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Why Farmers Growing Potatoes, Tomatoes Must Take Extra Precautions; Know From Agri Expert

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
tomato destroyed by Pests

40 to 45 percent of potato and tomato crops get destroyed or wasted because of pests in agriculture. Sometimes this loss is even 100 percent. The late blight disease must be managed for  successful potato and tomato cultivation.

It must be noted that the fungus called Phytophthora infestans causes this disease. Late blight disease of potato and tomato is quite damaging. The devastating famine that occurred in Ireland in 1945 was caused due to this disease.

Dr SK Singh, Associate Director Research & Professor cum Chief Scientist (Plant Pathology) &PI, ICAR-AICRP on Fruits gave important information about this disease.

Identification of the disease

According to Dr. SK Singh, the outbreak of this disease begins from the plant's leaves when there is less moisture and light in the environment when there is a wet or rainy-like environment for several days. Within 4 to 5 days, this disease can damage all green leaves of plants. On the bottom surfaces of the leaves, white balls develop, which eventually turn brown and black. Due to damaged leaves, potato tubers shrink in size and output decreases. A temperature of 20-21 degrees Centigrade is ideal for this. Humidity aids in increasing it.

Whole crop gets ruined in 4-5 days

For effective potato and tomato production, it is important to purchase and store the necessary fungicide in advance for the control and management of this disease; otherwise, after the disease has been identified, you will not have enough time to prepare.

The entire crop might be destroyed in 4 to 5 days.

Late blight disease management

Farmers who have not yet seeded potatoes can mix 1.5 grams of Metaloxil and Mancozeb mixed fungicide into 1.5 litres of water and soak potato and tomato tubers or seeds in it for 30 minutes. Soak and treat it, then dry it in the shade and seed it.

Utilize these drugs

Those who have not sprayed the fungicide or those who have fields where the scorching disease has not developed are recommended to spray the fungicide containing Mancozeb at a rate of 0.2 percent, or two grams of the drug per liter of water. Once the disease's symptoms appear, giving Mancozeb has no impact; thus, in fields where the disease's symptoms are apparent, sprinkle 3 grams of the drug cymoixenil mancozeb per litre of water.

Similarly, phenomedone mancozeb can be sprayed after dissolving 3 grams per litre in water. Metalaxyl and Mancozeb can also be sprayed by dissolving 2.5 grams per litre of water. One hectare will require 800 to 1000 litres of drug solution.

While spraying, always adhere to all of the directions written on the package. 

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