Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] is an important grain legume of rain-fed agriculture in semi-arid tropics and ranks next to chickpea in area and production in India. Fusarial wilt, one of the major constraints of low yield in Pigeonpea is widely prevalent in north and central parts of the country causing yield loss ranging from 30 to 100%. In perspective of the importance of the disease field surveys were conducted at 115 farmers field in 15 major pigeonpea growing districts of eastern U.P. during 2007-08 and 2008-09 with the aims of assessing wilt severity, farmers’ current perception and knowledge of pigeonpea wilt and practices for its management and identifying points of potential intervention in the development of integrated disease management (IDM) programmes. The survey was made at pre-flowering stage and at pod stage of the crop. In each of the selected villages 4m X 4m plots of three fields were randomly selected to calculate the disease incidence and the respective farmer was interviewed. Disease incidence and severity varied among districts up to cropping pattern, cropping system, altitude and management practices. The proportion of total field area exhibiting symptoms of wilt spanned from less than 1% to over 70%. The disease was observed in all the fifteen districts surveyed except few villages. The average incidence of pigeonpea wilt in different districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh was 7.36%. The disease was found in 70 per cent fields of total 115 villages surveyed during 2007-08 and 74 per cent during 2008-09. Incidence of wilt in individual field ranged from 1 to 70% whereas overall incidence in districts ranged from 0.75 to 18.75% during 2007-08 and 1.0 to 19.50% during 2008-09. Very few farmers showed any elements of IDM strategies, probably due to their limited knowledge of the biology of pigeonpea diseases as the pigeonpea is a minor crop they use a poor irrigated, poor fertile land to grow the crop. These results suggest that improvement of pigeonpea wilt could be achieved by enhancing farmers’ knowledge and developing and deploying IDM practices (crop rotation, inter cropping, resistant varieties etc.) involving a multidisciplinary approach, which encompasses addressing other production constraints.
Fusarium udum, Pigeonpea, Occurrence
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