The Maharashtra government has issued an advisory to farmers, asking them to destroy pink bollworm-hit cotton plants in January, a senior official with the State Agriculture Department said today. “We have asked farmers to stop picking beyond December as it will help break the life-cycle of the pest, and lessen the risk of incidence in the kharif season,” the official said. The advisory is being relayed to farmers through mobile texts, and an official release in this regard will be issued soon, the official said. The issue of pink bollworm attack on the cotton crop in Maharashtra was today raised in the Lok Sabha by Supriya Sule and Prataprao Jadhav, urging compensation to farmers from the Centre for their crop losses. Around three million hectares or about 70 per cent of the total cotton acreage in Maharashtra may have so far been affected by pink bollworm attack, the official said. Cotton acreage in Maharashtra is pegged at around 4.2 million ha in 2017-18 (October-September), compared with 3.8 million ha last year, according to the State’s first advance estimates.