|AGRICULTURE TRIBUNE||Monday, March 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India|
White rot disease in pea
Dhanbir Singh, Akhilesh Singh and H.L. Thakur
PEA (Pisum sativum) is an important cash crop of Himachal Pradesh. It is cultivated in an area of 7,000 ha with an annual production of 46,000 tonnes. In India, it is grown as winter vegetable in the plains of North India and as summer vegetable in hills. Pea is very rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A and C, calcium and phosphorus.
Future markets for farm commodities
tiller for hill farming
White rot disease in pea
PEA (Pisum sativum) is an important cash crop of Himachal Pradesh. It is cultivated in an area of 7,000 ha with an annual production of 46,000 tonnes. In India, it is grown as winter vegetable in the plains of North India and as summer vegetable in hills. Pea is very rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins A and C, calcium and phosphorus. It is an excellent food for human consumption. Peas are placed in group III on food production efficiency. Peas straw is a nutritional fodder. Due to extensive cultivation of pea during summer in dry and wet temperate zones and during rabi in low and mid-hills of Himachal Pradesh, white rot caused by a fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum has emerged as a serious disease of pea, causing 5 to 40 per cent losses in different areas. However, in vulnerable locations under favourable conditions, it causes 100 per cent losses. The disease is most destructive in moist and cool regions of the world. In the Terai region of North India where winters are very cold and soil moisture is high, white rot inflicts heavy losses. Even in Punjab production of pea is adversely affected by this disease. This fungus has a wide host range as it attacks tomatoes, potatoes, chick pea, lentil, cauliflower, cabbage, brinjal, mustard, etc. The damage to pea is mainly through partial or complete wilting of plants.
Symptoms: The infection may occur at any part of the foliage, mainly the stem or branches. The maximum infection develops at the flowering stage of the crop, when petals fall on ground, these catch infection immediately and mycelial growth of fungus invades the stem and branches. At the point of infection a dry, discoloured spot develops. It gradually girdles the entire stem and also progress up and down. As a result of tissue necrosis, the portion of the plant beyond the point of infection wilts. If the infection is at the base of the main stem, the entire plant wilts. If it occurs on branches, partial wilting occurs. On opening the dry portion of the stem, pitch can be seen full of fungal sclerotia which may be small or large, elongated or cylindrical, and often attached to each other end to end. The sclerotia are brown to black. When pots are attacked, there is rotting of the flesh and in the rotting tissues a large number of sclerotia of the fungus can be seen. The diseased tissues become whitish and may be shredded.
The disease is caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary which belongs to class Discomycetes of ascomycotina. The fungus is also named as Whetzelinia sclerotiorum korf and dumont. The species is widely distributed in India causing rots, wilts and blights of many economic crops.
The disease can perpetuate in the form of hard sclerotia left in soil or in plant debris. The sclerotia germinate carpogenically or myceliogenically when adequate moisture is available and temperature ranges between 4 and 20°. However, light is essential for stimulation of apothecial production. Ascospores formed from apothecia either directly infect the host or they fall on fallen flowers (petals) and grow in them to produce mycelium. This mycelium also can cause infection and help in secondary spread of disease. However, most of the primary inoculum consists of ascospores. Functional life span of ascospores to cause infection is between 15 and 18 day. The conditions favourable for germination of sclerotia (moisture, temperature, light) are available mostly in December and January.
Crop rotation: Wet rice culture i.e. cultivation of rice under flooded conditions helps in destruction of sclerotia. In a rotation the susceptible crops should follow such crop as beet, onion, spinach, maize or paddy.
Date of sowing and host resistance: In the disease-prone areas early sowing of pea should be done. None of the varieties is resistant to disease. However, Palam Priya is moderately resistant to white rot.
Chemical control: Since sclerotia are soil borne and their germination continues over a period of months producing ascospores showers, it is difficult to depend solely on chemical control. Two sprays of Bavistin (carbendezium) @ 0.05 per cent at the initiation of flowering to full bloom stage have been found effective.
Biological control: Since chemical control of disease is inadequate, biological control is an alternative possibility. The studies conducted at the CSK, HPKV, Palampur, and the RRS, Dhaulakuan, indicated that the soil application of the wheat bran culture of a local strain of Trichoderma harzianum (ITCC No 4542) @ 120 kg/ha at the time of sowing has been found effective in reducing disease incidence and increasing yield. Broadcasting of sodium alginate pellets of T.harzianum @ 25 kg/ha before flowering has also been found effective in containing the disease.
Integrated disease management: Soil
application of wheat bran culture of T. harzianum @ 120 kg/ha at the
time of sowing plus wide row spacing (50 to 60 cm) plus foliar spray
of Bavistin @ 0.05 per cent at the flowering state have been found
highly effective in controlling the disease.
Future markets for farm commodities
INDIAN agriculture is now gradually opening up to world markets. An alternative strategy to manage uncertainty and risks inherent in agricultural commodities.
Future markets’ contribution is likely to reduce the government’s intervention on physical markets such as controls on movement, storage and access to trade credit, large market operations in the case of rice, wheat or sugar or ad hoc external trade policies such as for cotton lint.
According to a recent study, entitled "Managing price risks in India’s liberalised agriculture can futures markets help" by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Bank, the potential contribution of future markets is severely reduced by the selective and restrictive implementation of the regulatory framework governing future markets.
The study observes that most trading practices of Indian exchanges are sound. The open outcry system functions well and is cost effective and trade registration procedures are well laid out. Other procedures such as the weekly clearing operations or the absence of time stamping of transactions, differ from international practices and reflect the small scale of operations of most of the Indian exchanges.
The liberalisation policies are creating new opportunities, but also posing new challenges like coping with price volatility. Price volatility creates uncertainty and risks which can threaten agricultural performance and negatively impact the income and welfare of farmers and the rural poor. Indian policy makers have traditionally coped with the uncertainty and risk associated with price volatility by resorting to policy instruments to minimise or eliminate price volatility — controls on private sector activities — extensive market interventions and crop insurance. These instruments, because of their costs are now progressively and selectively being relinquished by the government in an effort to spur agricultural growth. An alternative strategy to manage uncertainty and risks inherent in agricultural markets is introduction of future contracts in agricultural commodities.
Agricultural future markets, being market-based instrument for managing risks could contribute to orderly establishment of a more open and liberalised agricultural sector. Future markets have emerged out of the need to deal with the risks associated with agricultural production, storage, trade and processing. They have also emerged in response to the counterpart default risk associated with forward markets. Commodity future markets, initially concentrated in a small number of developed economies are now being established in newly liberalising, developing economies and economies in transition such as China, Brazil, Poland, Hungary, South Africa and Turkey. Future markets are used to hedge commodity price risks by providing a vehicle for market participants to exchange risks. They also serve as a low cost, highly efficient and transparent mechanism for discovering prices in the future by providing a forum for exchanging information about supply and demand conditions. The hedging and price discovery functions of future markets promote more efficient production, storage, marketing and agro-processing operations, financing and overall agricultural marketing performance.
The reduction of government intervention in agricultural pricing together with the opening up to world markets leads to the need of price discovery mechanisms. These policy changes also expose many actors to risks they did not face previously, raising the need for new mechanisms to manage risks. In recent years, many countries have found it worthwhile to promote the creation of new, domestically oriented future markets. During the process, however, many of these countries encountered problems, the most significant of which are absence of a proper regulatory framework and a lack of understanding of and experience with future trade.
India, unlike many other developing countries, has a long experience in operating and managing commodity future markets. Future trading was first introduced on the Bombay cotton exchange and the Bombay oilseed and oils exchange as early as 1921 and 1926, respectively, and expanded rapidly to other commodities as well as to option trading.
The Forward Markets Commission, a statutory body under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, monitors future markets and controls the operation of the recognised commodity exchanges associations which, in turn, organise future trading in selected agricultural commodities Indian future markets, however, have been operating under highly restrictive policies, providing them little change to contribute in any significant way.
tiller for hill farming
POWER is the basic requirement for agriculture. Farming operations need some type of power unit at the farm to operate machineries for seed bed preparation, seeding, pumping, spraying, interculturing, harvesting, threshing, processing and hauling works. Agriculture and horticulture play an important role in the economy of Himachal Pradesh. The present status of hill agriculture is very poor with regards to use of power sources and implements, because of limitations like higher initial investment, less technical knowhow, small land holdings and undulating topography. Besides this, rearing of draft animals is very expensive resulting in enhanced cost of farm operations and ultimately decreasing the net returns to the farmers. This has forced young farmers to migrate from villages to towns in search of employment. If farming in hills is to be modernised and its productivity increased, the appropriate level of farm mechanisation has to be promoted on priority basis. The average size of land holding in HP is about 0.6 hectare which is much lower to India’s average holding size i.e. 1.67 ha. Under such conditions, power tiller may be useful as a power source for the farmers of Himachal Pradesh.
The concept of power tiller came in the world in 1920. Japan is the first country to use power tiller on a large scale. In Japan the first model of power tiller was designed in 1947. Power tiller was first introduced in India in 1963. Manufacturing of several makes of power tiller like Iseki, Satoh, Krishi, Kubota, Yanmar and Mitsubishi were started in India after 1963.
A power tiller is an ideal power source for hilly agriculture where it is difficult to operate tractor. Power tiller is hand operated two-wheel small tractor (fig.) and its direction of travel and field operations are controlled by the operator walking behind it. Now, the seat arrangement is provided in power tiller for the operator as in tractor. In India, power tillers available are diesel operated and horse power ranges from 5.5 to 13. Presently, there are three manufacturers in India making different models of power tillers.
In the beginning, the power tiller was introduced without a complete range of matching implements. The only attachments provided with the power tiller were rotavator for ploughing/puddling and trailer for transport. In fact, the work has been done by various organisations to make the power tiller versatile. Now, the power tiller can be used for almost all the farm operations such as seed bed preparation, sowing, plant protection, irrigation, harvesting and threshing. In addition to this, the stationary work can also be performed such as flour milling, rich shelling etc. The Department of Agricultural Engineering, CSKHPKV, Palampur, provides training on utilisation of power tiller and its maintenance to the farmers of Himachal Pradesh.
In the CSKHPKV, Palampur, field
experiments have also been conducted to see the versatility of power
tiller and its matching equipment for hilly regions. The results
indicated that the power tiller can be utilised in various operations
such as ploughing/puddling, sowing of major crops, planting of potato,
potato digging and threshing etc. for hill agriculture with
significant saving of cost, time and energy in comparison to bullock
system. Thus, the power tiller can be adopted by the farmers of hilly
state as a source of power performing various jobs of agriculture.
Farm operations for March
The newly planted young fruit plants should be watered at frequent intervals. The young plants should be provided with stakes for upright and straight growth. Young plants (fully established) may be given nitrogenous fertiliser in small split doses.
The evergreen fruit plants like citrus, mango, litchi, guava and ber may be planted in the field.
The young as well as the old trees should be irrigated regularly and more frequently as they put forth new growth and flushes. The fruit trees like those of ber, guava and loquat which carry developing and maturing fruits would need careful attention for their timely irrigation. To the litchi trees, apply a thorough irrigation after the fruit set and continue watering at three weeks’ intervals. To grapevines, one irrigation is needed.
The thatches which were erected to protect the young fruit/plants/nursery from low temperature should now be removed.
The lower portion of the exposed trunks should be white-washed with a thick lime solution towards the end of this month.
To check zinc deficiency in citrus, spray the affected trees with 0.3 per cent zinc sulphate solution (1.5 kg zinc sulphate in 500 litres of water) without addition of lime to spring flush.
The peak season for harvesting of ber in Punjab is mid-March to mid-April. The valencia late sweet orange may be picked carefully and sent to market after proper grading.
To check the insect pests of citrus, spray Nuvacron 36 SL or 670 ml of Rogor 30 EC in 500 litres of water on spring flush. For the control of withertip or die-back in citrus, spray Bordeaux mixture 2:2:250 or Copper oxychloride (1.5 kg/500 litres of water) before the flower opening.
Check mango hopper by spraying 500 g Sevin or Hexavin 50 WP or 400 ml of Malathion 50 EC or 350 ml of Thiodan 35 EC per acre in 250 litres of water in the end of March.
Spray 0.1 per cent Karathane to check powdery mildew on developing fruits of mango.
To check fruit fly in ber, spray 500 ml of Rogor 30 EC in 300 litres of water. Stop spraying at least 15 days before fruit picking.
Spray vineyards with Bayleton @ 40 g/100 litres of water for the control of powdery mildew and with Bordeaux mixture (2:2:250) in the last week of March for the control of anthracnose.
Sugarcane can be planted in poplar plantations of less than three years of age up to the March-end.
The caterpillars of poplar leaf defoliator feed on leaves. Control the insect by collecting and destroying the infested leaves or spray monocrotophos 36 SL (Monocil/Monolik/Nuvacron/Luph os) @ 500 ml/200 litres of water per acre with a long arm tractor sprayer or with a manually operated rocking sprinkler.
The caterpillars of case worm feed on bark and on leaf buds. To control this, spray carbaryl 50 WP (Sevin/Hexavin) @ 1 kg/200 litres of water per acre.
Sow the seeds during March on raised beds either by broadcasting or in lines 10 cm apart at a rate of 20 g/m2 . Cover the beds with a thatch and sprinkle water frequently to keep the upper soil layer moist.
Transplanting of seedlings is also done during March in pits of 30x30x30 cm. The pits should be filled with upper soil and the FYM mixed with 10 to 15 g Lindane 20 EC dust. While planting the seedlings, care should be taken that the earth ball and roots are not damaged.