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Tamil Nadu intensifies inspections at infested cotton farms

Following reports that grasshoppers were infesting cotton plants in southern Tamil Nadu, officials from Agriculture department intensified field inspections, sample collection and awareness programmes for farmers on Tuesday.

Tamil Nadu intensifies inspections at infested cotton farms
Agriculture secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi


Agriculture officials who visited the farmlands in Tenkasi and Tirunelveli said that the grasshoppers were native to Tamil Nadu and were not the locust that hatches from the desert region.

Meanwhile, MDMK general secretary Vaiko spoke to Tenkasi Collector Arun Sundar Dayalan and Agriculture secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi, seeking action against the insect infestation. Farmers from his native Kalingapatti briefed the leader about grasshopper infestation on cotton plants, said a statement from the party, adding that they would meet the District Collector with samples of insects.

Agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan asked farmers to stock neem-based insecticides and use them in case of infestation. “The locust menace is causing serious damage to agriculture. Farmers are worried. The best way to control locust invasion is spray neem seed decoction over plants. Neem is a strong repellent and also a fertiliser. I hope our farmers will manage the serious threat to crop security,” Swaminathan said in a social media post.

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