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The Inter-State Consultative and Monitoring Committee Meeting for Kharif cotton 12.04 2024 convened at Kheti Bhawan, Bathinda, spearheaded by Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, along with the participation of Dr. Jaswant Singh, Director Agriculture, Punjab.

The meeting’s agenda delved into crucial matters, including the assessment of the current pink bollworm (PBW) and whitefly conditions in the region. Additionally, discussions were held regarding the ongoing weed eradication campaign targeted at controlling whitefly infestations. Reports were also presented concerning the management of cotton sticks from the previous season and other strategies implemented to tackle the PBW menace. Progress updates were shared regarding the management of other potential PBW sources like cotton ginning factories and oil mills.

The meeting witnessed a significant turnout, including Dr. Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Director of Research, PAU; Dr. Makhan Singh Bhullar, Director of Extension Education, PAU; scientists from PAU KVKs and FASCs; Directors from Research Stations in Bathinda, Faridkot, and Abohar; Dr. Vijay Kumar, Principal Entomologist, PAU; scientists from CCSHAU, Hisar; ICAR-CICR, Sirsa, Haryana; Deputy Director Agriculture (cotton); Chief Agricultural Officers from cotton-growing districts of Punjab, and ADOs.

Key deliberations were aimed at achieving the target of expanding the cotton area to 2 Lac Hectares in Punjab. Emphasis was placed on cultivating hybrids recommended by PAU while discouraging the cultivation of summer Moong in cotton belts to mitigate insect-pests and diseases.

The Vice Chancellor, PAU, underscored the importance of timely sowing of cotton, the utilization of PAU recommended Bt cotton hybrids and insecticides, and ensuring access to quality pesticides. Efficient nutrient management and the adoption of integrated pest management technology were also stressed.

The Director Agriculture, Punjab, assured the availability of canal water from mid-April for timely sowing and pledged regular inspections from Chandigarh to curb the sale of spurious seeds and pesticides.

New mating disruption technologies like PB knot and Cremit/Netmate for pink bollworm management were discussed by the Director of Research, PAU, who also advocated for timely pink bollworm management through precautionary sprays. Furthermore, PAU’s Director of Extension Education highlighted the significance of regular surveillance and integrated nutrient and weed management strategies.

The Deputy Director Agriculture (cotton) reported a 74% management rate of cotton sticks in fields, a notable source of pink bollworm. Chief Agriculture Officers updated on cotton stick management, fumigation in ginning factories, pheromone trap installations, weed eradication campaigns, and training programs in their respective districts.

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