Thursday, August 1, 2013



The recent survey conducted by the scientists of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has revealed that the foot rot disease has started appearing in basmati in certain pockets of the Punjab villages namely Bakhatpur (Kalanaur) and Lakhanpur in Gurdaspur district; and Muchhlan and Jausmera in Amritsar district. The Additional Director of Extension Education, Dr H.S. Dhaliwal informed that few reports of occurrence of this disease have also been received from Patiala district.

Dr Chander Mohan, Plant Pathology expert, PAU, said that foot rot disease is a serious bottleneck in the successful cultivation of basmati rice in the Punjab state. This fungal disease if not checked can cause tremendous losses to yield, he cautioned. Referring to its symptoms, Dr Mohan told that the disease can be recognized by the elongation of affected plants in the nursery as well as in the field after transplantation. The affected plants turn yellow and do not produce any grain, and ultimately die in the field. Roots are also formed from the lower nodes of the plants, he added. The PAU had recommended the protective seed treatment with solution of Bavistin (20g)+ Streptocycline (1g) in 10 litres of water before sowing of nursery and seedling root dip treatment in 0.2% (2g/litre) solution of Bavistin before transplanting, the time for which has already passed, he informed.

Elaborating, Dr Mohan said that it has been observed that in order to check this disease in the field, the farmers have started the application of Sanjivani (Trichoderma) and Bavistin (Carbendazim) mixed with sand which is a wasteful practice. The post-application of this treatment would not control this disease and it would unnecessarily result in increase in the cost of cultivation, he told. Instead, the farmers should uproot the affected plants and replace them with new seedlings (if available) after treating in the 0.2% (2g/litre) solution of Bavistin (Carbendazim), he advised. The production of disease free seed can also help in checking this disease in future, he suggested, saying that the same can be obtained by spraying 200 ml. of Tilt 25EC in 200 litres of water at boot stage of the crop. This seed can be used for the next year crop also, he added.

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