Ludhiana, Oct 21: Taking a serious note of diseased seed potato tubers being thrown outside cold stores in the state, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has pointed out that this was one of the main source of the late blight disease that destroys the potato crop.
PAU issued this warning after its plant Pathologists during a tour of Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Jalandhar districts observed that diseased seed potato tubers after sorting out were being thrown outside the cold stores. These diseased tubers not only emit bad odours but also serve as source for the spread of late blight of potato in the adjoining fields.
The sprouts emerging from these diseased tubers carry the first infection of this late blight disease. This can serve as primary focus of infection in the field for further spread of the disease.
According to the pathologists the disease is extremely weather sensitive and spreads fast if care is not taken to check it. In order to check its initiation in the fields from the diseased tubers, the farmers have been advised to destroy the tubers by burying them deep in the soil.
During the tour the pathologists also been observed that farmers were treating the seed potato tubers by simply spraying the fungicide Emisan solution on the tubers. This is a wrong and in-effective practice and does not protect the potato tubers against potato scurf and scab.
In order to attain the full benefit of the treatment, the potato tubers should be dipped for 10 minutes in solution of Emisan, according to Head, Department of Plant Pathology, Dr H S Rewal.