India - Whitefly poses threat to cotton crop in Haryana

02.08.2022 289 views

Farmers in the cotton belt of Haryana, comprising Sirsa, Fatehabad and Hisar districts, are fearing crop loss for the third year in a row due to the threat of whitefly and pink bollworm, besides inundation due to heavy rains.

The Agriculture Department has asked the farmers to drain out the standing water from the cotton fields and also alerted the farmers to keep observation on the crop about attack by any pest. Sources said the Hisar region has received above average rainfall which poses a threat to the cotton crop.

Rambhagat Ghorela of Bahbalpur village of the district said he had sown 3 acres of cotton crop but the entire crop had got damaged in recent days. “I have stopped spraying pesticide as the crop cannot be saved now. Plants have turned pale and are getting weaker, which is an indication of the crop failure. I have also spotted the attack of whitefly,” he stated.

Another farmer Bansi Lal said that his two acres cotton crop is almost finished now. “Last year, it was a pink bollworm. This year, whitefly and another disease. I have suffered the cotton crop failure for successive years”, he said.

Similar is the situation in Baddo Patti, Dhingtana and other adjoining areas, especially in Barwala, Narnaund and Baas blocks of Hisar district. The cotton farmers in Sirsa district which has the largest cotton area, are also facing similar fate as they are also keeping their fingers crossed, fearing attack from the Gudia Khera, Shakar Mandori and other adjoining villages have heavy waterlogging due to flow of water via Hisar-Ghaggar drain and also rains for last three days. The farmers who had sowed cotton in this belt are unlikely to get any returns this season,” said Naresh Beniwal.

A woman farmer Nirmla from Gudia Khera in Sirsa district said that she had 16 acres of cotton crop on the land adjoining a nullah known as Semnala. “My fields have about 3 feet of water. I have no means to drain out this water,” she said.

Babu Lal, deputy director of agriculture, Sirsa, maintained that they had got complaints of whitefly from farmers from certain pockets. “But excessive rains and standing water is a bigger threat to the cotton right now. We have issued an advisory to the farmers to drain out water from the fields. Besides, the Agriculture Department staff is keeping a close observation on the cotton about pest attack,” he said.

This kharif season, the state has cotton crop on an estimated 18-19 lakh acres, of which Sirsa, Fatehabad and Hisar are major cotton districts.

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