RADA DIARIES: How to prevent rhizome rot, Pt II
Published:Thursday | June 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM
- The most important measure for prevention of disease is the use of healthy planting material.
- Fields should have good drainage or raised beds to ensure that rhizomes are not exposed to prolonged wetness.
- Do not plant ginger in the same field if rhizome rot was detected during the previous crop.
- Know how to identify healthy plants
- They should be robust, have healthy roots. The rhizomes should be well filled, without shrinkage and spots. Rhizome 'eyes' should not be watery.
- The field must be inspected regularly for early detection and removal of plants displaying symptoms of leaf spot and wilt.
- Mark healthy, disease-free plants in the field when the crop is 6-8 months old and still green.
- For the planting of the next crop, select the best rhizomes, free from pest and disease from the marked plants.
- Do not rely only on visual selection of rhizomes after harvesting. Disease can present in seed pieces without any external symptoms.
- Handle planting material carefully to avoid damage.
- Examine the stored rhizomes at monthly intervals and remove the rhizomes that show signs of rotting. This will help to keep the inoculum level low.
- It is advisable to plant smaller pieces of rhizome.
- Treatment of badly diseased rhizomes is not effective.
- Foliar application of approved fungicides might be necessary to prevent the spread of diseases from plant to plant when conditions are highly favourable for disease development.
- Jamaican ginger is consumed locally as well as exported to different external markets. Therefore, farmers should become aware of pesticide residues and use only approved chemicals to ensure global food-safety standards and the integrity of Jamaican ginger. This information can be obtained from the extension officer or directly from the Export Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Contributed by the Public Relations and Communications Department of the Rural Agriculture Development Authority. www.rada.gov.jm.