KAZIRANGA, Sept 13 - A team of agricultural scientists from Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat led by Director of Research Dr Girin Hazarika arrived here today to assess the situation following the massive attack of swarming caterpillars on paddy crops.
While talking to this correspondent, the Director of Research, AAU, Jorhat Dr Girin Hazarika said that the controlling can be done with proper application of insecticide choloropyrifos at a proper time, while adding that the farmers must be careful during the post-flood situation.
He said that swarming caterpillar also called armyworm is nocturnal in nature and invade the crop fields during night time and damage the crops. So frequent monitoring of crop fields is very necessary after floodwater gets receded. He also said that 1% urea should be applied to the crops for proper growth of the crop plant. Dr Lakhi Hazarika from the Department of Entomology, AAU, Jorhat informed that kerosene or burnt mobile or even malathions dust must be applied on the periphery of the crop fields to prevent the armyworms from invading the paddy fields, adding that old tradition of making �ali� on the edge of each part of paddy field is very essential since it exposes the pupa of the caterpillar which will either die or sometimes be eaten by birds.
Secondly to retain the water level, the �ali� should be properly made. Director of Research informed that one should be very careful when the wheather condition is abnormal like heavy floods followed by drought-like situation for some days and again followed by rainfall.
About 5721 hactres of paddy land have been badly affected under Bokakhat subdivision and about more than 5000 bighas of paddy crops under Kaziranga have been damaged by the attack of armyworms. As of now, another 40 litres of quinalphox and 30 spray machines have been made available to farmers under Bokakhat subdivision.
Dr Dilip Saikia, who was part of the expert team from AAU, Jorhat, said that 2 ml of cholopyrifos should be mixed with one litre of water and sprayed in the affected areas of the crop and again the same process should be repeated after seven to ten days for effective controlling of the armyworms.
Sources said that actual requirement of chloropyrifos in Kaziranga area is more than 100 litres whereas Bokakhat subdivision needs something around 500 litres.