Farmers are a worried lot as several crops, including maize, groundnut, bajra, jowar, paddy and sunflower, have suffered attacks by armyworms in almost all taluks of Ballari district.
The armyworms, light green in colour and 1.5 inch in length, have been eating away leaves of crops during night and farmers apprehend that the yield would be severely affected.
After continuous drought for three years, the good spell of rainfall coupled with cloudy weather leading to excess moisture in soil has been the reason for eruption of the pest and rampant attack.
The Department of Agriculture has swiftly risen to the occasion by suggesting steps to control the pest attack. By way of field visits, distribution of pamphlets and public announcements, the department officials have been requesting farmers to spray chlorophriphos or quinolphos pesticides (two ml per litre of water), besides laying “light traps” in the fields (placing a bowl with water mixed with kerosene on the ground and lighting a bulb to attract the pest).
They have also been suggesting using poison bait (farmers themselves can prepare this using paddy/wheat husk mixing it with jaggery and chemical monocrotophos with water, to be kept for the night and strewn in the field the next day) which is very effective.
For further details, farmers can contact the Raitha Samparka Kendras or the Assistant Agricultural Officers in their taluks.
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