"Defending Your Cotton Fields: Effective Strategies for Managing Cotton-Sucking Pests"

Cotton is one of the most important commercial crops cultivated in India and accounts for around 25% of the total global cotton production. Cotton crops are the soft, fluffy staple fiber that is used extensively in the textile industry. The fiber is made of almost pure cellulose and contains few traces of waxes, fats and water. Cotton is one of the most important cash crops in India and it plays a crucial role in the industrial and agricultural economy.
    Among the cotton-growing nations, India has the largest area of 9.0 million hectares grown under varied agroecological areas. It also provides basic raw materials i.e. cotton fiber to the cotton textile industry. In addition, cotton provides direct employment to around 6 million farmers & about 40 to 50 million people are working in the cotton trade and its processing.
    Now A day major problem in cotton cultivation is sucking pests. To overcome this problem all cotton growers first should know about sucking pests and their control at minimum cost to increase the quality of fiber as well as maximize yield. 

Major Sucking Pest Of Cotton
  1. Aphid
  2. Jassid
  3. Thrips
  4. White Fly
  5. Mealy Bug

1. Aphid
Cotton aphids are mainly seen on the underside of leaves and shoots of the younger cotton plant. The cotton aphid can be winged or wingless. Its color varies from pale yellow to black-green. Leaves show downward crumpling. Leaves are shiny with honeydew or darkened by sooty mould growing on the honeydew

2. Jassid
Both nymphs and adults suck the sap from the undersurface of leaves, tender leaves turn yellow, and leaf margins curl downwards and redden the outer surface of leaves. 

3. Thrips
Both nymph and adult lacerate the tissue and suck the sap from the upper and lower surface of leaves and in cases of severe infestation, they curl up and become crumbled.

4. Whitefly 
Nymphs and adults suck the sap from the undersurface of leaves.  
Severe infestation results in premature defoliation, development of sooty mould, shedding of buds and bolls and poor boll opening. 
 It also transmits the leaf curl virus disease of cotton. 

5. Mealy Bug
it sucks the sap from parts of leaves, branches, bolls, and stems.
it is a minor pest it infects all aerial parts of the crop
infestation during the reproductive crop stage resulting in the late opening of bolls, reduced plant vigor, and early crop senescence, affecting the yield badly. 

Preventive Measures:
  • Timely sowing with recommended spacing, preferably wider spacing is essential, avoid late sowing.
  • Grow Barrier crops along the border of the main crop i.e. Maize
  • Strictly follow weed management practices.
  • Regularly monitoring the pest
  • Install yellow and blue sticky traps
  • Avoid Excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer. 
  • Use Sucking Pest tolerant varieties like Jai Ho, MRC7390, Ankur 3066.

Chemical Control:
 Use the following insecticide according to Pest Infestation. 
  • Imidacloprid  17.8%SL 100ml/Acre
  • Acetamprid20%SP  40gm/Acre
  • Dinotefuron20%SG 80Gm/Acre
  • Bifenthrin 10%EC 300ml/Acre
  • Tolfenpyrad15%EC 400ml/Acre
  • Flonicamid 50 %WG  60gm/Acre
  • Acephate 50 % + Imidacloprid 1.8 %  SP  400gm/Acre
  • Diafenthiuron 40.1% + Acetamiprid 3.9% WP 250gm/Acre