Farmers in the Indian state of Punjab have been warned about the appearance of sheath blast in the on-going kharif rice crop (June – December) across the state since current rainy season is conducive for spreading of the disease, according to the Agricultural Experts .The reports regarding the incidence of sheath blight disease on rice have been received from various parts of Punjab, as quoted by the Head of Plant and Pathology Department of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).
As per report, the initial symptoms were observed with irregular greyish green lesions with purple margins on the lower leaf sheath just above the water level. The disease in affected plants will spread upwards under favorable weather conditions thereby affecting the entire plant and yield.
Further, it has been stated that both basmati and non-basmati rice crops are likely to be affected by this disease. Thus, State Agricultural Officers have advised farmers to spray their crop with 200 milliliters of Tilt 25 EC fungicide to curb the spread of the disease. They also stressed on the need for respraying the same fungicide after fifteen days. It was also emphasized to use can type nozzle for spraying the fungicide.
According to the report, the Punjab is one of the major rice growing states in India and accounts for about 11% of the country’s total rice production. In this kharif season, total paddy acreage in Punjab has reportedly reached about 2.8 million hectares.