COIMBATORE:Due to continuous rain and cloudy weather, incidence of rice leaf folder may become severe at the crop's vegetative stage, says a forecast on likely pest attacks and diseases by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU).
Farmers have been advised to use less nitrogenous fertilisers if there is incidence of leaf folder. Where possible, light traps can be used to attract adult moths.
The forecast has been made by the TNAU's Centre for Plant Protection Studies in view of the onset of the northeast monsoon.
If drainage is poor, rice crop may suffer ‘hopper burns’ from brown plant hopper, a very destructive pest. To control the pest, nitrogenous fertilisers should be applied in three or four phases. Farmers should also avoid using insecticides that cause resurgence as well as the synthetic pyrethroid group of insecticides. Before spraying any pesticide, water should be drained from the field. The spraying should target the base of the stem.
Farmers should watch out for incidence of blast in rice plants during times of high humidity, it said. The forecast has also warned farmers of the possibility of diseases affecting cotton, sugarcane, groundnut and cashew, among other crops.