Farmers who used “mist blower” method for spraying chemical solutions at areca plantations in Dakshina Kannada for controlling “kole roga” (fruit rot disease) have said that it saved time and money.

Patte Venugopal of Kavu near Puttur and Prashanth Narasimha near Panja, who said they used the method this year, told The Hindu that it required more labourers.

They said that four men were required to carry the mist blower machine on their shoulders on the ground. It sprayed the solution not only to areca bunches but to bottom parts of leaves.

They said that the machine could spray up to a height of 55 ft. and not beyond that. Hence it would not help for spraying to tall palms.

Mr. Venugopal said the unconventional solution manufactured by a company and used by him had the capacity to withstand the disease beyond 40 days after one spray. While the conventional copper sulphate limestone mixture solution could withstand the disease up to one-and-a-half month. He said that conventionally copper sulphate limestone mixture solution was sprayed only on the areca bunches. It never covered green leaves. But the “mist blower” method covered green leaves and green part of palms. It helped in controlling the disease.

Mr. Venugopal said when there was no rain, conventional spraying took three days to cover three acres of plantation. But mist blower method took a day for covering three acres. Mr. Narasimha said he could control the disease by half this year by using the “mist blower”.