Ludhiana: Pest attack including that white-fly and mealy bug has been observed on cotton crop in Punjab, with Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) asking farmers to take recommended steps to prevent damage.

PAU in a survey found the incidence of sucking insect-pests like whitefly and mealy bug on Bt cotton, said Balwinder Singh, Head of Entomology Department of the university, in a release here.

As per survey, the pest 'mealy bug' was mainly observed on weeds grown on the waste land, roadside and water channel, he said, adding that in some villages, it was noticed on the border sides of the cotton fields.

"This insect multiplies on various weed host plants like congress grass, 'peeli booti', 'kangi booti', etc and then shifts to the adjoining cotton fields," he informed.

Similarly, incidence of 'whitefly was also found on cotton crop at many locations in Abohar, Mansa and Muktsar districts of Punjab, Singh said.

Stating that mealy bug and whitefly suck sap from the leaves, he said they also excrete honey dew on leaves, as a result, of which black sooty mould develops.

In case of severe infestation, Singh observed that the growth of plants becomes stunted and bolls do not open properly.

Experts asked farmers to eradicate weeds on wasteland, roadsides and irrigation channels of canal to protect from pest or insect attack.

Punjab this year has about 5 lakh hectares of land under cotton.


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