Agri Business

After Fall Armyworm, corn crop in Maharashtra faces Leaf Blight attack

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on August 03, 2020 Published on July 31, 2020

The corn crop in Maharashtra, after facing the Fall Armyworm attack in rabi season, is now facing renewed attacks of Northern Leaf Blight and Physoderma brown spot fungus.

The spread of the diseases is almost over one lakh hectares around Aurangabad, which has got the farmers worried.

The onset of Northern Leaf Blight (NLB) is a bit more severe. Rising humidity accompanied by intermittent rains in the Aurangabad region is the trigger. Due to the outbreak of NLB, the leaves of the corn crop have turned largely yellow and dry, affecting their growth.

Farmer Dhananjay Dhorade from Tolegaon village in Vaijapur taluka in Aurangabad district said that irregular rains is the main reason for the attack. If it rains contentiously, then the attack is very limited. However, absence of rains for a longer period would lead to a renewed attack and the standing crop will be badly affected with yield losses, he said.

Dhorade, who has planted corn over 12 acres, said that in Maharashtra the cultivation of corn in the current kharif season is much higher than the rabi season.

A State Agriculture Officer said that farmers are getting desperate to stop the spread of these diseases. They are trying whatever pesticide and fungicide available with the local agrochemical outlets. If the Northern Leaf Blight infestation goes deeper from the outer leaves to the central stem, then saving the crop would become impossible, the official said.

Corn has multiple uses including cooking oil but its biggest consumer is the poultry sector where it is used as a feed for the birds.

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Published on July 31, 2020
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