Tribune News Service
Moga, August 12
With the advancement of technology, some progressive farmers in the Malwa belt of Punjab are using automatic boom sprayer machines to spray pesticides on cotton crop, which is more vulnerable to pest/insect attacks during the monsoon season.
No matter, the farmers have not purchased these machines, but some private companies are offering them on rent, which is cost efficient.
It saves time, labour and cost of operation as well as reduces drudgery of the spraying operation. The field capacity of the sprayer is approximately 10 acres per hour.
As per the details available, United Phosphorus Limited (UPL), Crystal Phosphate Limited, PI Limited and their subsidiary companies are providing boom sprayers to the farmers on rent. The Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, has also launched three boom sprayers on trial basis during the current cotton season.
Plant Protection Officer of Moga Dr Jaswinder Singh Brar, who is monitoring the drip-irrigated cotton crop in the Malwa belt, said the control over insects, pests, other diseases and weeds depend upon the use of proper spray technology.
He said the farmers are using different types of sprayers — both manual and power-operated — but, power-operated having nozzles that discharge at least 600 ml of pesticide per minute is best for pest control. Thus, the boom sprayers, which discharge at least 600 ml of pesticide per minute is a better option.
During the last winters, the state Agriculture Department launched a statewide campaign to motivate the farmers to adopt proper methods to spray herbicides with the help of hi-tech machines so as to ensure efficient control of weeds at an early stage in the wheat crop.
For this purpose, the department roped in the services of UPL Company for providing boom sprayers to spray these chemicals on the crops. The UPL provided 245 spray machines in the state, at least one in each block for the purpose.
After its success on wheat crop, the same machines are now being used on the cotton crop. It costs Rs 90 per acre as spraying expenses against Rs 150 being spent by the farmers with the help of outsourced manual labour.
The UPL authorities claim that the hi-tech machine helps in uniform spray with proper pesticide/herbicide and water ratio; it’s more effective as it uniformly covers every inch of field unlike the manual knapsacks and it amount to less loading of soil with agro chemicals.
Several studies carried in the recent past by agro experts suggest that 40 to 50 per cent of the pesticide is wasted with manual spray, which not only adds to the cost of production, but also is environmentally hazardous and create imbalance in the natural ecosystem. This may be also attributed to non-awareness of the farmers and use of inefficient pesticide application machinery.
Moreover, different types of sprayers, being used these days, do not hit the actual target. No sprayer is available that can hit the target under the cotton leaves where insects get protection. The boom sprayer also showers pesticide under the leaves.
Save time, labour
- Boom sprayers save time, labour and cost of operation as well as reduces drudgery of the spraying operation
- The field capacity of the sprayer is approximately 10 acres per hour
- It costs Rs 90 per acre as spraying expenses against Rs 150 being spent by farmers with the help of outsourced manual labour
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