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Experts of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have cautioned the farmers against the attack of late blight disease in potato crop.

Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, advised the potato growers to adopt PAU recommendations for timely management of potato disease, which if not controlled can damage the entire crop.

Dr PS Sandhu, Principal Plant Pathologist (Oilseeds)-cum-Head, Department of Plant Pathology, disclosed: “Over the last one week, the temperature is ranging between 12-24 °C coupled with high night time relative humidity (>85 per cent) and leaf wetness due to dew formation in major potato belt of Punjab. The prevailing weather conditions are becoming congenial for the outbreak and spread of the late blight in the districts of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Ropar and Kapurthala.” About its symptoms, he explained, “The first symptoms of late blight appear as small, light to dark green, circular to irregular-shaped water-soaked spots. During cool, moist weather, these lesions expand rapidly into large, dark brown or black lesions, often appearing greasy. A pale green to yellow border often surrounds the lesions.” Dr Sandhu advised the potato growers to monitor their fields regularly and go in for preventive spray of contact fungicide like Indofil M45/Antracol/Kavach @ 500-700 g or Copper oxychloride 50 WP @ 750- 1000 g/acre in 250-350 litres of water before the appearance of late blight at seven days interval.

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