Wednesday, October 14, 2015

BT cotton has no pest resistance, says farmers

After unwanted rains, the cotton crop now faces a threat from the so-called sucking pest which is eating up the yield.

The pest popularly known as Laddepurugu (Spodptera Lithura), American Bollworm, Verupurugu (Root grub) attacked BT- cotton plants, though  the variety  is considered to be Bt cotton was considered to be pest resistant up to nine months. The yield is likely to come down as cotton plants whither under pest attack.

Progressive farmer Narala Vasanth of Kokasmannur village in Ichoda said, it appears that the Laddepurugu has improved its resistance and eating the BT cotton plant at the seventh itself.

BT cotton plants  was considered to be pest resistant up to 90 days and there will be no affect pets on the cotton plants even though pest attacked the plant at that stage.

He said the pest may attack the BT cotton much early in the coming seasons with the increased resistance of the pest and added that farmers were not following the  advise of the agriculture officials that farmers should sow four lanes of non-BT cotton beside the BT cotton. It is found that the sucking pest was not killed by pesticides.

Minister Jogu Ramanna who visited cotton fields in the Deepaiguda in Jainad mandal said even agriculture scientists were clueless about the pest attacked on cotton plants this season. He said scientists were still in the field researching the reasons for pest attack.

Retired assistant director of agriculture C. Narsing said the farmers will get 120 grams of non BT seeds along with 450 grams BT seeds but farmers are not sowing non BT seeds beside the BT seeds.  

Cotton was cultivated in 3.17 lakh hectares in this Kharif season in district. Cotton cultivation was high in Adilabad division in the district. Pest attack was high in Adilabad, Bela, Jainad, Tamsi, Talamadugu, Ichoda mandals. There are 3.5 lakh farmers in the district.