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Controlling blast infestation in rice

Blast infestation in rice has been reported from many places of Andhra Pradesh State. In Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema zones, the disease has been reported to an extent of 10-20 per cent during this season.

There are broadly three types of blast. The first is called as leaf blast. Infested crop leaves exhibit spindle shaped spots with brown margin and grey dots.

This type has been prevalent in Warangal, Karimnagar, Khammam, Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari, Nellore, Srikakulum and other districts of Andhra Pradesh for the last few weeks.

Node blast

The second type is node blast. Caused by a fungus, the symptoms are crop turning black in colour and panicles breaking easily.

The third type is called neck blast. This starts during panicle emergence initiation of the crop period. The neck region is blackened and shrivelled. Grain set in ears is completely or partially inhibited.

Out of the three, neck blast is more severe and results in yield losses to a great extent.

Favourable environmental factors such as prolonged dry periods, cool nights, low night temperature, high relative humidity, cloudy, drizzling weather and high nitrogen supply increase all the three disease incidences.


Healthy disease free seeds alone should be used for sowing.

Use disease resistant or tolerant rice cultivars

Seed treatment with tricyclozole 75 WP at 2.0 g or carbendazim at 1.0g per kg seed as wet seed treatment or carbendazim at 3.0 g per kg as dry seed treatment.

Seeds should not be collected from infested fields.

Remove weeds and collateral hosts from field and bunds. Balanced fertillizer application is a must.

At the time of harvesting, infested plants should be removed and destroyed.

Field bunds and irrigation channels should be kept clean. Avoid excess application of nitrogenous fertilizers.

Spraying of fungicides like tricyclozole 75 WP at 0.6 g or isoprothiolane 40EC at 1.5 ml or kasugamycin 3 L at 2.5 ml will be more effective.

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A wave of bad luck for paddy in Mandya, Mysore

While paddy farmers are struggling to find a way out of the huge losses incurred by the ‘root-knot nematode’ disease that affected their nurseries in the district, case worms and blast diseases have also done their bit for the standing paddy crops in the district.

While the case worms hit paddy fields at several parts in Mandya, diseases such as ‘neck blast’ and ‘leaf blast’ have been affecting the paddy crops in Mandya and Mysore districts since the past few weeks. Researchers and plant pathologists at the Zonal Agricultural Research Station (ZARS), V.C. Farm, say that the diseases could have severe impacts on Mandya’s rice production this year.
Farmers have been advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease or worms.
Blast diseases have been noticed at a large area of paddy fields in several taluks in the district, M.P. Rajanna, Senior Rice Breeder and Head (Rice), V.C. Farm, told The Hindu on Sunday. “It was observed that a vast area of paddy fields in Mandya and Mysore district is was in the panicle emergence and grain filling stage. The symptoms of leaf and neck blast have already appeared in a few varieties such as MTU 1001, IR 64 and KCP-1,” Mr. Rajanna said.

Other districts

Blast diseases are commonly observed especially during cloudy weather and light rain, H.M. Atheek ur Rehaman, Subject Matter Specialist at V.C. Farm (Agronomy), said. The symptoms of neck blast and leaf blast diseases have also been observed in Tumkur, Ramanagaram, Davangere, Chitradurga and a few other districts.

V.C. Farm noticed the outbreak of ‘root-knot nematode’ disease in K.R. Pet taluk recently. The disease had severely affected crop growth. Farmers should be very vigilant about their standing crops.

They should immediately initiate measures to tackle diseases as they could cause severe damage to the crop and yield, D.K. Siddegowda, Entomologist (Rice, V.C. Farm), said.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Department officials said that case worms had hit vast areas of paddy fields in the Akki Hebbalu, Kasaba, Kikkeri, Agrahara Bachahalli, Valagere Menasa, Harihara Pura, Mailanahalli, Makavalli, Madapura, Uginahalli, Somanahalli, Basavanahalli, Ambigarahalli, Sangapura, Ballekere, Natanahalli, Sathanur, Kommerahalli, Hulivana, Keregodu, Keelara, Uammadahalli, Hanakere, Hemmige, Karasawadi, Kothathi and other villages,

Following the outbreak of paddy-affecting diseases, researchers at ZARS have launched an awareness programme for farmers. For information, contact D. K. Siddegowda (9449687599); C. Ramachandra (9449137362); N. Shivakumar (9448558481) and M.P. Rajanna (9945900893).

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