1. Commodity News

India’s Cotton Crop Outlook Turns Doubtful from Recent Rains & Insect Attack

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee
Cotton Plant

The recent developments regarding pink bollworm infestations in Punjab, Haryana and heavy rains in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have started raising doubts regarding this season’s crop size.

In earlier forecasts, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) have come out with a better harvest versus previous year.

Domestic prices have shot up in recent days because of threat regarding significant crop damage in the affected areas, in addition to possibility of harvest delays. The pink bollworm attack has been discovered in Bathinda district’s cotton farms in Punjab. The harvest in Punjab shall begin by next week. 

The Agriculture Department is constantly monitoring the situation closely and preparing to take needful action accordingly. 

Cotton is grown around 4.8 lakh hectares in the state of Punjab. Reports say that Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, Mahendragarh, and Jind in Haryana, and Bathinda and Mansa in Punjab, are some of the districts affected by the pink bollworm infestation.

The matured pink bollworm is a tiny grey moth with fringed wings that is small and slender. The female moth deposits her eggs in a cotton ball, which is the rounded seed capsule of plants, and the larvae that hatch cause harm to the plant by eating.

They eat the seeds by chewing through the raw cotton hence making an easy entry for other insects or fungi through the disrupted tissues.

The regions of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are also reportedly affected adversely, from the heavy rains across the respective productive belts. However, the extent of damage is yet to be assessed and it may take a few weeks to evaluate the overall crop loss in these states. The same shall apply for the states of Punjab and Haryana.

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