Pest and disease surveillance in flue-cured tobacco growing zones of India
Pest and disease are major yield limiting factors in tobacco production and these biotic factors reduce the productivity besides affecting the quality of leaf. The control of these pest and diseases warrant more pesticide usage resulting in pesticide residues in cured leaf. A pest and disease surveillance study was conducted for three years from 2014-2016 on tobacco in three flue-cured Virginia (FCV) growing zones (Northern Light Soils [NLS], Traditional and Mysore) of India covering 72 villages and 144 farms in NLS, 206 villages and 412 farms in Traditional and 154 villages and 308 farms in Mysore, with an objective to identify the pest endemic areas and in turn to adopt residue free technical interventions in pest management.
The cumulative data for surveillance from the three seasons showed that the leaf eating caterpillar incidence was the highest in Mysore and Traditional (8.74 % and 8.64 %). The aphid infestation was lowest (0.52 %) in the Traditional area. The leaf curl incidence was high (3.49 %) in NLS, followed by Mysore (2.73 %). The tobacco mosaic virus incidence was >6 % across the three years both in Mysore and NLS regions. Fusarium wilt incidence was noticed only in the Mysore area with a range of 1.15 % to 3.98 %, and was not significant in the NLS and Traditional areas.
Orobanche, a complete root parasite, has been observed consistently for the last three years and its incidence was very high (8.45-9 %) in NLS and Mysore during 2014 and high in Traditional during 2015-2016. This study helped in identifying the most endemic areas of pest and diseases for guiding the crop development teams on possible risk elements.