Cotton cultivators anticipate record harvest this year; however, pink bollworm damage threatens it.
Farmers were hopeful of expanding cotton cultivation this year due to favorable rates, and it appears they have accomplished this. Unfortunately, heavy rainfall and fluctuating climatic conditions have resulted in an alarming surge of pink bollworm infestations, endangering this year’s cotton production and creating an immediate threat. Pest attacks have been reported throughout multiple districts – with this situation only worsening with time.
Pink bollworm has long been acknowledged as an agricultural pest that poses serious threats to cotton plants as well as other crops, prompting farmers to reduce cotton cultivation as a direct consequence. But in recent years, good prices have encouraged them to pursue this product again and as of July 15, 102.8 lakh have already been planted with cotton!
Last year, Maharashtra, Haryana and Rajasthan experienced pink bollworm infestations on cotton crops that forced farmers to shift their focus from cotton crops to other crops resulting in low sowings and record prices. To combat the pest infestation, the government approved the Pest Management Scheme which will attempt to control caterpillar infection caused by pink bollworm infestations; it will work to decrease infestations in districts like Chandrapur, Wardha Yabatmal Nanded Parwani Amravati Nagpur Jalgaon Jalna Akola.
Cotton Area in Maharashtra
Cotton is the second-most important crop in Maharashtra and is its largest producer nationwide. Soil for sowing this year covers 40 lakh hectares; however, its cultivation can be plagued by pink bollworm infestation and affected production is expected to rise due to implementation of pest resistance management scheme and record prices seen last year becoming evident now in production figures. Cotton production mainly occurs in Solapur, Jalgaon, Sangli and Satara districts while pink bollworm infestation has also been noted in Haryana.