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Cotton growers given a respite from jassids
Jul '08
A cotton boll
A cotton boll
Some 35 cotton growing districts in Uganda have been plagued by jassids, the notorious cotton pests which feed on cotton leaves causing them to curl at the edges, turn yellow or redish and even dry in severe cases.

These pests get attracted to cotton because of its sap, leading to stunted growth and have been known for reducing crop yield by as much as 80 percent in extreme cases. Cotton growing in Uganda has become so difficult because of jassids that farmers in Lango, Accholi and Kasese have virtually given up cotton production.

However, scientists have developed new cotton varieties to tame jassids. Dr George Epieru, an insect expert at National Semi-Arid Resources Reseach Institute in Soroti district told Fibre2fashion, “The new cotton variety known as the Bukalasa Pedigree Albar (BPA 2002) has innumerable qualities that will help farmers procure a good yield. It is resistant to bacterial blight, gives ginning out turn of 40 percent and yield of about 3,000 kilogram per ha, has a staple length of 30 milimeter and fibre strength of 33g/tex.

Mr George further asserted that the new cotton boll weighs near about 6 grams, micronaire 3.5- 4.0, is resistant to jassids, has yarn strength of CLSP 2200 and is white in appearance.

This invention was a great help to the farmers who can now be assured of a healthy crop yield. Apart from this they have also been advised to contact the National Agricultural Research Organization and agricultural development centers for information on controlling jassids and other common cotton pests like aphids.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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