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Cotton News: Pest Attack on Bt Cotton can be Controlled by Crop Rotation.

Mumbai: The Director of Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co (Mahyco), Shirish R Barwale said that the recent cut in BT cotton seed prices is unlikely to provide much relief to farmers as seed cost account for just 5% of the total cost of cultivation.

In last few years, the costs of labour and fertilizers have increased substantially. The focus should be on farm mechanisation and right use of fertilizers. Farmer’s realisations were squeezed between the sudden fall in commodity prices and the rising cost of cultivation.

In India, BT cotton accounts for nearly 90% of acreage. For selling BT cotton seeds in India, Mahyco has joint venture with US multinational agrochemical company Monsanto.

Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana farmers have complaints of pink bollworm attack on BT cotton which are supposed to be pest-resistant.

The company has observed that after harvest without giving enough time for the soil to regain its nutrients some farmers were taking new crop immediately, said Barwale.

He said that in last year the cotton season was extended due to delayed monsoon and farmers cultivated new crop immediately. Cotton farmers should consider crop rotation as taking crop holiday is not practically viable in India.