Foot rot disease has attackedbasmati crop at certain places in Punjab with farm experts advising farmers to take recommended steps to prevent cultivation from any damage.
In a survey conducted by the scientists of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), it was found that the foot rot disease has started appearing in basmati crop in certain areas of Punjab like Bakhatpur (Kalanaur) and Lakhanpur in Gurdaspur district and Muchhlan and Jausmera in Amritsar district.
There have been few reports of the disease appearing in basmati crop in Patiala district, according to additional director of extension education H S Dhaliwal.
Chander Mohan, plant pathology expert, PAU, said foot rot disease is a serious bottleneck in the successful cultivation of basmati rice in Punjab.
"This fungal disease if not checked can cause tremendous losses to yield," he cautioned.Referring to its symptoms, Mohan said the disease can be recognised by the elongation of affected plants in the nursery as well as in the field after transplantation. The affected plants turn yellow and do not produce any grain, and ultimately die in the field.
Mohan said that it has been observed that in order to check this disease in the field, the farmers have started the application of Sanjivani (Trichoderma) and Bavistin (Carbendazim) mixed with sand, which is a wasteful practice.
The post-application of this treatment would not control this disease, and it would unnecessarily result in increase in the cost of cultivation, he said.
Instead, the farmers should uproot the affected plants and replace them with new seedlings, if available.Punjab is eying to increase basmati cultivation by 5 lakh hectares in next three years.