'Benki Roga' affects paddy crops in Mudigere

After the destruction of ginger crops, paddy seemed to be the best option for the farmers of Malnad. However, with the widespread of ‘Benki Roga’ (Heat disease), the farmers had to struggle to protect the crops from being affected due this disease.

Paddy was grown on 11 hectares of land in the taluk of which 40 per cent is already affected with the Benki Roga. Paddy fields in areas such as Ghatadahalli, Makonahalli, Kelluru, Mudasasi, Chikkala, Annazuru and other nearby places seem to be affected with Benki Roga. This has become a cause of concern to farmers who have grown paddy this year.

Paddy crops affected with Benki roga start developing spots and ultimately dry up. Agriculture scientists say that late rains and lack of Potash quantity in paddy as the main reason for the Benki Roga.

The disease which has affected the local paddy varities such as Putta Battha and Intan Batha is causing low yield. Farmers doubt the quality of paddy seeds.

With the temperature in Malnad rising to 27 degree celsisus and lack of rains, the paddy fields are drying up. “‘Benki Roga’ has appeared due to extreme heat. In case it does not rain, then we wont get a good harvest. We can control Benki Roga if it rains steadily. Farmers are left in lurch as they will suffer if it rains heavily or it does not rain at all,” says a farmer Ramajja from Ghattadahalli.

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