'Excessive urea use in cotton crops leads to whitefly attack'

Excessive use of urea is also "responsible" for whitefly attack on cotton crops in states of Punjab and Haryana, a top official of the country's largest fertiliser producer IFFCO said today.

PTI| Updated: Oct 14, 2015, 19:22 PM IST

New Delhi: Excessive use of urea is also "responsible" for whitefly attack on cotton crops in states of Punjab and Haryana, a top official of the country's largest fertiliser producer IFFCO said today.

Cotton producing northern states including Punjab and Haryana are facing a severe whitefly attack, triggering a massive yield loss fear among farmers during the current kharif season.

Around 8,30,855 acres of land sown under cotton in Punjab were affected due to pest attacks, against which the state government has released Rs 643.58 crore as compensation.

"It has been found that more than required or excessive use of urea is also responsible for whitefly attack on cotton crop," IFFCO's Managing Director U S Awasthi said.

He further informed, "It has been pointed many a times that excessive use of urea is hurting farmers as its excessive use deteriorates soil health and which finally affects the farmer's crop yields."

Besides farmers, it also hurts government economically as subsidy bill increase is not benefitting farmers for whom it is actually meant, he pointed out.

Replying to a question, Awasthi said the newly launched chemicals by IFFCO in collaboration with Japanese firm Mitsubishi will provide chemicals as per the requirements of Indian agriculture and will follow all government rules and regulations.

He also added they will also follow the integrated pest management.

IFFCO is one of country's largest urea producer with annual production of 4.2 million tonnes. It has also recently forayed into agro-chemicals business by launching 18 new products.