Agriculture is the backbone of the economic sector of country. Also agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. Agriculture sector provides us with one of the basic requirement of life i.e. food. Hence the damage caused to this sector directly or indirectly affects each sector of country.
Recently a new threat to this sector is of white flies. White flies, the tiny creatures with a wingspan of less than 3 mm and a body length of 1 mm to 2 mm. More than 1550 species of white flies have been described which typically feed on the undersides of plant leaves. In warm or tropical climates and especially in greenhouses, whiteflies present major problems in crop protection. Worldwide economic losses are estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Whiteflies feed by tapping into the phloem of plants, introducing toxic saliva and decreasing the plants’ overall turgor pressure. Since whiteflies congregate in large numbers, susceptible plants can be quickly overwhelmed. Further harm is done by mold growth encouraged by the honeydew whiteflies secrete. This may also seriously impede the ability of farms to process cotton harvests.
Cotton crops are called as the cash crops and they are severely attacked by the white flies. Following are the evidences for the same.
Whitefly affects a fraction of cotton crops: Punjab govt.
24 Aug, 2017
Merely 18.1 hectares of land under cotton cultivation out of the total area of 3.82 lakh hectares has been affected by whitefly pest in Punjab, as per a report formulated by the agriculture department of the state.
In Bathinda, only 3.6 hectares of area was affected out of the total area of 1, 40,000 hectares, while only 10.2 hectares was infested by pest in Mansa out of the total area of 86,010 hectares, as per the report.
In Sri Muktsar Sahib, the total area under cotton cultivation was 64,608 hectares and only 1.6 hectares was affected, whereas Fazilka reported damage to 2 per cent of the land out of 74,655 hectares. In Barnala, merely 0.7 per cent of the land out 5,460 hectares was infested by whitefly. Infestation was not seen in Faridkot, Moga and Sangrur.
India’s cotton yield to decline on whitefly, pink bollworm attacks
From north to west, farmers seek protection from pest attacks to improve productivity
Dilip Kumar Jha | Mumbai Last Updated at August 10, 2017 01:01 IST
In a major disappointment for new entrant farmers, cotton crop has come under severe pest and bollworm attacks in major producing states, which is sparking fears of a sharp decline in India’s fibre productivity this Kharif season.
While a substantial cotton area came under whitefly attack in Punjab and Haryana, pink bollworm was reported to have attacked standing crop in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. Consequently, analysts have started revising estimates of cotton output growth for the current season to 4-5 per cent now from 10 per cent earlier on a sharp increase in acreage.
Acting immediately to avoid farmers’ menace, the government of Maharashtra, according to sources, has ordered seed firms to pay a compensation of Rs 36, 83,000 to farmers in the state.
Posted on July 6, 2017 by Phillip Roberts
Silver leaf whitefly (SLWF) infestations are being observed in cotton in parts of Georgia. Historically SLWF is a localized pest, requiring management in a relatively small geographic area. High populations of SLWF were observed during the fall of 2016 and the mild winter resulted in higher than normal populations surviving the winter.
It is likely that timely intervention with SLWF insecticides will be needed in areas which have experienced SLWF in previous years (all fields are at risk, not just late planted as in most years) and perhaps areas which have rarely observed SLWF will be infested in 2017. On cotton during the summer, SLWF complete a generation in about 2 weeks.
Such a huge nuisance of this tiny species to the agriculture sector cannot be neglected. The pesticides and insecticides are proven to be ineffective against them. However these methods are hazardous methods causing harm to other non-targeted species as well as to the crops.
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