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Fungal disease destroys Hậu Giang sugarcane

Update: April, 02/2016 - 10:22
Farmers harvest sugarcane in southern Hậu Giang Province. Phụng Hiệp District’s agriculture department has officially noted the fungal disease called bệnh gỉ sắt (uromyces appendiculatus) that is destroying local sugarcane crops.– Photo nhandan.com.vn

HẬU GIANG – Phụng Hiệp District’s agriculture department has officially noted the fungal disease called bệnh gỉ sắt (uromyces appendiculatus) that is destroying local sugarcane crops.    

In the last week, sugarcane growers in Hậu Giang Province’s Tân Phước Hưng Commune have expressed concern about the rapid spread of a kind of leaf rust disease.

A farmer from Lương Văn Tính in the Tân Phước Hưng Commune said that all the villagers were anxious about the productivity of the 2016 sugarcane crop, fearing that the disease could kill trees on a large scale.

“Diseased sugarcane trees have red-spots on their leaves and appear singed,” he said.

His family sprayed several kinds of insecticide on the sugarcane, but the symptoms have not improved.

“My family’s tree acreage isn’t affected by the recent saline intrusion. I don’t know the cause of the disease.”

Many experienced local farmers were also baffled as to the reason of the disease’s spread. A majority of sugarcane areas in Phụng Hiệp District are now affected by the disease, Tính said.            

According to Nguyễn Thế Tự, deputy head of Phụng Hiệp District’s agriculture department, this disease has occurred rarely in recent years, but the latest outbreak occurred in the commune on areas of damaged land.

“Our initial conclusion about the causes of the disease spreading is the prolonged hot weather and a lack of water sources. The longer the hot weather lasts, the more the disease will spread,” he said.   

“It is important to water the sugarcane as much as possible.”

“We have several products that are specialized to protect against this disease available at the market, so farmers should spray immediately on the disease-affected acreage,” he warned.     

Farmers should be not be overanxious about the disease. If they apply the right measures, the affected sugarcane area will recover, he said.  

Phan Hồng Phước, chairman of the commune People’s Committee, said the infestation had only occurred over the last week, but the disease had spread fast and destroyed a large area of crops.

“The disease first broke out in the sugarcane fields of two families, then it rapidly spread to the whole commune,” he said, adding that “The sugarcane leaves are singed.”

Communal authorities have directed that the disease’s spread should be monitored, and that the district’s agriculture department be kept continually updated. 

Farmers in Phụng Hiệp District of the Mekong Delta province of Hậu Giang have 7,800ha of sugarcane fields.

The Tân Phước Hưng Commune authorities estimate that at present, 1,055ha of a total of 2,300ha of sugarcane has been affected by the disease. -- VNS

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