Industry And Cluster | News & Insights

Maharashtra farmers worry as cotton crop faces pest attacks.

Published: October 9, 2019
Author: TEXTILE VALUE CHAIN

The cotton crop in Maharashtra is under whitefly attacks, threatening significant loss to farmers, according to senior State government officials.

Changes in weather and higher moisture content in the air, coupled with the use of synthetic pyrethroids for killing pink bollworms, have led to the ingress of whiteflies. Such pesticides attract the files. Cotton shrubs also become vulnerable to attacks by whiteflies if farmers mix different pesticides and spray them.

The problem could soon reach an economic threshold, whereby the insect population rises to a 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.

When whiteflies attacks a cotton shrub, it leads to the curling of leaves, reduces plant vigour by affecting photosynthesis and lint gets contaminated with secretions from the flies. It also make the shrub vulnerable to fungal attack and leaf curl virus disease. The flies suck the sap from the cotton shrub’s phloem or living tissue that transports food made in the leaves through photosynthesis to other parts. The officials said the attacks have been detected in all major cotton grown areas of Vidarbha, including Pandharkawda in the Yavatmal district. The extent of damage is still being assessed. Whiteflies attacks have been reported in Maharashtra in the last five years but this time it is more virulent, which could cross the economic threshold, the officials said.

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Walmart acquired the assets and operations of ModCloth in March 2017 for an undisclosed amount. The Go Global deal is expected to close later this year.

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