Farmers from Karjan, Dabhoi and Shinor talukas of Vadodara, which are part of Kanam cotton growing belt, rich in black soil most suitable for growing cotton, heavily relied on the pre-monsoon period for sowing
Cotton is sown during Kharif season when water guzzling paddy crop is also grown in state. The cotton crop is also considered the best alternative to paddy, which is sown in nearly 25 to 30 lakh hectares out. Due to such huge area under paddy, 109 agricultural blocks out of the total 138, have already been declared over-exploited.
Six pests per leaf have been detected in some parts of Fazilka, Bathinda, Muktsar and Mansa, while the average growth is between 4-5 pests per leaf in most parts of the cotton belt. Dr Sukhdev Singh, Deputy Director for Cotton, Department of Agriculture, revealed that economic threshold level (ETL) of the pest is six per leaf and therefore there is no scope of taking chances.