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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Maharashtra: Long breaks in monsoon lead to pest attacks on multiple crops

Soyabean growers from Amravati, Latur and Osmanabad districts have reported the attack of mosaic virus.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
Updated: August 11, 2021 8:35:16 am
Maharashtra: Long breaks in monsoon lead to pest attacks on multiple cropsLast year, the Agriculture department had made efforts to promote re-usage of seeds by farmers and this year, it has asked farmers to be careful about choosing seeds from non-infected parts of the field | Representational image/Vishal Srivastav

Long breaks in monsoon rain have seen farmers in the state grappling with the attack of various pests and diseases. Soyabean growers, especially in Marathwada, are concerned about mosaic virus, as well as infestation of pink and American bollworm. The Agriculture department has issued advisories for preventive measures to be taken to tackle the pest problem.

Soyabean growers from Amravati, Latur and Osmanabad districts have reported the attack of mosaic virus. A secondary infection caused by aphids, this virus causes curling of leaves, stunted growth and dip in productivity in the oilseed crop. While the attack has been limited to a few pockets, the Agriculture department has advised preventive measures, including spraying of insecticides such as Imidacloprid The advisory, issued last week, has pointed out that usage of infected seed may be a probable cause of spread of the virus.

On Tuesday, the state Agriculture Commissioner chaired a high-level meeting of various experts on the issue of virus attacks on tomato crop as growers in Maharashtra have reported major crop loss due to the attack of mosaic virus in the last two years. Nurseries which sell tomato sapling were instructed to ensure they take proper measures to control the spread of the virus. A detailed report about the matter is expected to be submitted soon.

Last year, the Agriculture department had made efforts to promote re-usage of seeds by farmers and this year, it has asked farmers to be careful about choosing seeds from non-infected parts of the field. Maharashtra has reported sowing of the oilseed over 45 lakh hectares, an all-time high.

Pink and American bollworm infestation in cotton fields is also a major problem for farmers. While some cotton fields in Marathwada and Vidarbha have reported infestation of this pest, the number of such cases has been low. Only in a few cases has the infestation caused such extensive damage that the farmer concerned has reported significant loss of crop.

Maize farmers in the state have also faced fall army worm infestation.

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