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Punjab Cotton Crop Faces Double Threat of Damage, Rain And Pest Are Enemies

5 Sep 2020 9:23 pm
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NEW DELHI (Commodities control) Cotton crop in Punjab is reeling under double threat of damage. Heavy rains in Abohar and other adjoining districts caused huge damage to cotton crop. About 7-8 percent area of cotton in Abohar district is feared to damage. Pink bollworm also damaged some crop in Bathinda district as a ginning mill did not dispose cotton residues properly which is caused for Pink bollworm attack. However, rest cotton crop is in fine conditions. New cotton crop is expected to arrive market by mid of October in the state.

According to Punjab Agriculture department officials, about 17000 Acre (7000 hectare) cotton crop in 15 villages of Abohar and Khuian Sarwar blocks submerged due to heavy rain. Abohar district is major cotton producer alongwith Bathina, Muktsar and Fazilka districts. Cotton was sown in about 1.15 lakh Acre (46,000 hectare) in Abohar district out of total crop sowing area of 5.01 lakh hectare in the state during current Kharif season. Punjab had cotton area of 4.02 lakh hectare during last season.

Chief Agriculture Officer of Abohar district Dr. Jalor Singh told that around 50 percent submerged cotton crop may not revive even after water drain. He told that heavy rains caused for submerging of the crop. Water drainage system could not work effectively to drain water from the fields because drainage were not maintaned properly. He said that the drainage system had limited capacity to drain water into nearby Sarhind Canal. Nearby districts Bathinda and Muktsar also have some damage to cotton crop.

Dr. Jalor Singh told that cotton bolls are developed in about 40 percent plants while 60 percent plants are flowering presently. Rain water could not be drained in about 50 percent submerged area even after 10-20 days. According to the reports, there was heavy rains during last 15-20 days. Consecutive rain of about 8-12 days during last 20 days caused problem of submerging in cotton feild. Therefore 50 percent cotton crop in the district may not survive. The officer told that about 4000 Acre of paddy crop also submerged but paddy crop can survive so there is no worry for paddy crop. The state government has directed Department of Agriculture to conduct survey to assess the damage so the government can give relief to effected farmers.

According to the department, about 200 Acre of Jodhpur Romana village in Bathina district has come under pink bollworm attack. The farmers alleged that adjoining ginning mills did not dispose cotton residues in safe manner which caused the pest attack. Department’s Joint Director (plant protection) Dr. Sukhdev Sandhu and other agriculture experts had visited the area to assess the situation. Dr. Sandu told that crop damage is more severe in adjoining field of the ginning mill. Farther areas have little impact of the attack. Agriculture department is spraying pesticides on the effect field to control the attack. The department is also preparing report to send Mandi Board which is empower to take appropriate action against the responsible ginning mill.

Despite the double crisis in the crop, traders expect good crop as over all crop condition is good. However, heavy rain in last round of Monsoon can delay crop by 15 days. According a Bathinda based trader Mr. Bhagwan Bansal, new crop may arrive market in mid October. Ginned cotton prices are hovering between 3700-3800 per mound (37.7 Kg.) for last 15-20 days. Cotton prices are not getting support due to higher acreage during current season. According to data of Ministry of Agriculture, Cotton area reached to 128.94 lakh hectare in the country which is higher than last season’s acreage of 124.91 lakh hectare. According to market estimate, total production may cross 400 lakh bales (170 kg each).

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau: +91-22-40015505)

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