Source: The Hindu Businessline

KV KURMANATH

HYDERABAD, DECEMBER 6

With pink bollworm turning virulent and posing a serious threat to the interests of farmers, the Telangana government has asked the farmers to terminate the crop before December. It has ordered an intense awareness campaign to educate the farmers to uproot the plants out after third picking. If the crop is terminated by December, it will break the lifecycle of the bollworm population, lessening the risk of the incidence in the next kharif.

The kharif season is coming to end as a good number of farmers have completed their second picking. The third picking doesn’t yield much produce but some farmers keep the crop, expecting one or two quintals. Telangana has registered a massive increase in cotton acreage this kharif. The acreage crossed the 46-lakh acre mark, about 15 lakh acres more than the normal acreage. Untimely rains and outbreak of pink bollworm have wreaked a havoc, causing extensive damage to small and medium farmers.

But the government’s report suggest that the spread of pink bollworms is virulent and has breached the Economic Threshold Level (ETL), which could result in extensive damage. “There is an urgent need to educate the farmers on the need to terminate the crop after December in all the cotton growing areas, particularly in Adilabad and Warangal districts,” a senior government official said. He wanted the extension officers to convince to remove the crop and go for shredding of the stubbles. “The worms will survive in the stubbles and could transcend to the next crop,” he said.

(Source: The Hindu Businessline)