MULTAN - Secretary Agriculture South Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel on Thursday asked the field teams of agriculture department to be on alert and scramble in the cotton belt within their respective domains, and ensure observance of experts’ guidelines to lessen the negative impact of rains on the silver fibre crop and keep the pest pressure away.

Presiding over a meeting to review cotton crop situation in the light of post-rain impact at the agriculture secretariat south, the secretary said that the monsoon rains might continue for a few more days and urged the field staff to remain alert and help and guide farmers to drain out excess rainwater from fields in case of heavy rains.  He also advised farmers to be vigilant during rains, adding that accumulation of water affects food formation process in plants and may cause small bolls to fall.

Monitoring officers informed that cotton crop situation in South Punjab was satisfactory so far. They said the incidence of white fly, Jassid, Cotton Leaf Curl Virus and Plants wilting was observed, but added that the pest pressure was still under the economic threshold level (ETL).

They said that the demonstration plots being nurtured under integrated Pest Management (IPM) model were witnessing increase in number of crop friendly pests by virtue of avoiding chemical spray and applying botanical extracts spray.  The fields with early sown varieties have even yielded first picking at the rate of 8-10 Maunds per acre, they added. They said that farmers should immediately apply botanical extracts spray if not applied earlier.

They said that 600 gram of Colosynth (Kor Tumma), 600 grams of tobacco, 600 gram of Neem leaf, 600 grams of Sodom Apple Leaf (Akk) and 10 grams Asafoetida (Hing) should be mixed in 100 litres of water and this liquid would be sufficient for spray on an acre of cotton crop. It would help plug chances of pest flare up.

After rain, farmers should apply two kilogram Urea, 250 gram Zinc Sulphate (33%), 200 gram Potassium Nitrate, 300 gram (17 %) Boric Acid and mix it in 100 litres of water.  Its spray should be applied on the crop and repeated after a week. A bag of Urea per acre be applied by ridger when soil is moist. To combat plant wilting, farmers should apply spray of one kilogram Thyophenate Methyl, and two kilogram Sulphur (80%) in water on the crop. Moreover, 250 gram Phostile Aluminium in 100 litres of water be also sprayed.

 

Saqib said that increase in humidity after rain can trigger attack by Aphid and advised farmers to perform pest scouting regularly and adopt measures to control pests when their incidence goes beyond ETL after consulting experts.

 

Additional secretaries Imtiaz Ahmad Waraich, Syed Naveed Alam, DGs Rana Faqeer Ahmad, Zafarullah Sindhu, director cotton Dr. Sagheer Ahmad, deputy director Naveed Asmat Kahlon and others attended the meeting.