Cotton Pest Management in Uzbekistan

F.E.M. Gillham and G.A. Matthews


Uzbekistan accounted for 60 % of the cotton crop of the former Soviet Union at a time when it was among the top three cotton producing countries in the world. Uzbekistan has a moderate desert climate and being one of the most northerly cotton producing countries in the world, it has a harsh winter and a relatively short summer with long days and high temperatures. The crop is grown entirely under irrigation and the whole development of irrigation in the region was geared towards the production of cotton for the textile mills of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Following their introduction in the 1950s, DDT and organophosphates were widely applied from the air. Research scientists recognized the problems of pollution and poisoning which followed and urged a new policy of biological control. Technology was developed for large scale rearing and distribution of the parasitic wasps Trichogramma spp. and Bracon spp. and more recently, the predator Chrysopa spp. The rearing and release of natural enemies has been extended to cover the whole country to control cutworms and bollworms. The consequence has been a sharp reduction in the use of chemicals to the point where many crops are grown without pesticide applications. Currently, imported chemicals are almost unobtainable because of the shortage of foreign exchange and this has probably contributed to the widespread acceptance of biological control. It remains to be seen if this remains the dominant form of pest control when economic conditions improve and chemicals are more generally available.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 32 - 35
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998