Monday, May 26, 2008

The Merits and Methods of Aerial Spraying Pesticides Including Endosulfan

This post is a partial response to the following link:

The concern here is with aerial spraying and its abuse.

I have personally attended aerial spraying over a gross area of more than 1 million hectares between 1974 and 1981. I have worked in Kutch, Bodeli, Karjan, Dabhoi, and Ganganagar to coordinate ground operations with pilots.

These are my truthful experiences:

1. There is no alternative to aerial spraying if locust breeding grounds in North Africa are left untreated.

2. Aerial spraying prevents pest migration. This is a cornerstone approach to preventing the field-to-field resurgence of Hemiptera with shortened life cycles in heat and humidity,

3. Aerial spraying helps to manage over-lapping generations which build up as internal feeders during incessant rains.

4. Aerial spraying is the only hope for farmers where water is scarce or where power to run pumps comes only after midnight.

5. The psi generated by helicopter nozzles is the best way to avoid spray drift. Aerial spraying also avoids dermal toxicity to operators in tall, dense, and overhead pesticide application.

6. A ground team should flag the areas to be sprayed. All people and animals should be persuaded to stay out of the drift zone. All open wells and potable water sources must be properly covered. Reentry periods must be observed. Neither pilots nor pesticides should be blamed for incompetent and lazy ground teams.

7. The relative toxicology profile and the Indian price to farmers per liter make Endosulfan a prime aerial spraying choice.

8. Endosulfan is also an optimal choice if chewing and sucking pests occur simultaneously.

9. Endosulfan is a key ingredient of IPM. It makes re-entry of Trichogramma and other beneficial organisms much easier and faster.

10. Sardar Prakash Singh Badal and the Late Shri Chimanbhai Patel are two farmer-State Chief Ministers, who I have seen benefit most from Endosulfan aerial spraying. I have personally heard the late Dr. S. N. Banerjee and the late Dr. K. D. Paharia, both former Plant Protection Advisers to the Government of India, and entomologists of world renown, extol the benefits of Endosulfan aerial spraying, when our motherland struggled with food self-sufficiency issues. They saw it as a vital plank for freedom from the slavery of PL 480.

11. Farmers of Yavatmal can be saved from further suicides if the Maharashtra Agro Industries Corporation arranges timely Endosulfan aerial spraying with due ground team support to prevent harm to people, animals, natural resources, and the environment. Farmers of Surendranagar can also experience the benefits of great yields through safe and judicious Endosulfan aerial spraying with simultaneous seeding of Endogram. This will be in the greater interest of farmers than organic cotton supplies to the west, which seems to fascinate one of my friends from this agriculturally stagnant district.

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I recommend the following website for detailed information on Endosulfan:

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