Pests Affecting Cotton Producers

Chandubhai Patel is the owner of the largest producing cotton farm in the world but they are currently facing many challenges in the industry. Unlike household pests where people in Australia can easily commission a pest control in Sydney to handle the infestation, this is not as easy with the cotton pests known as bollworms.

Patel hires labourers under an annual contract to help with the cotton farm. He is currently unhappy with the cotton production in Gujarat because of the number of challenges they have to face including fluctuations in the prices of cotton. Majority of the farmers does not have the luxury to stock cotton until the price increases not to mention the rise of fake BT seeds that are sold in the market. The pesticides they are selling are cheaper but the quality is lower as well. Of the total land area that cultivates cotton, only 40 per cent has been installed with irrigation system.

Patel’s major problem is the gulabi pest known as the pink bollworm. According to him, before the pests came to his farm they were able to have a yield of around 800 kg from every bigha (2.5 bigha is equivalent to 1 acre) of land. Now their yield is only between 500 and 600 kg. This is the reason why Patel decided to experiment with other crops aside from the cotton.

Dr. LK Dhaduk leads a team composed of cotton researchers and he said that the pink bollworm is now able to tolerate Bt cotton that has been genetically engineered.

He added that the reason for this is that farmers failed to keep in mind the advisories they have given. They have already released a number steps necessary to defeat pink bollworm but Saurashtra’s farmers failed to follow them.

Farmers did not install the pest control measures necessary such as the pheromone traps that will attract insects into a trap containing chemical substances. They also recommended to do mix cropping in order to lessen the change of a specific pest to be resistant.

It is the same in every country. Companies specializing in pest control in Sydney are also advising homeowners to follow their advisories to prevent pest infestations.

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