Onion farmers in Tamil Nadu face huge loss due to pest infestation

Ammapalayam (Perambalur) , 28 November

Ammapalayam village located in Perambalur district is a onion belt and farmers are facing loss due to serious pest infestations. The Major pest  found in onion are thrips (Thrips tabaci), onion fly (Delia antique) and earwig (Euborellia annulipes) causing destructive damage.

Most of the farmers field in this village are seriously affected by these  pests. Onion thrips affects the leaves and it cause drying of leaves. It suck the sap from leaves causing  downward curling of leaves and also  make  the onion size reduced. It leads to poor quality  of  bulbs. Onion fly makes the leaves  rolling and shredding. The bulbs tissues become decayed. Maggots of earwig bore into bulb and  feed the contents.

The control measures followed by the farmers was applying insecticides such as Asataf (Acephate), Furadan (carbofuron). Cultural practices such as weeding and earthing up was also practiced, but it couldn’t keep the pests under control.

When we approached Agriculture officer (AO), he recommended insecticides methyl demeton 25EC 1 liter per 750 liters of water per hectare and soil application  with 10 kg of phorate 10G followed by light irrigation.

We recommended farmers to select healthy onion seed bulbs and to avoid  repeated application of pesticides of same class to avoid development of pest resistance. We also recommended regular weeding which control thrips and also planting of maize as cover crop.

Ragapriya. V, student of Imayam Institute of agriculture and technology, trichy reports to IMoT as a part of her village stay program. She was guided by  Dr. B. Guna, Assistant professor (Agricultural Extension) of the college.

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