Chemical pesticides should be used as a last resort: Pramod Magar

The Yavatmal district of the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra has been a centre of cotton farmers’ suicides for the earlier fifteen years, thanks to crop losses and pests attacks. In September 2017, the district was versus struck with a bigger tragedy, when a significant number of farmers and farm labourers died although spraying chemical pesticides on pink bollworms (PBW). It also led to a extensive-expression influence on the wellness of individuals who survived the poisoning. This calendar year, also, the PBW infestation has been observed in Yavatmal as perfectly as in neighbouring districts, but the number of attacks has not crossed a threshold that will induce financial damage.

Agriculture scientist and entomologist Pramod Magar, who works for the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in Yavatmal, believes that the farmers can effortlessly handle the menace this calendar year and in the coming years without the need of resorting to the weighty use of toxic and pricey pesticides.

The ICAR in 2005 proven the KVK for the Yavatmal district underneath Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola.

Magar, in an interview with BusinessLine, claimed that PBW can be tackled working with ecologically helpful integrated pest management strategies. The use of harmful pesticide should be only applied as a very last resort. Edited excerpts:

How can farmers retain PBW at bay? What are the discovering from your earlier experiences?

Since 2016, cotton growers are going through the danger of PBW in cotton crop all more than Maharashtra and specifically Yavatmal. The farmers and Point out agriculture universities managed to retain PBW absent in 2018 and 2019 only because they adopted expense-efficient strategies.

Similar eco-helpful integrated pest management strategies should keep on, as cotton is rising pretty perfectly this season thanks to copious monsoon rains.

Farmers have learnt that ploughing in the summer season to warmth up the area for about two months, crop rotation, averting pre-monsoon sowing and seed remedy prior to sowing and plucking of rosette bouquets of the cotton plant are sure shot ways to control the PBW menace.

For pest surveillance, pheromone traps in August and September is important together with spraying of bio-pesticide these Beauveria bassiana and neem extracts.

Having said that, if the PBW however plagues the vegetation, then pesticides with environmentally friendly and blue triangles labels, which are much less toxic as compared to the kinds with crimson and yellow triangles, should be applied.

Why do you say chemical pesticides should be a very last resort for the cotton crop?

Chemical pesticides are practically nothing but nerve poisons which get rid of the insects and also have detrimental impacts on human wellness and the atmosphere. It should be the very last selection only if the pests cross their respective financial threshold degree. Nominal use of chemical pesticides will lessen hazard to people and other beneficial organisms and insects in the area. Even handed use of toxic pesticide will also assist in minimising the hazard of resistance improvement in insects and pests.

What is the logic behind working with drinking water with a pH degree of six-seven for spraying the pesticides? Does working with drinking water with better pH worth direct to the decomposition of the pesticide?

H2o possessing a pH of six- seven is pretty important for the effectiveness of any pesticide. As drinking water is applied as a medium for mixing or dissolving the pesticide, it significantly influences the effectiveness of the pesticide. When any pesticide is mixed with drinking water, it is hydrolysed. Hydrolysis is a chemical procedure of breaking down of the pesticides into a lot of smaller molecules. The pesticides typically bear alkaline hydrolysis if drinking water pH is bigger than seven, which sales opportunities to degradation and ineffectiveness of the pesticide.

Why is the mixing of different pesticides and then spraying it on the cotton crop harmful to the crops and the farmers? In 2017, amid the many explanations attributed to the dying of the farmers thanks to pesticide poisoning, it was also noted that the chemcials had been mixed…


Every agro chemical these as pesticides, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, bactericides and plant growth promoters have their own mode of motion, chemical houses and composition, which tends to make them at periods incompatible with just one a further and eventually decreases their effectiveness. The mixing of just one or much more pesticides may possibly direct to phytotoxicity to vegetation and poisoning to the farmers. It may possibly also direct to resistance improvement in insect, pathogens and weeds.