After the whitefly pest attack that destroyed much of Haryana’s cotton crop last season, a team of scientists of Haryana Agricultural University (HAU), Hisar, which surveyed cotton fields for insect-pest incidence in Hisar, Bhiwani, Jind, Fatehabad and Sirsa districts, found that incidence of leafhopper has increased in the last fortnight in many areas.
R S Jaglan, head, department of Entomology has advised farmers to be cautious and to monitor cotton crop for whitefly and leafhopper incidence on weekly basis.
He also emphasised that high activity of natural enemy, Chrysoperla, which feed on whitefly and leafhopper, was observed in all the cotton fields. He suggested farmers to refrain from unnecessary insecticide application in order to conserve this beneficial insect.
S S Siwach, director of research said that currently prevailing weather conditions are highly favourable for leafhopper multiplication. He said leafhopper population on cotton may increase if rains occur frequently and relative humidity remains above 70 per cent. However, the whitefly population is likely to remain at low to moderate level.