Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Control of Tikka disease in groundnut

The groundnut leaf spots (early leaf spot and late leaf spot) commonly called as
“Tikka” disease cause nearly complete defoliation and yield loss up to 50 per cent or more depending upon disease severity.
The leaf spot disease epidemics are affected by weather parameters such as hot and wet conditions.
Under field conditions, initial symptoms of late leaf spot were noticed at 45-50 days after sowing of groundnut crop.
The most prominent symptoms appeared on the foliage in the beginning and later lesions on stem also developed.
Brown lesions
The characteristic brown coloured lesions first appeared on the lower leaves which were usually smaller and almost circular. Early and late leaf spots in peanut can be differentiated on bases of colour of spot and yellow halo.
In case of early leaf spot colour is reddish brown while in case of late leaf spot it is dark brown.
Yellow halo is conspicuous and spreading in early leaf spot but dull and limited to margins of spot in late leaf spot.
— Leaf spot infected diseased plant materials should be properly destroyed.
— Growing resistant genotypes and do seed treatment with a talc-based powder formulation of Pseudomonas fluorescens reduced the severity of late leaf spot.
— Spraying of Trichoderma viride (5 per cent) and Verticillium lecanii (5 per cent) can reduce the disease severity.
— Neem leaf extract (5 per cent), Mehandi (2 per cent), neeem oil (1per cent), neem kernel extract (3 per cent), can effectively contain the disease.
— Two sprays of Hexaconazole (0.2 per cent), Carbendazim (0.1 per cent) + Mancozeb (0.2 per cent) Tebuconazole (0.15 per cent) and Difenconazole (0.1 per cent) reduced leaf spot disease.
— Bavistin at 0.1 per cent, followed by 2 per cent neem leaf extract + 1.0 per cent K2O significantly reduced the severity of leaf spot disease.
(Dr. Utpal Dey ,Department of Plant Pathology, Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth, Parbhani, Maharashtra. D. N. Dhutraj is Associate Dean & Principal, College of Agriculture, Badnapur, VNMKV, Parbhani,
Maharashtra, email:,)


A fair to boost organic farming

Aimed at boosting organic farming, Green Veg, a city-based collective of farming enthusiasts, is organising an agricultural fair at the Jubilee Hall in the city from December 3 to 6.
Organised in collaboration with different government departments, the four-day fair will also form part of the organisation’s observance of International Year of Family Farming. “Along with the fair, we have also envisaged a series of programmes to attract youngsters to organic farming and farm-related activities,” said V. Sidhique, secretary of the collective.
The fair with the theme ‘Preserve the old, but know the new’ will have separate sections for agricultural produce and planting materialss. Organic Farming, Honey Fest and Dairy Fest will be some of the sub-sections of the fair. Besides a wide variety of value-added agricultural products, the fair will showcase new technologies and tools to be used for converting farming as a profitable enterprise in the changing labour scenario, Mr. Sidhique said.
According to him, stalls will also be allowed for those who plan to display their unique products with geographical indication (GI) tag. The fair with different farm seminars and interaction programmes planned as part of it will also be a venue for aspiring farmers and potential investors to come together and understand the possibilities of the filed.
As part of the fair, an award for the best backyard vegetable garden in the city has been instituted by the organisers. A variety of competitions related to the field of farming including in folk wisdom, Njattupattu, Koithupattu, painting and quiz for school students have also been arranged.
For details about the fair and registration, call 9947991428.
Four-day fair begins on December3


Chicken farmers in the soup as flu scare waters down price

Samples collected on Wednesday from the Kalady duck farm where birds were found dead in large numbers within a few days.— Photos :H. Vibhu
Samples collected on Wednesday from the Kalady duck farm where birds were found dead in large numbers within a few days.— Photos :H. Vibhu
: Bad news travels fast. And poultry traders know it better.
Poultry meat price fell between 10 and 20 per cent in the Ernakulam market on Wednesday as news of bird flu in some districts spread. Farmers have blamed what they called an “overreaction” to the developments by the public.
A trader in Kochi said bird meat was selling for just over Rs. 80 a kg in the retail market and that the wholesalers had not lowered bird price. But farmers fear that the situation might get grimmer with media coverage of culling of ducks in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts.
A poultry farmer here said Ernakulam had one of the largest concentrations of broiler birds among districts in Kerala and received about 25 lakh one-day-old chics per week. The district is also home to about two crore broiler birds.
Perumbavoor, Moovattupuzha, Piravom, Ayavana, Koovappady etc in the district have big concentration of poultry farms. The dominant system in the State is that big poultry business houses outside the State provide chics and feed to farmers. The farmers are paid between Rs. five and six a kg of meat when the companies buy back the birds, said a farmer here.
It has developed well so that big meat birds are no longer imported into the State in large quantities and Kerala now produces between 60 and 70 per cent of its poultry meat requirement.
The State receives around one crore chics per week, said Kerala Poultry Development Corporation sources on Wednesday. Internal production of chics range between 10 and 15 lakh per month, they said.Per capita consumption of poultry meat in Kerala is 10.8 kg per year. Kerala also imports about a crore of eggs per day and local production is in the range of 30 and 40 lakh per day


Use fertilizers to the minimum, farmers told

Excessive use will spoil soil’s health and make it unfertile: expert

N. Sampathkumar, Joint Director, Agriculture, addressing a seminar in Palani on Wednesday.— PHOTO: G. KARTHIKEYAN
N. Sampathkumar, Joint Director, Agriculture, addressing a seminar in Palani on Wednesday.— PHOTO: G. KARTHIKEYAN
Farmers should scale down application of chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides and instead use organic manure and natural wastes to rejuvenate the soil, said agriculture officials here on Wednesday.
At a seminar on advanced techniques in paddy cultivation, they said that with a view to helping the farmers, a Daincha seed farm, a green manure producing crop, had been raised on 40 hectares to produce 20 tonnes of seeds for distribution to paddy farmers.
Joint Director of Agriculture P. Sampath Kumar said fertilizers were necessary for crops. But plants as well as the land would not respond to excess application of fertilizers. The excess fertilizer would spoil the soil’s health and make it unfertile. Soil testing alone would determine the quantum of fertilizer required for a land. A change in the colour of the leaf was not a symptom of shortage of fertilizer. It could be deficiency of micro-nutrients.
Tamil Nadu was second largest user of pesticides and fertilizers. On Kodaikanal hills, farmers used to give eight to 10 sprays for beans crop. Such an act would poison vegetables and affect the health of the people ultimately, he pointed out.
The government had set up the Daincha seed farm so that farmers could raise their crops in 30 days and do in-situ ploughing before raising paddy. Such a measure would meet nitrogen needs and reduce urea use, he added.
FACT Senior Zonal Manager P. Subramanian said they had had sold 2,500 tonnes of fertilizers in October. Fertilizers formed the major input costs for farmers. Minimising its use would bring down the production cost, he added.


Solar option entails attractive subsidy for farmers

District Collector S.Prabakharan being apprised about the utility of solar pumping system in Perumalpalayam, Erode on Wednesday.-PHOTO: M. GOVARTHAN.
District Collector S.Prabakharan being apprised about the utility of solar pumping system in Perumalpalayam, Erode on Wednesday.-PHOTO: M. GOVARTHAN.
Instead of waiting endlessly for power connection, K. Thirumoorthy, a progressive farmer of A. Perumapalayam, has embraced the solar option entailing attractive subsidy to irrigate his 4.5 acre field where he raises vembu trees.
With only 20 per cent contribution, plus tax, amounting to a little over Rs. 95,000 for the nearly Rs. 4 lakh project, Thirumoorthy is able to heave a huge sigh of relief. Under the guidance of the Agricultural Engineering Department, Thirumoorthy has availed himself of 50 per cent subsidy provided under National Agriculture Development Programme, and 30 per cent routed through Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
The five HP solar Photovoltaic pumping system is able to wet the growing trees in the entire length and breadth of the 4.5 acres through drip irrigation. And, for installing the drip-irrigation system, Thirumoorthy had already benefited from substantial subsidy benefit under another government scheme.
The pump was functioning with nearly 52 per cent efficiency, Agriculture Department officials explained to District Collector S. Prabakaran during an inspection on Wednesday. The Agriculture, Agriculture Engineering, and Horticulture Departments are mid-way through installing 168 solar pumps - 69 in Erode Division and 99 in Gobi Division - across the district.
“Initially, the sanction was made only for 50 solar pump sets. The numbers were increased in view of the demand,” said M. Selvaraj, Joint Director of Agriculture.
The panels generate enough energy to power the pump for 8 to 12 hours every day, he said.
According to the farmer, solar energy is the best and ultimate option for farms categorised as non-service areas that are out of bounds of conventional energy transmitted through Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation.
Agriculture department officials explained that the farmers’ share of investment was quite nominal, considering the several thousands of rupees they would otherwise have to spend on operating oil engines and diesel pump sets. Most of all, they make the most of natural energy and safeguard the farms from pollution.


Banks to lend more to farmer groups

Banks are expected to lend to about 2,000 groups of small and marginal farmers in the district during the next financial year.
District Collector Archana Patnaik released here on Tuesday the Potential Linked Credit Plan, prepared by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), for the district for 2015-2016. According to Inigo Arul Selvan, District Development Manager of NABARD, bank and non-governmental organisations can form Joint Liability Groups (JLG). NABARD has come out with incentives to both, the banks and the NGOs, which form the JLGs. Banks will lend to these groups for farming and non-farming activities. However, all the members of a group should have an economic activity.
The credit plan for the district for the current year (2014-2015) targets Rs. 10,226 crore lending. “The district is expected to achieve the target and there is potential to increase credit to Rs. 12,351 crore, almost 12 per cent more than current year credit,” he said.
According to the potential linked credit plan, 41 per cent of the plan outlay is earmarked for crop and term loans in the agriculture sector and 42 per cent (Rs. 5,124 crore) for the MSME sector. Another 17 per cent will be for priority sector. The plan also projects Rs. 1,643 crore of the total outlay for long-term lending to the agriculture sector. NABARD is supporting setting up of food processing units, warehouses, and food parks. K. Krishnamoorthy, the lead district manager, urged the banks to increase lending to MSME sector, taking advantage of the incentive schemes of the Government.


Bird flu: veterinary teams to be deployed along Kerala border

The Tamil Nadu Animal Husbandry Department will deploy veterinarians on all check-posts in the routes leading to Kerala to prevent the entry of birds from the neighbouring State, where more than 17,000 ducks died recently due to an outbreak of bird flu.

Veterinarians manning check-posts, which will be functional round-the-clock, will spray disinfectants on all vehicles coming from Kerala.
An official, who took part in the meeting, held to discuss the issue told The Hindu that check-posts will be established as early on Thursday on all the seven routes that connect Coimbatore to Kerala.
Revenue Department officials would also be deployed to complement the efforts of the Animal Husbandry Department officials.
The district administration has also constituted 20 rapid response teams to tackle any outbreak of bird flu epidemic. As many as 700 bird culling kits have also been kept on the standby to deal with any contingency, the official said.
Further, Animal Husbandry Department veterinarians would also undertake daily inspections of private poultry farms, which have been instructed to implement bio-security measures to prevent the transmission of bird flu.
The measures decided include restricting the entry of vehicles and personnel of other poultries, preventing stagnation of water and roosting of other birds near the farms, besides providing quality bird feed.
The veterinarians attending to private poultries have been issued instructions to alert the Government to any mass death of birds, which could indicate the outbreak of bird flu.
As per the latest Government census, Coimbatore district had around 1,500 poultry farmers rearing nearly one crore commercial and broiler chickens.
District Collector Archana Patnaik chaired the meeting held on Wednesday to review the measures to prevent the transmission of bird flu across the border.
Those who took part in the meeting included V. Muthugopalakrishnan, Regional Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Department, veterinarians working for the Government and those working in private poultry farms, besides poultry farmers.