Pest attacks intensify in southern Punjab

Farmers face losses worth millions after whitefly, mealybugs damage crops


Our Correspondent August 26, 2018
PHOTO: REUTERS

MULTAN: The cotton crop has been damaged in South Punjab after a number of sucking and chewing pests have attacked the harvest. In most of the fields, whitefly and mealybugs have damaged the crops inflicting losses worth millions of rupees. These pests should be controlled as early as possible so that the cotton crop can be saved from a considerable loss in the final yield.

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This was said by a spokesperson for the South Punjab agriculture department while speaking to Express News on Saturday. He said that teams from the agriculture department scouted the fields on a daily basis. The hot spots for pests, especially whitefly, thrips and pink bollworm were being observed in the fields.

He added that one of the symptoms for pest attacks was the appearance of rosette flowers. “The rosette flowers must be plucked and destroyed as early as possible,” he pointed out.

He maintained that the attacks usually intensify in September and October and that farmers should take preventive measures to counter the threat.

He warned farmers against the practice of applying pesticides before the attacks as a precautionary measure. “It is wrong; the agriculture department would never recommend applying pesticides beforehand,” he said.

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He pointed out that if farmers apply pesticides against pink bollworm before its attack, it can promote white fly infestation and create resistance in other pests.

The official advised farmers to apply pesticides after pest scouting by experts.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2018.

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