MULTAN    -   Around 96 per cent of cotton sown area in south Punjab was in satisfactory condition despite having suffered heat wave, heavy rains and floods, secretary agriculture south Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel said on Thursday.

Talking to the farmers during visit to cotton fields in Khanewal district, Saqib said that only four (4) per cent cotton sown area was affected by the above mentioned three factors.

 He said that heat wave prevented first attack of pink bollworm and the April-sown crop was yielding good production of high quality fibre. He said that next 45 days were more important for cotton crop necessitating farmers to work hard and do not leave crop water stressed at the fruit stage. He asked farmers to apply a bag of Urea with every water application per acre till Sep 7 in case of short plant height or growth suspension.

Farmers who have started picking process must ensure measures to maintain quality of Phutti (seed cotton) to attract premium price. While engaged In picking, farmers must also pay attention to pink bollworm, white fly and mealy bug to counter possible attack. Weeds inside or outside but near the field must be removed to plug chances of white fly attack. Weeds that serve as host for mealy bug must also be removed.

In case of few plants attacked by pests, farmers should uproot such plants, pack them in polythene bag and bury in soil.

He advised farmers to do pest scouting twice a week and apply suitable technique in consultation with agriculture officials in case of intense pest attack. Yellow sticking cards be installed in the fields at the rate of eight (8) per acre and be replaced fortnightly. For biological control, farmers should instal Crysopa and Trychograma cards at the rate of 20 per acre.

In case of application of pesticides, farmers should also apply plants extracts spray after five days. To kill pink bollworm, farmers should use eight (8) pheromone traps per acre and replace capsules fortnightly.