Saturday, August 6, 2016

Potato crop escapes late blight infection this year

GOOD TIMES:The climate this year has been helpful in Hassan as there has been no incessant downpour.— PHOTO: PRAKASH HASSAN
Potato growers have a reason to cheer this year. It has been 60 to 70 days since sowing of seed potatoes began and so far, there have been no reports of late blight, a fungal infection that affects potato crops, anywhere in the district. Also, chances of the potato attracting late blight at this stage are rare.
This year, potato has been cultivated on around 10,000 hectares of land in the district. The crop has been in a good state all over the district, prompting farmers to hope for good returns. “As the crop has survived for 60 days, there are no chances of late blight again this year,” A.B. Sanjay, Deputy Director of Horticulture Department, told The Hindu recently.
The climate, this year, has been helpful. As there was no incessant downpour for days, the late blight could not spread. “Growers have to be thankful for the climate. If there was a continuous downpour in July, there were chances of the occurrence of late blight this year too,” the officer said.
The Horticulture Department had procured 2,035 tonnes of certified seeds from Jalandhar and sold them to the farmers at a subsidised price. About the yield in the farms where certified seeds were sown, the tubers are uniform. On the other hand, over 9,000 tonnes of non-certified seeds were also sold in the district. “Going by the yield this year, a good number of farmers may shift to potato next year,” the officer said.
Farmers of Hassan have been growing potato for years. In the recent years, the area covered by potato declined owing to late blight disease.
This year, potato
has been cultivated on around 10,000 hectares in
Hassan district

Source : The  Hindu 

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