Cotton crop in peril in Maharashtra on increasing whiteflies attacks -Rahul Wadke

-The Hindu Business Line

Mumbai: The cotton crop in Maharashtra is facing whiteflies attacks and if enough attention is not provided by the State Government then the problem could aggravate and cause significant economic damage, senior Maharashtra Government officials told BusinessLine.

Changes in weather and higher moisture content in the air coupled with the use of synthetic Pyrethroids for killing pink bollworms has lead to the ingress of whiteflies, such pesticides act as a booster for the flies. The cotton shrubs also become vulnerable to attacks by whiteflies if farmers mix different pesticides and spray the cocktail on the shrubs,

The problem could soon reach an economic threshold (ET), defined as the insects' population-level at which the value of the crop destroyed exceeds the cost of controlling the pest. ET is an indicator for initiating preventive measures. In Punjab, whiteflies have already destroyed large areas of cotton crop in the last four years, the officials said.

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The Hindu Business Line, 8 October, 2019,

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