LAKHIMPUR: Causing deep anguish to the farmers, hundreds of bighas of black gram crop in Dhakuakhona subdivision have come under the attack of some species of harmful insects. The farmers of Dimaruguri Gaon Panchayat (GP) under Dhakuakhona Agricultural Circle have been badly affected by the attack of those insects. A host of progressive farmers living at Alimur Dangdhora village under the Dimaruguri Gaon Panchayat cultivated black gram, 18 to 20 bighas each this year, investing their own capital. Of late, the harmful insects have destroyed the flowering black gram plants from one end to another as a result of which the farmers will not have a good harvest. Being badly affected, farmers like Debakanta Patir, Prafulla Patir, Nagen Patir, Joydeep Patir and Bakul Patir alleged that the department concerned had paid no attention to the insect attack though informed about it. Under such circumstances, the possibility of the insects spreading to new crop areas has increased.
In this regard, Prabal Saikia, the chief scientist of the Agricultural Research Station in North Lakhimpur, was contacted by this correspondent to identify these insects. He identified them as Bihar Hairy Caterpillar (Spilisoma obiqua) and another minor insect called Semilooper. “Bihar Hairy caterpillar can be controlled mechanically by destroying larvae in initial stage and by spot spraying of contact chemical insecticide,” he suggested.