Alert: Rice blast outbreak
Attention: Dzongkhag Agriculture Officers and Extension agents
The current weather conditions are conducive to the development of the rice blast fungus (Pyricularia oryzae). Rice blasts can devastate paddy and lead to significant yield losses, especially when susceptible varieties are grown.
The Centre would like to inform the extension agents to scout the fields for blast incidence and advise farmers on actions required:
1. Identify the variety grown; if susceptible variety is grown, advise farmers to shift to resistant varieties from next season
2. Scout and treat the hot spot areas and the surrounding area with fungicide (Tricyclazole), if Gewogs do not have the fungicide, contact NPPC for assistance immediately
3. Monitor fields regularly and apply fungicides if there are blast infections when plants are nearing the heading stage. Node and neck blast infections are destructive and require weekly monitoring for early detection. However, applying fungicide when not required is not recommended; therefore, field scouting and monitoring are important.
4. Advise strongly that fungicide use is not recommended for the long term as the pathogen can develop resistance. Fungicide use is only an interim measure
5. Adopt cultural practices to reduce blast occurrence in all stages by:
a. Using disease-free seed or fungicide-treated seeds for prevention of seedling b
b. Avoiding high-density planting
c. Planting within recommended planting period
d. Apply nitrogen fertilizer in splits as nitrogen fertilizer promotes excessive vegetative growth leading to high humidity that favors disease development
Alert: Woolly aphid infestation in apple
White cotton-like growth on apple trees?
This cottony growth is due to the sap-sucking insect known as woolly aphid. The weather pattern this year is very conducive for outbreaks of woolly aphids. Severe infestation can cover the whole tree and manual destruction is not feasible. If only a few colonies are observed, rub them off using a wet cloth or strong jet of water. During severe infestation/outbreak, please contact NPPC at 02-351016 or Mr. Tshelthrim Zangpo at 77732252 or email us at email@example.com for advice on management. You can also visit our website at https://pestsofbhutan.nppc.gov.bt/crop-and-pest-identification/insects/woolly-aphid/ for further detail of the pest.
The National Plant Protection Centre (NPPC) under the Department of Agriculture, MoAF, would like to request all stakeholders to heighten vigilance for any armyworm like activity in the field. With the onset of spring, heavy rains followed by warm and dry weather conditions can greatly favor the development of this pest leading to an outbreak. We would therefore like to reiterate to you all to frequently monitor the activity of this pest in the field. The early detection of the pest is important to help initiate early management strategies and prevent damage at the initial stages of an outbreak.
Please advocate frequent monitoring in areas where crops have reached the susceptible stages such as the seedling and/or the vegetative stage, especially in crops such as paddy and maize. Please contact the Regional Plant Protection officers or NPPC if you require any technical and/or plant protection input support to manage an outbreak in the field. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.
Regional Plant Protection Officers NPPC
ARDC Wengkhar- Pempa L. Lepcha- 77485075 Ugyen Dema- 17793667
ARDC Samtenling- CM Dhimal- 17976283
Ratu Kinley- 17316511