Punjab Agriculture Department has directed field staff to send cotton hot spot report on daily basis in cotton zone for getting better production this year.
The spokesman for the department disclosed that during second fortnightly meeting of cotton growers were advised to eradicate harmful weeds and use shield for protection of cotton plants during spray of weedicide. Water quantity during spray of weedicide should be 100 to 120 litre per acre. Farmers are also advised to apply water after water scouting i.e if water stress is observed in the fields of cotton then use applications of water. These visible signs may attribute bluish colouring of cotton leaves, upper nodes may feel shorten in height. Upper stem may seem reddish in colour and upper nodes of cotton may feel rough.
The spokesman said that under the direction of Secretary Agriculture Department Wasif Khurshid, attack of white fly, green hopper, Thrips and Mealy Bug attack may be observed as per climatic and geographical location. If attack of these insects observed to exceed than Economic Threshold Level (ETL), farmers are advised to use spray against these insects as per consultation with Agricultural local expert of the department. He disclosed that due to climatic change it has been observed that cotton crop is susceptible to attack of Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV) this year. To mitigate this disease effect and for its control it is advised that farmers must eliminate weed from their cotton fields and vicinity. Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV) mainly spread due to attack of white fly which serves as mediator of this disease. Weeds serves as debris for white fly insect and also compete with cotton plants with respect to food and other essential nutrition. Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV) also found on other alternative host plant such as okra, brinjal, chilies, tomatoes etc and some weeds e,g Itsit, Mako, Lahlee, Karund, Hazar Danni, Kuth Kunda, Auk, Saklaie etc. So, eradication of these alternate host is necessary to control Whitefly/ CLCV attack.
The spokesman for Agriculture Department disclosed that in case of attack of Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV), farmers should start application of fertiliser particularly Magnesium can mitigate effects of cotton. In an experiment conducted at Cotton Research Station Multan, it has also been observed that spray of Magnesium Salphate at the rate of 300g, Potassium Nitrate 200g, Zinc Salphate 200g and Borax 200g mixed in 100ml water per acre and 60, 75 and 90 days after sowing of cotton crop can mitigate effect of CLCV.
He advised that white fly attack is main source of this disease and due to attack of CLCV, cotton crop change colour so farmers are advised to keep in contact with Agriculture (Extension or pest warning) field staff to counter this disease. In the month of August, Pink Bollworm second generation may appear in the field so farmers are advised to use sex trap pheromone against Pink Bollworm. He advised farmers to start picking of cotton balls after 9am and it should be ended at 4pm. If there are chances of rainfall then farmers are advised to postpone picking of cotton and labour involved in picking should use cotton clothes for this purpose and avoid mixing hair and other type of contamination to mix in cotton bolls so price of cotton in market may meet ideally.