The paddy and Basmati growers in the district are fretting over the recent attack of sheath blight on their crops in many villages. Farmers fear that this might hit crops' yield in coming days.
The agriculture department, which had failed to ensure the availability of fungicide Propoconizole to check the spread of yellow rust during the wheat crop season, is also lacking stock of the fungicide.
The department on Friday asked farmers to purchase fungicide from market. Farmers informed the agriculture department about sheath blight and sheath rot, a major disease of rice crops, which might decrease the production from two to five quintals per acre. None of the paddy varieties, including PUSA-44, PUSA 1121, PR108, PR116, are resistant to sheath blight, said the deparmental sources.
The farmers have grown different paddy varieties on 48000 hectares and Basmati on 6000 hectares area. When weather conditions are favourable, the disease spreads to upper leaves and inflorescence and affects yield, said an official.
Agriculture development officer (ADO) Raj Kumar told HT that stagnation of water into fields might be a cause behind outbreak of the disease. "There is no need to worry about the disease as it is being reported only by a few farmers," Kumar said. However, when asked about availability of Propoconizole with agriculture department, he said the department gets supply of fungicide only when yellow rust disease attacks on wheat crop.
Chief agriculture officer, Bhajan Singh said the intermittent rains help spread the disease. "If any farmer observes the disease attack on his crops, he should spray a mixture of 200 litre water and with 200 ml Propoconizole twice in a fortnight.