'Mealy bug' damages cotton crop in Punjab

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Chandigarh, July 30 (ANI): Farmers of Punjab's Abohar district are left anxious after a mealy bug infestation damaged their cotton crop.

Mealy bug, a white fuzzy insect that suck plant juice, had led to major damage of cotton crop in the region.

Farmers have tried various insecticides and pesticides, but to no avail.

Joginder Singh, farmer from Kaller Kheda Village said that water shortage has further added to their woes.

"Mealy bug has infected our fields and besides this white mosquito is also destroying our cotton crop. They cannot be controlled by spraying insecticides and the water shortage is further adding to out woes," said Singh.

Meanwhile, the agriculture department is conducting a survey of the damaged fields and suggesting measures for prevention of further damage.

Hardayal Singh Kamboj, Agriculture Officer, Abohar District explains how the insect Mealy bug thrives.

"Mealy bug basically thrives on the other plants by sucking their nutrients and making them weak as a result the yield of that particular plant decreases," said Kamboj.

Cotton is primarily grown in dry tropical and subtropical climates at temperatures between 110C and 250C. Temperatures below 50C or above 250C are unfavourable for the crop, although the resistance levels vary from species to species.

Excessive exposure to dryness or moisture at certain stages of the plant development (lasting 5 to 7 months) may be detrimental.

Cotton is one of the important non-food agricultural and cash crops of Punjab. (ANI)

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