Sponsored by: Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India
Implementing agency: National Centre for Integrated Pest Management (NCIPM) New Delhi
Collaborating centre – Krishi Vigyan Kendra , Babhaleshwar Tal.Rahata Dist. Ahmednagar, (MAHARASHTRA)
After introduction of Bt cotton, we could achieve effective management of Helicoverpa armigera and Earias spp., but it has been noticed out of field trials conducted under Technology Mission of Cotton IPM ((from 2003-04 to 2006-07) that pink bollworm would pose a major threat to Bt cotton due to its crop-phenological niche and farmers practices of neglecting their crop and not terminating even after the crops potential yield period. Similarly there is a steady increase in infestation of sucking pests like jassids, white flies ,thrips aphids etc. The minor or unseen pests such as mirid bug, mealy bug and shoot weevil are also attaining economic importance in Bt cotton. Besides, in many locations, Bt cotton hybrids are grown in poor or marginal soils under rain fed situations, where the agronomic conditions do not support the high boll retention in Bt cotton hybrids consequently leading to abiotic stress situations. More attack of biotic stresses such as grey mildew, leaf spots, rusts, etc. in extended Bt cotton hybrids were also noted. Under such situations, they reduce net leaf area expressing cry toxin and may further inhibit the level of toxin expression too, which makes the plant more vulnerable to attack by bollworms. The pest problems, particularly that of minor pests, have not been monitored regularly and often remedial measures are undertaken only after they reach epidemic or cause huge losses. Mealy bugs in Gujarat and Punjab from 2006 onwards and Spodoptera infestation during 2005-06 in north zone and mirid bug in central zone were eye-openers to plant protection specialists and state agriculture departments. A regular monitoring of cotton pests, using preferably Information Communication Technologies and development of suitable IPM strategies is need of the hour, as it will lead to better preparedness by all agencies involved in plant protection and to issue proper advise to farmers based on actual pest problems. Now it is a high time for reorienting IPM approach in cotton.
Training programmes For the IPM farmers selected under NISPM project two on campus and two off campus training programmes on Bt cotton production were organized by KVK Ahmednagar and the total package of practices on Bt cotton were delivered by the KVK scientists. These selected IPM farmers also shared their experiences as well as got clarified all their queries during these training programmes. Literatures of Bt cotton production technology were also distributed during these training programmes
A.Stem application technology After the sowing of Bt cotton was completed, the field demonstration of stem application was organized in the villages selected under NISPM project. In this demonstration farmers were demonstrated the stem application technology of systemic insecticide in Bt cotton in which imidacloprid 17.8% was used in1:20 dilution with water and applied on stem of Bt cotton after 30,45 and 60 days of crop growth stage. It proved highly effective not only in managing the sucking pests but also in minimizing the use of chemical pesticide.The farmers were highly convinced regarding this technology.
B.Installation of sticky traps and pheromone traps The field demonstrations were also conducted on installation of yellow as well as blue sticky traps for management of white flies and thrips whereas pheromone traps for monitoring the infestation of boll worms in Bt cotton. The concept of sticky traps has been strongly adopted by the Bt cotton growers and majority of them approached the KVK for supply of these traps.
Field visits and diagnostic visits The periodic field visits, group discussions and shivar pheri were undertaken for proper dissemination of IPM technology among the Bt cotton growers. The scientists of KVK regularly visited the Bt cotton fields under OPMAS project and discussed with the farmers about the crop management
Field Days – The field days were organized in the selected villages under OPMAS in order to show the difference between IPM and Non IPM plots and also to note the performance of various inputs used under IPM. Almost 100 farmers participated in field days. The scientists of KVK and representatives from department of agriculture were present for the field days.
Mass media – Articles on IPM technology in Bt cotton and success stories of IPM cotton were published in KVK magazine for proper dissemination of the technology in Bt cotton. Radio talks of KVK scientists and the progressive cotton IPM farmers were broadcasted through All India Radio Ahmednagar as well as CRS of KVK Ahmednagar