Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE: The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Maize Research Station, Vagarai, has recommended certain management techniques to control the rampant downy mildew disease found in maize crops in Tamil Nadu.

According to S. Arumugachamy, Head, Maize Research Station, TNAU, maize crops have been infested in Coimbatore, Udumalpet, Dharapuram, Odanchatram, Dindigul and Theni districts. Maize accounts for nearly 83 per cent of the total area under millets in the State.

It has gained popularity with the farmers as a high remunerative crop due to its high yield, low water consumption, good market price and simple management practices.

Affected by price volatility in sugarcane, turmeric and vegetables in recent years, farmers have shifted to maize cultivation.

Techniques

Some management techniques, according to Mr. Arumugachamy, will help restrain the development and spread of the fungal disease.

He urges farmers to treat the seeds with Metalaxyl 35 before sowing, follow the basal and top dressing of fertilizer schedule, apply MN mixtures as basal dose or foliar spray, avoid closer spacing, remove infested plants and burn them away from the cultivable area, and last but not the least avoid continuous maize cropping.

For further details regarding the issue, farmers can contact the Maize Research Station, Vagarai, on 04545 – 267373; or call / 9443550787.

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