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Advisory ArticleAgroStar Agri-Doctor
Advice to help control Mealybugs in Cotton
Cultural Practices to be Followed: Early Crop Termination: 1) To be done immediately after last picking and between two cropping seasons. This will prevent continuous food supply and shelter for multiplication and carry over of mealybug. 2) Removal of cotton crop from the fields immediately after the last picking and maintenance of weed host free crop. Do not do the ratoon cropping or allow the cotton crop to continue to stand in the field after the final harvest. Destruction of Cotton Stalks: 1) The dry cotton stalks should be pulled out of the fields or shredded and burnt off before ploughing the field. Clean Cultivation: Weeds, especially Congress grass and Xanthium, are the most suitable hosts for mealybugs and assist them to survive and spread on the adjacent crop. Biological Control for Parthenium grass: Inoculative release of Zygogramma bicolorata @500-1000 beetles/ha on parthenium grass. Mechanical- Hand weeding and destructions. Spray weedicide + insecticides on bunds. Use of Trap Crop for Cotton Mealybugs : Grow pigeonpea, bajra or maize as border crop wherever possible. Growing two rows of densely planted pigeonpea or maize or bajra around the cotton fields and also if possible as intercrop of 1- 2 rows after 5-6 rows of cotton for regular monitoring of the pest. Border rows act as barrier crop that prevent mealybug infestation from border weeds. By weekly observations, the pest can be effectively managed through early detection and initiation of interventions to manage early stages of infestation. Biological Control of Mealybugs: 1) Neem Seed Kernel Extract (NSKE 5%) 5ml/l + Neem oil 5ml/ l + detergent powder 1gm/l can be sprayed as spot application on infested stalks. 2) Fish oil rosin liquid 10ml mixed with neem 10ml/l or Karanj oil 10ml /l may be sprayed. 3) Use of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri adults /grub @10 per infested plants wherever available. 3) Spray biopesticides viz., Verticillium lecanii (Potency 2 X 108 C.F.U /gm) 10gm/l and Beauveria bassiana (Potency 108 spores/ml) 10ml/l. Chemical control: 1) Spray less hazardous insecticides, such as Acephate, 75 SP 1gm/l, Malathion 50 EC 2ml/l, Buprofezin 25 SC 1ml/l. 2) As the last option, spray moderately hazardous insecticides: Quinolphos 25 EC 5.0 ml/l Chlorpyriphos 20EC 3.0ml/l Profenophos 50EC 5.0 ml Thiodicarb 75WP 5.0gm/l. Reference: CICR,Nagpur,POP for mealybugs in cotton.
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