'Kole roga' worries farmers in DK

The disease has spread in Puttur, Sullia, parts of Bantwal and Kinnigoli in Dakshina Kannada district. Areacnut is grown in 27,532 hectare in Dakshina Kannada. In 2008-09, about 49,000 tonnes of arecanut is produced in the district. However, ‘kole roga’ is worrying the farmers as it will reduce the production.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Veerendra Kumar of Krishi Vigyan Kendra said “the disease has hit 30 to 35 per cent of arecanut plantations in Dakshina Kannada district. The disease spreads mainly because farmers have not been removing and burning all fallen and infected nuts. Moreover, the irrigation must be provided during hot and dry periods and drainage during monsoon (so that water does not stagnate). ‘The bordeaux mixture one per cent’ must be sprayed on all bunches three times in a year. Once just before the onset of South West Monsoon and the rest at 40 days intervals. If monsoon season is prolonged, then there is a need for third spray. The first spray of bordeaux mixture plays a vital role in preventing the disease.”

He said “growers should also take care of the method of spraying bordeaux mixture. It must be sprayed on the whole arecanut bunches. However, owing to the shortage of labourers, farmers do not spray properly before the onset of the monsoon. Fruit rot disease has affected in those arecanut plantations where the spraying has not been undertaken properly. Moreover, the growers should also test the Ph level of bordeaux mixture before spraying. The bordeaux mixture must be prepared in earthen pots or wooden pots or plastic vessels. If the mixture is kept for long time, then it will lose its affect. It must be sprayed immediately after the preparations. If the grower is using the mixture after one day of its preparation, then it must be mixed with 250 gram jaggery for 100 litre mixture. Bordeaux mixture is a mixture of copper sulphate and lime.

A farmer said: “We spray the mixture two times in a year. This time owing to the heavy rains in the first week of September, we could not spray Bordeaux mixture on time. As a result, the disease has hit our plantation.”

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