“The attack of the locust swarm in Rajasthan is under control and it is now moving towards Punjab in any way. So farmers do not get panic and they may contact the agriculture department in case of any problem instead of relying on false rumors,” said MK Arvind Kumar, deputy commissioner Muktsar presiding the meeting of the production committee of agriculture department Muktsar.
“It is reported to be 150 kms away from the district,”it has been reported by agriculture department.
‘Farmers need to be only vigilant, agriculture department fully equipped to help the farmers. But as the swarms has shrank to only 3 kms by 1.5 kms in Rajasthan due to the chemical control of the state government from its earlier swarm from 25 kms by 2.5 kms , there are no chances of it entering Punjab’s bordering districts. It lays its eggs in clusters in deserts and 40 degree Celsius temperature is favorable for the multiplication of its breed,” Baljinder Singh Brar, chief agriculture Muktsar.
Muktsar: “The attack of the locust swarm in Rajasthan is under control and it is not now moving towards Punjab in any way. So farmers do not get panic and they may contact the agriculture department in case of any problem instead of relying on false rumors,” said MK Arvind Kumar, deputy commissioner Muktsar presiding the meeting of the production committee of agriculture department Muktsar.
The DC had gave his assurance to the farmers on the report of the three members committee of the agriculture experts which had left for Rajashtan some days earlier after the rumors were in rife among the farmers on social media that the a very big locust swarm may enter the bordering districts of the Punjab along with Rajasthan and state agriculture department had put its officials on high alert.
The attack of the Locust swarm was seen in the district of Rajasthan in Rai Singh Nagar, Gharsana and Anupgarh in Rajasthan, which is about 150 kms away from district Muktsar.
The DC has instructed the agriculture officials to be vigilant and provide technical information to the farmers.
What is locust swarm, its origin, egg laying process and habits?
Locust swarm is a big swarm of a very large number of locusts which is a kind of grass hopper. The swarms is active only after decades when the situation is favorable in the breeding of the insect and it such out all kinds of crops where it sits at night.
“The locust swarms might have probably attacked the crops in Pakistan in in May and June and then entered India in Gujrat and Rajasthan crossing the border. Earlier, it was about 25 to 30 kms in length and about 2.5 kms of wide attacking the crops,” said Baljinder Singh Brar, chief agriculture officer Muksar.
Egg laying process of the insect and its growth
“The favorable temperature for the insect to lay eggs and for its multiplication of population is about 40 degree Celsius. It lays its eggs only in sandy and desert areas where it thrust its tail about 2 to 3 centimeters into the sand and lays eggs in 3 clusters, in one cluster, it lays about 80 eggs and at three clusters, its eggs are in number of around 240, which pass through the three stages of larva, nymph and adults and its population multiplies. Baluchistan in Pakistan and some deserts in India are its favorable places of multiplication of its population but Punjab offers no such condition of soil for it to lay eggs and temperature is not favorable for the insect,” said Brar, CAO Muktsar.
How and where it attacks
“The adult insects attack mostly at night where they sit for longer hours as during day, it keeps on moving in direction of wind or following other favorable conditions. It sucks out all kinds of vegetation where it sits for longer hours and destroys crops,” Brar said.
Population dwindled, only short swarm surviving, no chances of it entering into Punjab
According the agriculture expert, the population of the locust swarm has dwindled and it has shrank to only 2 to 3 kms in length now in Rajasthan as the state government has controlled it by insecticides Chlorpyriphops and some other synthetic parathyroid on the sitting swarms at night.
Do not panic, be vigilant, department fully prepared to assist farmers, also avoid rumors mongers
“The DC Muktsar has instructed the department to be fully prepared and we are fully equipped with all kinds of technical and other help to the farmers. They should not get panic and keep a invigilation of their fields daily. If there is any problem, they must contact the agriculture department instead of following others advice. Though the state agriculture department has put the all border districts of Punjab on high alert, yet we need to be careful and monitor the situation. There are few chances of entering it in Punjab. The farmers are advised not to be nervous without any reason,” informed Baljinder Singh Brar, CAO Muktsar.
When was it last seen in Punjab
Sukhmander Singh,60, a farmer from village Khara of Faridkot district claims that he was only about 7-8 years old when the locust swarms attacked the crops in Punjab. Farmers used to try too shoe it away to save their crops by drum beating and other such traditional methods and then the locust swarm was called”Ahan Da Hamla”. It used to destroy crops completely,” he said.
From Muktsar, two Agriculture department officers besides another expert are in Rajasthan to monitor the situation.
The locust swarms during this season has damaged crops in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujrat as per media reports.
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