Pink Bollworm Among Top Causes Of Decline In Cotton Yield

(@ChaudhryMAli88)

Pink Bollworm among top causes of decline in cotton yield

Cotton is an important cash crop providing raw material for textile industry and its share is 1.0 percent in country's GDP with 5.1 percent share in agriculture value addition.

MULTAN, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 13th Jun, 2018 ) :Cotton is an important cash crop providing raw material for textile industry and its share is 1.0 percent in country's GDP with 5.1 percent share in agriculture value addition.

Talking to APP here on Wednesday Dean faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at MNSUA Dr Shafqat Saeed said that after introduction of Bt cotton, there was excellent control of boll-worms like American bollworm, Spotted bollworm and pink boll-worm.

He informed that Pink bollworm almost was under check from 2004-2014 on local Bt. cotton expressing Cry1Ac. During fiscal year 2015-2016, production of cotton declined 27.8 percent as compared to last year 2014-2015 (10.074 million vs 13.960 million bales), he informed.

Pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders) was identified at top among other possible causes of decline in cotton yield according to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-2016 he said adding that Its population was increasing in the field from last three years 2015, 2016 and 2017 according to survey reports of Department of Pest Warning and Quality Control and Agriculture Extension Punjab.

The situation is worst according to our recent survey in September-October 2017 in which we found pink bollworm infestation is more than it is reported in the fields, Dr Shafqat said.

All Bt. varieties were equally effected by this pest in Punjab, he said and added that Pink bollworm is the most destructive insect pest of cotton, caterpillars feed on the fruiting parts of the plant (flowers, squares and bolls) hence responsible for direct yield loss.

Dean faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences stated possible reason of recent outbreak is the development of resistance in Pink bollworm against Bt toxin ., Cry1Ac in Pakistan.

If we see literature it has been reported worldwide from USA, China and India.

All these countries adopted certain protocols to break resistance in pink bollworm, he informed.

Unfortunately, he said, there is not a single laboratory for Bt. resistance detection is available in Pakistan. For the detection of resistance, PBW should be reared on artificial diet and scientists need to be trained, he suggested.

Recently, he said that he visited Hubei Institute of Plant Protection and Soil Fertility, Chinese academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan , China.

Institute of Plant Protection and Soil fertility has key laboratory of cotton insect pest management and have competent expert group working on cotton insect pests especially on Pink Bollworm and Whitefly.

During the stay he signed MoU for capacity building of scientists, academia, exchange of students related to Agriculture, for entomological aspects in particular Pink bollworm and whitefly, he informed.

A Chinese delegates of two scientists Dr. Wang Ling and Dr. Chengbo Cong from Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan, China, visited Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture, Dr Shafqat said and added that they are experts of Pink bollworm rearing in the laboratory and Bt. resistance management experts. During their stay, they had meeting with faculty, Progressive farmers, industrialists, Post graduate students enrolled in Department of Entomology. They discussed different on going activities of research. There was exchange of views and knowledge among the researchers, he said.

After that they visited MNSUAM-CRI Insecticides Resistance Monitoring Laboratory and Insect Rearing facility recently established by the varsity at Cotton Research Institute, Multan with collaboration of private sector He said that a two day "International workshop for lab establishment and rearing techniques of pink bollworm" was organized recently.

Dr Wang Ling, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences China was resource person he said adding that She provided details on preparation of artificial diet for pink bollworm for laboratory rearing and requirements for establishment of laboratory.

Practical demonstration of artificial diet preparation and shifting of first instar larvae on the diet was also done, he informed.

Requirements for controlled conditions of successful rearing of PBW in the laboratory were also discussed, Dr Shafqat concluded.