Mega-field demonstration of management of pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella in rain-fed cotton using mating disruption technology
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Keywords:Bt cotton, mega demonstration, Pectinophora gossypiella, pink bollworm, PBKNOT dispenser, PBW-Management
With large scale outbreak of pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella on cotton since last four years, the benefits of Bt cotton in terms of saving the chemical usage are waning. There are reports of resistance break down of cry toxins as also of some insecticides on multiple Bt cotton hybrids which occupy nearly 95% of the total cotton area. Efforts to educate the farmers through mass communication techniques on do’s and don’ts have only partially been beneficial as the use of insecticides become the part of package of management. Therefore, non-chemical approach of mating disruption technology was demonstrated in the present study as an area-wide approach in cotton fields of farmers. A mega demonstration, called ‘Project Bandhan’, on 300 acres in five cluster of 60 acres each in three villages of Nagpur district of Maharashtra was organized during the rainy season of 2021-22. The mega-demo was carried out using the latest pheromone based PBKNOT dispensers supplied by PI Industries Ltd., Gurugram, Haryana. The PBKNOT dispenser was tied on to main stem at 45-50 days after planting. The results revealed that PBKNOT tied fields reduced the flower damage by 49.2%, boll damage by 58.3% and locule damage by 51.8% averaged over 300 acres of treated clusters. At the end of 10th week, the active ingredient of PBKNOT was still active as more than 93% mating disruption was visible indicating the slow release of pheromone even after three months. The average yield increase based on 300 acres was to the tune of 550 kg/ha. Being a large-scale demonstration, it appears that the technology is good option for the rain-fed cotton farmers to reduce the use of chemicals for management of pink bollworm in group farming system.
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