Farming and Agriculture

Avoid Red Rot: Important Information for Sugarcane Farming

25 June 2024, New Delhi: Red rot disease has become a serious problem in sugarcane cultivation, which has caused huge losses to sugarcane farmers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Recently, the popular Co 0238 variety has been affected by this disease, leading to a sharp decline in its cultivation. The incidence of this disease is also being seen in Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand.

ICAR-Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research (ICAR-IISR) and other research centers have conducted extensive surveys on the incidence of red rot. According to the survey, Co 0238 is cultivated in about 65% of the area, and the incidence of red rot in this variety has been found to be 25% to 75%. In Haryana and Punjab, the incidence is 10% to 35%, which may pose a threat to sugarcane cultivation in the coming season.

Management Strategies

ICAR-IISR has suggested several management strategies to deal with this disease. Seed replacement program is mandatory in the diseased areas. Farmers have been advised to use healthy and quality seeds. Seed should be treated using systemic fungicides like Thiophanate Methyl (0.1%).

Fungicide spray should be done in the affected areas at an interval of three weeks for disease control. Fungicide spraying is recommended 2-3 times between May to July. The crop in the affected areas should be removed immediately by cutting and the field should be cleaned using fungicides.

Seed Preparation Process

For seed preparation, the sugar mill staff should monitor and establish healthy seed nurseries. Seed should be treated with Thiophanate Methyl (0.1%) and nursery crop should be grown with organic manure or vermicompost containing Trichoderma culture.

Crop Rotation and Diversity

Rice-wheat crop rotation or oilseed crop can be grown for one season in the diseased areas. Sugarcane mills are advised to practice mixed cultivation of different varieties in their areas and not to expand any one variety to more than 40% of the area. Recommended varieties like CoLk 14201, CoLk 15201, CoS 13235, Co 15023 etc. should be used.

Experts’ advice

Dr. R. Viswanathan, Director, ICAR-IISR, Lucknow said that special attention should be paid to the quality of seed to control red rot disease. Dr. Dinesh Singh, Project Coordinator, AICRP on Sugarcane, ICAR-IISR said that farmers should be educated to use healthy seed and entrepreneurship should be encouraged in seed production and distribution.

By adopting such measures, we can control the outbreak of red rot and protect sugarcane cultivation. For more information, contact ICAR-IISR, Lucknow.

Email: (Dr. R. Vishwanathan)

Email: (Dr. Dinesh Singh)

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