Anthracnose is a group of fungal infections caused by different kinds of fungi, with the most common genus being Colletotrichum Spp.It affects a wide range of plants, including cereals, legumes, vegetables, perennial crops and tree fruits and spreads very fast during rainy seasons.Identification & Symptoms
Infection can be on any part of the plant.
- Leaf– first appears as small irregular yellow to brown spots. As severity progresses, these spots darken, expand eventually covering the entire leaf. Defoliation of the entire plant occurs in severe cases of infection.
- Flower– in early stages, infection appears as tiny, well-defined black specs/ spots on the panicle. As infection advances, clusters of flowers turn inky black and die. The panicle becomes prone to nearly complete disintegration.
- Fruit– appears as small dark sunken spots which spread as infection progresses causing an eventual rotting of the fruit. In moist weather, pink spore masses form in the centre of the sunken spots. Infection can lead to production of mummified fruits. Spots on fruits lower the quality of the produce.
- Stem– Infected stems have diebacks and appear discoloured. Sometimes cankers are seen. Dieback occurs when severe, elongated, blackened lesions form on stems causing the plant to die back apically. Anthracnose infection can kill tips of young developing plants.
[vc_single_image image=”1048″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline” border_color=”green”]Life Cycle
The life cycle of Anthracnose diseases essentially involves production of spores on a susceptible host, dispersal of the spores, penetration of host tissue, and initiation of an infection process within the cells. Eventually symptoms develop.
Spores are dispersed by water, air currents, insects or any other form of contact.
The Anthracnose diseases are majorly transmitted through seed, but also through infected plant parts. The pathogen persists on/ in seed, crop residues, and weed hosts.Disease Management & Control
- Use of chemicals- Control of Anthracnose diseases on susceptible plant hosts/cultivars and in very conducive environments requires periodic fungicide sprays. Proper timing and frequency of applications are very crucial for effective control.
The following fungicides can be used interchangeably against Anthracnose in order to prevent resistant build- up.
- Planting healthy seedlings- This can be achieved through proper nursery management.
- Adequate nutrient supply- This can be done by ensuring that the plant is applied with proper and adequate basal and foliar fertilizers which improves the plant’s immunity.
Whenever doing basal fertilizer application, 50kg of fertilizer should be mixed with 1-2kg HUMIPOWER. Among other benefits, Humipower improves nutrient uptake by the plants.
Foliar fertilizers should be sprayed at an interval of one week, with respect to the plant growth rate.
These fertilizers include GOLDCHANCE range at 50g/20l at the varied growth stages, LAVENDER 20ml/20l rich in Phosphorous & Potassium, FERRARI GOLD at 30ml/20l to supply Calcium, OPTIMIZER at 10ml/20l to stimulate growth, manage stress, and improve fruit set, among other benefits.
- Weed control- Weeds compete with crops for nutrients, space, water etc. eventually rendering the crops weak and susceptible to attacks by diseases. They also harbor diseases.
CLAMPDOWN 480SL 200ml/20l clears all kinds of weed in non- cropped fields, thus very effective in land preparation. Selective herbicides are recommended for respective crops, e.g. COMMANDER 240EC 50ml/20l (onion & cabbage), HOTLINE 450SC 50ml/20l (carrot, beans), AGROMINE 860SL 120ml/20l (maize, wheat, rice, sorghum), PREDATOR 340EC 20ml/20l (onion). HURRICANE 200SL 150ml/20l is a super non selective contact herbicides and is commonly used in maize plantations between the maize rows when crop is waist-high.
- Proper cultural practices – These include crop rotation, field sanitation, proper spacing, soil testing, use of resistant cultivars, etc.
Note: In all foliar sprays, INTEGRA 3ml/20l should be mixed with the product to be used. This improves the efficacy of the product.
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