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29
Jun
2017
Rice disease alert: Sheath blight and blast active; scout now
Author: Yeshi Wamishe, Extension Rice Plant Pathologist

By Yeshi Wamishe, Extension Rice Pathologist

So far, sheath blight (Figure 1) has been reported on Lakast (6/27) and CL153 (6/28). Blast has been reported on Jupiter (6/20, 6/27) and Lakast (6/21).

Every season is different. Weather conditions play an important role in the different crop pathogens. Sometimes weather favors our crops and some other times the pathogens. But mostly favorable weather conditions for our crops are also favorable for disease development. Therefore, keep scouting and plan ahead to minimize crop loss due to diseases.

An integrated disease management approach is often dependable, lasting and inexpensive. Planting cultivars with some level of resistance to major rice diseases may or may not require fungicide application. Remember, fungicides are most beneficial in well managed fields. Excessive seeding and nitrogen rates are calls for diseases. It is also key to know your field history related to recurring diseases. If you have planted a blast susceptible variety in an historically blast-prone field, you need to plan ahead for fungicide protection. The same is true for false smut or kernel smut. Timing is very important to manage diseases using fungicides. Check out for a table that shows fungicide timing for selected rice diseases here.  Also in the 2nd table, note the rates of the active ingredients of fungicides. Two applications are recommended for blast protection. Only one-time application is recommended for sheath blight, kernel smut and false smut. However, one common mistake is waiting too long.

To read more on sheath blight, go to: Start scouting sheath blight diseases as rice approaches reproductive stages . To read more on blast disease go to: It’s time to start scouting for rice blast disease .

Fig.1. Sheath blight disease of rice usually starts from the water line and progresses upward to the plant height and spreads side-way to neighboring plants. Note the mass of mycelia that form sclertia, one of the pathogen’s way of survival for longer period in the soil.

Fig. 1. Sheath blight disease of rice usually starts from the water line and progresses up the plants and then spreads across to neighboring plants. Note the mass of mycelia that form sclerotia, one of the pathogen’s ways of survival for longer period in the soil.


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