Untimely rain in Vijayawada and Krishna district creates the perfect conditions for fungus attack

The untimely rain that took the city and Krishna district by surprise on Sunday sent chills down the spine of mango growers. It was not the heavy rain and strong gales that usually cause the fragile inflorescence to drop and weak wooded branches to break. But even light drizzle and the slightest of rain in this season are a source of worry for the mango farmers.

All forms of rain and even heavy mist or fog during flowering are a cause of worry because the ambient humidity is increased.

“Mango anthracnose is a major cause of loss to the mango farmers.

These untimely rains create the perfect conditions for fungus and other pathogens to attack. The farmers in these areas call it “mangu”.

Anthracnose not only destroys part of the flowering, but also gives the mango black spots which reduce their market value tremendously,” says Assistant Director of Horticulture P.M.Subbani.

The percentage of flowering is usually seen as an indication of the yield. Mango is cultivated in 65,000 hectares in Krishna district and there has been 60 to 75 per cent flowering till now this year.

The stage of flowering on one tree itself varies from immature to mature and to immature fruit. In some areas there are trees with both the types of flowering and immature fruit.

The sex ratio of flowers in the panicle is also indicative of the production.

In dry weather the number of non-productive male flowers is more. More the number of hermaphroditic flowers in the panicle more are the number of fruits.

So the flowering varies according to the age of the gardens, variety of mango, yield of the trees in the past and type of soil, Mr. Subbani says.

Mr. Subbani urged all mango growers to spray Carbendazim, a broad-spectrum fungicide to protect the crop from mangu.

Often the black spots appear just before the fruit is harvested.

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