Experts call for monitoring mealy bug

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Ludhiana, Jul 13: Agriculture experts have called for regular monitoring of the cotton crop to check mealy bug, which is the main enemy of this cash crop in Punjab.

Punjab Agricultural University's (PAUs) senior entomologist A K Dhawan while providing some useful tips to farmers on mealy bug here today laid stress on destroying the pest-affected plant parts by burying. Avoid dumping of the affected palnts in canals and other water bodies and immediately remove the plants that harbour the mealy bug, he advised.

Mealy bug incidence on cotton is a problem encountered in recent years. The problem can be managed easily if tips given by experts are followed but can lead to serious losses if ignored, Dr Dhawan pointed out.

He said that pesticides should be used with precautions as per recommendation of the PAU. He said the mealy bug, which is a sucking pest of cotton, should be controlled with only the recommended pesticides from the carbamate and organo phosphate groups only.

He said that whenever in doubt, the farmers should contact experts adding that the PAU trained scouts for the pest management at different Krishi Vigyan Kendras can also be contacted for advice.

The PAU Director of Extension Education, Dr N S Malhi said that efforts are being made to create awareness about mealy bug management strategies through flash messages on print and electronic media and on organized campaigns. He said that farmers should learn from previous mistakes and should not repeat the same.

Discussing the development pattern of the pest, Dr Malhi said mealy bug first develops on the border rows of the crop where control should be targeted. He highlighted that only the recommended practices for mealy bug management should be exercised and pesticide should be used rationally.

PAUs Additional Director of Communication, Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman said that an audio CD entitled ''Baggan Noon Nath Paundian Paidan'' (steps to manage mealy bug in cotton) has been recently brought out by the University wherein technical information for the management of mealy bug has been presented in a docu-drama form in farmers language in infotainment mode that involves dialogues, songs and technical deliberation by experts.

Dr Anil Kumar Sharma, Assistant Director (TV/Radio) is associated with the production of this CD.

UNI

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