Farming and Agriculture

Prevention of Red Rot: Essential Measures for Sugarcane Farmers

25 June 2024, New Delhi: Red rot disease has become a major problem in sugarcane cultivation, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand. ICAR-Indian Sugarcane Research Institute and other research centres have suggested several effective measures to control the outbreak of this disease.

Immediate Steps

1. Crop monitoring: Sugarcane crop around the affected areas should be monitored regularly. Symptoms of the disease may be more visible during summer months, which should be removed and destroyed immediately.

2. Fungicide spray: The affected areas should be sprayed with thiophanate methyl (0.1%) at an interval of three weeks. This process should be repeated 2-3 times between May and July.

3. Crop Harvesting: The crop in the affected areas should be removed immediately by cutting and field should be cleaned using fungicides. All stubble of the affected crop should be destroyed by burning.

Long Term Measures

1. Crop Rotation: Rice-wheat crop rotation or oilseed crop may be grown for one season in the diseased areas. Thereafter, a new crop of sugarcane may be planted in the next spring season (February-March).

2. Mixed Farming: Sugarcane mills are advised to take up mixed farming of different varieties in their areas and not to expand any single variety to more than 40% of the area. Recommended varieties like CoLk 14201, CoLk 15201, CoS 13235 etc. should be used.

Experts Advice

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

Other Management Suggestions

1. Seed treatment with fungicides: Seed treatment with thiophanate methyl (0.1%) should be made compulsory before sowing of sugarcane in red rot affected areas.

2. Prophylactic spray: Spray fungicides 2-3 times between May to July to protect the healthy crop from the disease.

3. Improved seed production: Farmers should be trained to produce improved and disease free seeds and an effective monitoring system should be established.

By adopting these measures we can control the outbreak of red rot and protect sugarcane cultivation.

Also Read: 100% Procurement for the Farmers Producing Tur, Urad and Masoor: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

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