All seemed well with the chickpeas.

& whenever one feels that one has everything under control, i guess nature has a way of flattening you! In one single day she just demolished me, my ego, my well-being, everything. I have been made to walk with my tail between my legs !

The chickpeas have been hit big time by an junta of pod borers & cutworms.

I decided to control them, by picking them, with a tweezer in hand & a plastic bag for two days i picked them up manually.  Both the days by evening the bag was full. At least a generation of the worms was destroyed, but there was still as many left of the younger ones.

I was wondering, with so many birds around why not not even a single bird was bothering to have a peck at the borers ?

Probably i need to install bird perches near the fields….

Also a few light traps & pheromone traps….

Both the evenings i took my bag full of worms to the river & fed the fish, my infant army seemed to have taken a liking to it !

Finally after a few days when i had luxuries like spare time & an internet connection, i came across this lethal cocktail for pod borers, a very interesting & almost revolutionary approach…. Dead crushed larvae of the podborer pest, well mixed with water and a stabilizer, yield a lethal cocktail used by Indian farmers to spray their chickpeas fields.

The podborer, the caterpillar of the insect Helicoverpa Armigera, used to destroy over half the earlier harvests of chickpeas, the most important post-monsoon crop

The dying larvae are full of brown liquid which contains the virus particles and are collected for the cocktail which should be sprayed at sunset because the virus is inactivated by sunlight.

“On-farm experiments have clearly shown the efficacy of this approach,” says Bhagwat of the new, eco-friendly and low-cost technology readily adopted by the farmers who had been trained to monitor pheromone traps, count the larval population per plant, and determine the right stage to apply the NPV. They learned how to mix the cocktail and decided to apply three sprays at weekly intervals.

“We did not believe when we were told about it but now we can count on this cheap and effective package,” says one of the Kappadu farmers, Narasa Reddy. “We observed that friendly birds only visit plots that were not sprayed with chemical or botanical insecticide, but they are intensely active on the plots sprayed with NPV where they feed on dead larvae that they can easily pick off the plants.”

Amazing isn’t it ?

But, will i be able to save my crop….

Well, it looks almost improbable as of now, probably can retrieve a bit. I guess i need to squarely take the blame for this mess for not doing my homework properly & for not anticipating these pitfalls. But honestly speaking i did not expect this kind fury…. sigh !

Or may be i was overconfident & nature just decided to teach me a lesson & just put her legs out, tripped me & i’ve fallen flat on my nose…..

indeed i am badly bruised.

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