Red rot disease in sugarcane: All cane officers on alert

Bijnor: After suffering losses due to red rot last year, sugarcane growers across Uttar Pradesh are facing concerns as the disease has resurfaced in the Terai region, reports The Times of India.

In response, the UP cane department has initiated district-wide meetings to prevent a repeat of last season’s devastation.

Red rot, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum falcatum, primarily infects the ‘0238’ variety of cane. The department has advised farmers to replace this variety with other variety.

Virendra Nath Sahay, Senior Cane Development Inspector in Seohara, who has been actively involved in these meetings, stated on Tuesday, “The UP cane commissioner has put all cane officers on alert. We are holding meetings to educate farmers about the disease. This season, many farmers have replaced the ‘0238’ variety with new ones. But some are still growing the old variety, and we urge them to switch next year. We’ve provided new varieties this year.”

Sahay further advised, “We are appealing to cane growers to uproot and burn infected plants and apply bleaching powder to the affected areas to help prevent the disease.”

Red rot, often referred to as the “cancer” of the sugarcane crop, typically spreads during the rainy season. Its reappearance in major cane-cultivating regions of UP has caused considerable panic among farmers. Officials have noted that the disease tends to occur when a specific variety is sown continuously without rotation and when seeds and soil are not properly treated.


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