Agri scientists to conduct Rapid Roving Survey to help farmers protect crops from infestations in Kalaburagi

The situation during this kharif season was discouraging to farmers as the district recorded very scanty rainfall

November 15, 2023 07:01 am | Updated 10:29 am IST - KALABURAGI

A representational photo of red gram crop in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka.

A representational photo of red gram crop in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

To save the standing crops from pests and infestations, The Zonal Agriculture Research Station, and Krishi Vigyan Kendra –Kalaburagi along with the Department of Agriculture would be conducting Rapid Roving Survey across the Kalaburagi district for the next two months.

Dr. B.M. Doddamani, Associate Director of ZARS speaking to The Hindu said that the Survey team comprising of scientists –plant pathologists, plant breeders, and extension officers will visit agriculture fields in 25 villages randomly every Wednesday for the next eight weeks and take stock of pest and disease incidence on the crop.

The situation during this kharif season was discouraging to farmers as the district recorded very scanty rainfall. Though the district received normal rainfall till October month, it was untimely and unevenly distributed. 

Dr Mallikarjun Kegnal from All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) says the scanty rainfall and low soil moisture, resulted in stunted growth of the Red Gram crop. There are likely chances of sporadic outbreaks of dry root rot wilt disease in pigeon peas especially in shallow soils and in rainfed areas. In such cases, the farmers are advised to take up drenching with Trichoderma biocontrol agent @ 5 grams per litre of water to prevent any crop losses due to wilt diseases.

 Immediately after every weekly survey the team will prepare a status of each insect pest and disease in different regions, the scientists will advise management strategies to farmers for the crop protection.

To reduce the wilt incidences in the Red gram, Dr. Kegnal suggests crop rotation both in Kharif as well as Rabi crop sowing pattern. Short-duration crops like Black gram and green gram in Kharif and jowar, safflower and Bengal gram in Rabi season will help in reducing the pathogen level in the soil.

Dr. Muniswamy, plant breeder (Red gram) at ZARS said that Macrophomina Stem blight and dry root rot is another disease of red gram emerging in vast areas especially when a prolonged dry spell is witnessed immediately after the withdrawal of monsoon rains. The dry root rot is caused by Rhizoctonia bataticola (Taub) Butler fungi and is becoming very severe in red gram across the North Karnataka region. The infection starts on the stem and roots when dry spells of at least 10 to 15 days are noticed after the rainfall. The crop is prone to infection during drought and dry spells, especially from the flowering stage onwards, disease becomes more severe as the crop grows. If the incidence occurs before flowering it leads to 100 percent yield loss.

Besides Fusarium wilt, Phytophthora stem blight Macrophomina stem blight and Dry root rot are the other diseases causing wilt in pigeon peas. At present Fusarium wilt-resistant red gram varieties, GRG-152 and GRG-811 are available, efforts are on to develop multiple wilt resistant varieties at ZARS, Kalaburagi.

The Zonal Agricultural Research Station- Kalaburagi is also producing biocontrol agents for pests and disease management and many farmers are getting benefits of it, he added.

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