a matter of concern, he told. But according to the comparative study of whitefly incidence during 2015 and 2016, the incidence is less this year, he said. Dr Dhillon disclosed that Punjab Government has provided Rs 70 lakh for research in this direction and has recruited 500 scouts and 50 field supervisors to check infested cotton fields and prevent damage to the cotton crop. “PAU has been focusing on clean cultivation, good quality seed, timely sowing, proper monitoring and timely remedial action, quality control of pesticides, and creating awareness about identification of severity of incidence and management methods,” he informed.
Further, Dr Dhillon said that PAU has also deployed faculty and students for monitoring and management of the menace. Besides, farmers’ training camps were organised by the University in addition to bringing out a crop calendar and a literature on cotton, he told. Not only this, the University has imparted trainings to pesticide dealers, and organised several radio/TV talks on management of insect-pests of cotton, he added.
Referring to ploughing up of cotton fields, Dr Dhillon said that there were many factors responsible for the same like fear among farmers due to last year’s attack, early appearance of whitefly, new tubewell connections, poor crop stand due to hailstorm among others.
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