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India - Vellore farmers stare at huge loss as leaf spot disease hits groundnut plants

The farmers’ hope of getting better yield due to the incessant showers are gradually being dashed as leaf spot disease has begun to affect groundnut plants in Vellore region.

Spots on leaves of the plant due to ‘altenaria disease’ has the potential to inflict more than fifty per cent crop loss. The disease is seen in groundnut plants in several places in Ranipet and Vellore districts.

“In several places in Ranipet and Vellore districts, the groundnut growers have noticed leaf spot in the plants. It will affect the growth of the plant resulting in huge loss,” Palleri K Raja, president of Thamizhaga (rpt Thamizhaga) Vivasayigal Sangam, told TNIE.

Oilseed producers in including Palleri, Kondakuppam, Vassoor, Kodiyur and Lalapet in Ranipet and Pallikuppam in Vellore district have taken cognisance of leaf spots in their plants.

Altenaria disease is caused by pathogen altenaria spp in the plants resulting in spots on the leaf, according to an entomologist.

Groundnut is one of the major crop raised in Vellore region mostly in rainfed areas. Farmers begin sowing after having one or two good spells of showers. A few more spells are enough to take crop to harvest, farmers said.

Raja urged the Agriculture department officials to look into the matter and take remedial measures immediately to save the crops.

“The authorities of the Agriculture department must initiate remedial action without delay so that the farmers can be saved from incurring huge loss,” he stressed.

However, officials of the department seem to be unaware of the incidence of altenaria disease. When asked, joint director of Agriculture (JD-A), Ranipet district, Giri Chandra Singh told TNIE, “None has brought it to our notice so far. I will check with our field officers on the incidence of the disease.”

Entomologists have suggested spraying of fungicide to control the disease. “Propiconazole mixed at the rate of one ml per litre of water can be sprayed on the affected plants to control the disease,” an entomologist said.

Source – https://www.newindianexpress.com

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