The Yavatmal district of the Vidarbha location in Maharashtra has been a centre of cotton farmers’ suicides for the past 15 many years, because of to crop losses and pests assaults. In September 2017, the district was in opposition to struck with a larger sized tragedy, when a substantial selection of farmers and farm labourers died even though spraying chemical pesticides on pink bollworms (PBW). It also led to a extensive-phrase impact on the well being of those who survived the poisoning. This yr, much too, the PBW infestation has been witnessed in Yavatmal as properly as in neighbouring districts, but the selection of assaults has not crossed a threshold that will induce financial injury.

Agriculture scientist and entomologist Pramod Magar, who will work for the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in Yavatmal, believes that the farmers can effortlessly regulate the menace this yr and in the coming many years without having resorting to the major use of toxic and pricey pesticides.

The ICAR in 2005 established the KVK for the Yavatmal district beneath Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola.

Magar, in an job interview with BusinessLine, reported that PBW can be tackled employing ecologically helpful built-in pest administration procedures. The use of dangerous pesticide should really be only used as a past resort. Edited excerpts:

How can farmers continue to keep PBW at bay? What are the studying from your past activities?

Due to the fact 2016, cotton growers are struggling with the threat of PBW in cotton crop all over Maharashtra and specially Yavatmal. The farmers and Condition agriculture universities managed to continue to keep PBW absent in 2018 and 2019 only mainly because they adopted expense-powerful procedures.

Identical eco-helpful built-in pest administration procedures should really carry on, as cotton is rising really properly this year because of to copious monsoon rains.

Farmers have learnt that ploughing in the summertime to heat up the discipline for about two months, crop rotation, averting pre-monsoon sowing and seed therapy prior to sowing and plucking of rosette bouquets of the cotton plant are positive shot means to command the PBW menace.

For pest surveillance, pheromone traps in August and September is crucial together with spraying of bio-pesticide these types of Beauveria bassiana and neem extracts.

On the other hand, if the PBW continue to plagues the vegetation, then pesticides with environmentally friendly and blue triangles labels, which are fewer toxic as as opposed to the ones with pink and yellow triangles, should really be used.

Why do you say chemical pesticides should really be a past resort for the cotton crop?

Chemical pesticides are absolutely nothing but nerve poisons which get rid of the bugs and also have negative impacts on human well being and the natural environment. It should really be the past solution only if the pests cross their respective financial threshold amount. Negligible use of chemical pesticides will lessen chance to human beings and other handy organisms and bugs in the discipline. Considered use of toxic pesticide will also enable in minimising the chance of resistance improvement in bugs and pests.

What is the logic guiding employing water with a pH amount of six-seven for spraying the pesticides? Does employing water with better pH worth lead to the decomposition of the pesticide?

H2o getting a pH of six- seven is really crucial for the performance of any pesticide. As water is used as a medium for mixing or dissolving the pesticide, it greatly influences the performance of the pesticide. When any pesticide is mixed with water, it is hydrolysed. Hydrolysis is a chemical procedure of breaking down of the pesticides into numerous lesser molecules. The pesticides usually undertake alkaline hydrolysis if water pH is greater than seven, which sales opportunities to degradation and ineffectiveness of the pesticide.

Why is the mixing of various pesticides and then spraying it on the cotton crop dangerous to the crops and the farmers? In 2017, amongst the many good reasons attributed to the loss of life of the farmers because of to pesticide poisoning, it was also reported that the chemcials had been mixed…


Every single agro chemical these types of as pesticides, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, bactericides and plant progress promoters have their own method of motion, chemical homes and composition, which will make them at periods incompatible with one one more and in the end decreases their performance. The mixing of one or more pesticides may possibly lead to phytotoxicity to vegetation and poisoning to the farmers. It may possibly also lead to resistance improvement in insect, pathogens and weeds.