PUNE : Ignoring the advisory issued by Agriculture Department, the farmers who have gone ahead with sowing of maize are worried. As to contain infestation of Fall Army Worm (FAW) on maize crops, excessive use of sprays is being done. However, it means the crop cannot be used as the cattle feed.
The sowing report released on July 12 suggests that several farmers in Sangli and Aurangabad region have gone ahead with sowing of maize. Compared to last year, the sowing of maize is up by seven per cent. As per the report, issued by the department of agriculture (Government of Maharashtra), the infestation of FAW is witnessed in Sangli district and at several locations of Aurangabad region.
Amol Patil, a farmer from Sangli, told Sakal Times that they have incurred additional cost due to the infestation of this pest. He said, “There is almost 70 per cent of the maize crops of my field which are under attack of this pest. I have to use sprays every five to six days. We are also using pheromone traps to control this pest.” He further said, “However, due to constant spraying, this crop cannot be used as the cattle feed.”
Patil, who grows sweet corn, finds the maize crops gives better revenue. He said, “In one acre of land, around four tonnes of sweet corn can be grown while the market price for sweet corn at present is around Rs 15,000 per tonne. Sweet corn is in great demand and give us good revenue so we went ahead with the sowing.”
Vinod Todkar, another maize farmer from Sangli, feels that excessive usage of sprays on the maize crops may not give him good return this year. He said, “Initially, a total of 60 per cent of crops were under attack but with constant usage of sprays and traps, we have controlled the damage to 20 per cent. We have also incurred an extra expenditure of Rs 15,000 per acre due to sprays. ”
“Our work was to issue the advisory but since maize gives good rate, the farmers have gone ahead with the sowing. In the last few months, we have seen the market of maize have increased a lot. Due to this, farmers have decided to take risk by sowing maize as it may give them good money,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Suhas Diwase.