Following pink bollworm pest attack
With the pink bollworm causing serious loss to the cotton farmers during this khariff season and possibility of the pest affecting crop in the next season, the Agriculture Department has asked the farmers to destroy their cotton crop by January and take up alternative crops.
Following intermittent rainfall, the farmers had sustained serious loss to the cotton crop with low yield. Simultaneously, the pink bollworm pest had spelt doom for the cotton farmers with steep decline of the yield. Normally, the cotton farmers would have reaped anywhere from 8 to 10 quintals of cotton per acre. But, due to the pink bollworm pest, the yield had come down to 4 to 5 quintals per acre causing huge loss to the farming community. The rains had damaged the grown up cotton produce by decolouring and the pink bollworm had damaged the cotton produce from the flowering stage itself. Talking to The Hindu on Monday, District Agriculture Officer V. Sreedhar said the pink bollworm pest had come from Maharashtra to the district. The pest had attacked the cotton crop at the flowering stage and also after harvesting the crop in the ginning mills. “There is every possibility of spread of the pest and we have been educating the farmers not to continue the cotton crop beyond January in the fields to break its lifecycle”, he said.
The officials from the department have been visiting the villages and educating the farmers to destroy the cotton crop after completing the plucking of cotton and later plough the crop to take up alternative crops such as maize, gingelly etc. He said that the farmers, who had completed three pluckings of the crop, had already started setting fire to the crop and beginning fresh ploughing of the fields to take up alternative crops. He hoped that the campaign would yield results.