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Pest attack worries farmers

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Hoping for a cure: A farmer applying pesticide in a paddy field in R.S. Mangalam.
Hoping for a cure: A farmer applying pesticide in a paddy field in R.S. Mangalam.

Special Correspondent

R.S. Mangalam, Thiruvadanai, Ramanathapuram affected with leaf roller

RAMANATHAPURAM: Paddy farmers of the district are worried as diseases caused by pest attack pose threat to their hope for good yield this season. Though there were reports of paddy affected by diseases such as brown plant hopper, sheath blight and stem borer, it is stated that leaf rollers has caused considerable damage to the standing paddy crops. The reports suggest that though the disease attack was widespread in the district, the areas, which were inundated by rainwater during the November rainfall, were largely affected.

Farmers say that R.S. Mangalam, Thiruvadanai, Ramanathapuram, Nainarkoil, Panaikulam and other coastal belt of the district had been affected with leaf roller. They said that the insect had eaten the green portion of the paddy crops in many fields.

“Though we have received good rainfall this year, the disease is threatening the crop. We have been forced to concentrate heavily on fighting the disease. If proper attention is not taken, it will affect the productivity,” said Rajan of R.S. Mangalam.

He added that many farmers of R.S. Mangalam, were facing the same problem.

It was stated that the continuous rain coupled with chill climate had caused the spread of the diseases particularly leaf roller.

S. Rajendran, Joint Director of Agriculture, told ‘The Hindu’ though there were reports of pest attack in a few places, there was no cause for concern. The farmers were asked to spray the recommended pesticide in the affected fields. Enough stock had been maintained in all agricultural extension centres in the district. It was sold at 50 percent subsidy to the farmers.

Z. Kamaludeen, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Tiruppullani said the affected fields had already been recovering. Farmers were clearly educated on the need to apply mild dose of the pesticide to fight the disease. Since bright sunshine had been reported for the last one week, the disease would be automatically contained gradually.

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