Rain on Sunday brought respite for cotton farmers from the whitefly attack in Fazilka district. Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO) Sukhdev Singh Brar said farmers would be benefited by the rain as it would end the attack of the sucking pest on the standing cotton crop.

Agriculture expert Satish Dhingra said the showers killed the whitefly effectively and its germination had come to an end. Dhingra said the rain was beneficial for orchards and vegetable fields, which could also fall prey to the whitefly attack.

Brar said the monitoring committees were holding surveys and meetings to check the pest attack, besides making farmers aware of preventive measures.

Official sources said the cotton crop had been sown in about 36,240 hectares of land in Fazilka district. The standing cotton crop in about 1,100 acres of land had been affected and partially damaged due to the whitefly attack in about three dozen villages, most of them fall in Abohar subdivision of Fazilka district.
A central government team and Additional Chief Secretary Nirmaljit Singh Kalsi recently visited the affected area to assess the impact of the whitefly in the district. “The department has also launched a concentrated drive in Khuian Sarvar block to avert the spread of the whitefly attack,” said Chief Agriculture Officer.

Source: July 18, 2016, The Tribune