Pest destroys 60% cane yield, scientists worried : The Tribune India

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Pest destroys 60% cane yield, scientists worried

Pest destroys 60% cane yield, scientists worried

Scientists of the Sugarcane Breeding Institute and insecticide makers hold a brainstorming session in Karnal. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Parveen Arora

Karnal, January 29

Top borer insect has affected around 60% production of sugarcane across Haryana, causing huge loss to farmers. It has raised the tension of sugarcane scientists, sugar mills as well as the insecticides manufacturing companies and the farmers as, the scientists say, the insecticide being used for this insect has ‘failed’ to deliver desired results in the past two years.

Farmers tense too

The top borer has destroyed my crop. The production has been reduced to around 150 quintal per acre from 400-450 quintal earlier — Kewal Krishan, Farmer

Before the next cultivation of crops scheduled between February 15 and March 15, scientists of the Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Regional Centre, Karnal, held a brainstorming session with a major insecticide manufacturing firm to find out a solution.

After a field visit of various locations, Dr SK Pandey, head, ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Regional Centre, discussed various aspects with the scientists and the company members.

“We have inspected fields across Haryana and found that top borer has resulted in around 60% loss in production. This insect has left impact on 95% area, which is a cause of worry for all of us. We all have to make efforts by adopting a mechanism to break the cycle of this insect,” said Dr Pandey, adding that the state farmers cultivate sugarcane in around 3.5 lakh acres and on an average production was 400-500 quintal per acre, but this insect had given a big jolt to production and on an average the farmers received 140-200 quintal per acre.

Scientists are worried as it has affected the high-yielding variety CO-0238, which had been cultivated in around 70 per cent of the area of the state. “It is a high-yielding variety and the farmers have cultivated it most, but at present, we do not have any substitute of this variety, so we are asking the farmers to adopt some steps to break the cycle of this insect,” said Dr Pandey.

About sugar production, Dr Pandey said this inspect also affected the sugar production, which reduced to 10-10.5% from 12% earlier in the state.

Usually, the farmers apply the prescribed insecticide in the root zone in the dry field and later irrigate it, which is wastage of insecticide. He also urged the farmers to use the insecticide in a moist field. “In most of the areas, the farmers are dependent on labourers so there is a possibility of lapse in proper applying of insecticide. The farmers should get the insecticide sprayed in their presence. The levelling of the field should be proper and the excess use of urea should be avoided. also, the root-to-root distance should be 4-5 ft to break the cycle,” he said.

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