Maharashtra cane crop reels under white grub pest attack.

Sugarcane crop in South and Central Maharashtra, the key growing regions, has suffered extensive damage due to pest attacks, and yields could dip by 10-15 per cent in the twin regions, causing extensive loss to farmers. Crop damage is extensive because of the white grub pest, which attacks the roots of sugarcane. In South and Central Maharashtra, more than 16.85 per cent and 41.25 per cent area has been affected in 2016-17 due to the pest attack. An average 30 to 35 per cent area is affected, which could result in a 10 to 15 per cent loss in sugarcane yield. In Maharashtra, sugarcane has been planted in about 9.5-lakh hectares for the 2016-17 season, higher than the 6.33-lakh hectares in the previous year.