Due to the information of locust (grasshopper) outbreak in some states, Commissioner of Cane and Sugar (UP) Sanjay R Bhoosreddy issued instructions to all departmental officers and scientists of Sugarcane Research Centres to carry out awareness campaign among farmers to protect cane crop from pests in the state.
Bhoosreddy said that locusts attack in a flock and devour green leaves of any kind of vegetative plants rapidly and in high quantity.
“Since its activity increases in less water, drought and summer, special caution is required during summers,” he said.
“Locusts breed and grow in winter (from November to December), spring (from January to June) and summer (from July to October). Locust outbreaks have been reported in border areas of UP. To avoid locust raids, it is necessary to constantly survey and monitor so that in they could be prevented from spreading in the state and wreak havoc,” he said.
Bhoosreddy instructed officials for close monitoring of the possibility of occurrence of the pest, and warn farmers on a priority and ensure awareness about locusts. “Once that is done, we could adopt the principle of ‘prevention was better than cure and necessary protective measures could be taken in time to protect the cane crop,” he said.
The Cane Commissioner also appealed to cane farmers to closely monitor locust outbreaks while visiting their fields. “If locusts are spotted in cane fields, spray insecticides like Chlorpyrifos 20 percent EC, Chlorpyrifos 50 percent EC, Bundiomethrin, Fipronil and Lambda immediately,” he advised.
“To ensure immediate preventive measures, cane farmers should inform concerned institutions of Government of India and also inform Cane Development Department immediately,” he said.
Regional and district officers have also been allocated targets based on area to keep watch regularly and to visit villages continuously to make farmers aware and take adequate precautions to thwart any possible attack of locusts.
“Officials have been instructed to distribute pamphlets, handbills and publish pest prevention measures in newspapers, write pest prevention measures on walls of all offices and warehouses and convey information to all farmers,” Bhoosreddy said.