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Organic Pest and Disease Management
Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
Bacterial Soft rot in
Causal agent: Erwinia caratovora pv caratovora
cabbagewater soaked areas appear on the
head, stem and leaves and they rapidly enlarge. The
tissue becomes soft and mushy. In due course the
affected plant part may collapse. Offensive odour is
• Follow recommended spacing
• Avoid injuries to the plant
• Avoid frequent irrigation during head development
• Application of 100 kg of neem cake at the time of
planting in two equal split doses one at the time of
planting and the other 30 days after the first
• Application of Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 2kg per
acre along with manure while planting.
Bacterial soft rot in cauliflower
Boron Deficiency in
• This is a nutritional disorder. Browning is caused due to boron
deficiency. Generally, the deficiency symptoms of boron are –
Symptoms: the symptoms in Cauliflower are visible on plants after
the curd formation. Water soaked areas appear during early
stage on the stem and curd surface. As the plants grow, the
stems become hollow with water soaked tissue covering the
internal walls of the cavity. In advanced stage, brown or pink
coloured areas are seen on the curd surfaces. This is otherwise
known as brown rot or red rot or browning of the curd. Thus the
affected curds would be bitter in taste. When the deficiency is
severe, the leaves are underdeveloped and smaller. The growing
point may die.
Control: The deficiency of boron may be corrected by applying
borax. The quantity of borax
Boron Deficiency soil pH and the extent of deficiency. In acid
• depends on soil type,
soil, 10- 15 kg borax/ha is sufficient while larger quantity may be
required as natural and alkaline soils.
Citrus stem borer /
Causal organism: Chloridolum alcamene &
Chelidonium cinctum (a grub of a beetle
belonging to the family cerambycidae)
Symptoms: Presence of holes on the stem and
frass accumulated near the holes. Gum exudates
from the holes.
• The effected branches/ shoots should be pruned
• Don’t cause any in physical injury to the trunk or
• Orchard should be keptstem girdler
• Treat the holes produced by borer with neem oil
and plug with cow dung + mud.
White flies in Brinjal
Causal organism: Bemisia tabaci
Symptoms: the nymphs and adults suck sap
from the leaves. Affected plants show lack of
vigour and leaves turn yellow and when the
infestation is severe, these insects produce lot
of honey dew secretions because of which
sooty moult is formed on the leaves. Thus
leaves wilt and dry up and plants appear sick.
Hot dry conditions favour this pest.
• Remove alternate hosts
• Grow seedlings under nets
• Grow border crops like jowar or maize or
sorghum to prevent the insects from other
• Use yellow sticky traps @ 2 traps per 100 sq
• Application of NSKE 5% or vitex decoction 5%
Causal organism: Leucinodes orbonalis
Damage symptoms: During early vegetative
stage, the larva feeds on the tender shoots
causing wilting of the tender shoots and once
the fruits are formed the young larva bores
into the fruits. The larva seals the hole with
excreta. The larva tunnels into the fruit
feeding on the inner contents of the fruit.
Damaged fruits show bore holes and when
cut open, the feeding channels filled with
frass could be found with the presence of the
larva. nder heavy infestation, more than one
larva will feed inside the same fruit.
• Avoid monoculture and follow crop rotation as this pest is mono-phagous
• Grow resistant varieties like Pusa Purple Long, Pusa Purple Cluster, Pusa Purple Round, H- 128, H129, Aushey, Thorn Pendy, Black Pendy, H- 165, H-407, Dorley, PPC-17-4, PVR-195, Shyamla
Dhepa, Banaras Long Purple, Arka Kesav, Arka Kusmakar, Punjab Barsati, Punjab Chamkila, Kalyanpur-2
• Clear the debris under the plants as the pest pupates in the debris
• Use pheromone traps in mass (40 per acre) to prevent mating
• Application of NSKE 5% or neem oil 3% to prevent egg laying by adult moths
• Causal organism: Spodoptera litura
• Damage Symptoms: Adult moth lays eggs in masses on the leaves and the
young larvae after hatching feed on the green matter of the leaf. Due to
the feeding of the larvae, the leaf appears papery or transparent and later
the larvae migrate to other parts of the plant or to the neighbouring
plants. The larvae bore into the cabbage head / cauliflower curd and feed
on the materials.
Deep summer ploughing
Crop rotation with crops like soybean, balckgram, sesame etc
Growing border crops like jowar, maize etc
For every 16 rows of tomato growing one row of marigold with first and last
row being marigold (in case tobacco caterpillar sowing castor along the border
as trap crop)
Application of neem cake@100kg/ac at 20 days after planting
Establishing pheromone traps @ 4 per acre
Set up bird perches @ 10 per acre
Collection and destroying the grown up larva
Release of Trichogramma chilonis or T pretiosum @ 40000/ac six times at
weekly interval during flowering stage
Spray Neem Seed Kernel Extract 5% solution
Spray Ha NPV (in case of tobacco caterpillar spray Sl NPV) @ 100 LE/ac at 28
Days after planting and repeat two more times at weekly interval
Spray Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki @ 1g/lit
Bhendi fruit borer
• Causal organsim: Earias insulana & Earias
• Damage symptoms: tender shoots (terminal
shoots) wither and droop. Shedding of
flowers and buds may be observed.
Presence of holes on the fruits and
deformed fruits indicate the incidence of
• Set up pheromone traps @ 4/ac.
• Collection and destruction of affected fruits.
• Release of egg parasite Trichogramma
chilonis @ 1.0 lakh/ha.
• Application of NSKE 5% or brahmastra
Epilachna beetle in
Brinjal Epilachna vigintioctopunctata
and E. dodecastigma
Damage symptoms: The grub and adult scrape the
chlorophyll from the epidermal layers of the
leaves. The feeding results in a typical ladderlike marks on the leaves. The windows will dry
and drop off, leaving holes in the leaves. In
severe infestations, several skeletonization takes
place and leaves appear papery.
• Use resistant varieties like Arka Shirish, Hissar
Selection 14, and Shankar Vijay
• Hand pick and destroy the eggs, grubs and
adults in case of smaller plots
• Application of NSKE 5% to prevent adult laying
• Encourage natural enemies
• Causal organism: sugary secretions of jassids /
whiteflies / aphids causes these sooty moulds
• Symptoms: leaf surface covered with the dark
sooty layer and photosynthesis of the leaf is
affected. In case of severe
infestations, growth of the plant is affected
and ultimately the yield.
Sooty Mould in Bottle gourd
• Management of sap sucking insects like jassids /
aphids / whiteflies (NSKE 5% spray or Vitex spray
5% or tobacco decoction spray 1%)
• Starch spray 5% will pull out the sooty mould
along with it when it dries up and drops from the
Root Grub in Cauliflower
• Causal organism: Holotrichia sp
• Damage symptoms: Grubs live in soil
and feed on the roots of the plants.
The plants wilt and dry up due to the
feeding of the grubs on the root
• Application of pongamia cake or neem
cake @ 100kg per acre in two split
doses – 50 % at the time of land
preparation and remaining 50%, 30
days after transplantation.
• Application of entomopathogenic
nematodes like Steinernema rhabtide
@ 100 million per acre
• Trapping adults during first showers –
they come to light and feed on the
trees neighbouring the fields.
Stem borers in paddy: Yellow Stem borer - Scirpophaga Incertulus, White Stem borer
- Scirpophaga innotata, Striped borer - Chilo suppressalis and Pink stem borer Sesamia inferens
Damage Symptoms: Freshly hatched larvae hang from leaves with salival threads and
disperse to the neighbouring plants by wind. They first nibble inside leaf sheath
and soon bore into the stem. Due to feeding on shoot tip internally, death of
terminal shoot (Dead heart) in vegetative stage and white chaffy panicles with
unfilled grains (white ear) in reproductive stage occurs.
• Clipping leaf tips at the time of transplantation to avoid egg masses.
• Cutting stubbles close to soil surface destroys pupal stages.
• By installing pheromone traps @ 1 per acre can be useful in monitoring pests
• When ever adult moths or egg masses are observed in the field, spray 5% Neem
seed kernel suspension to ward off egg laying adults.
• Fields that are not sparyed with insecticides, egg parasites like Trichogramma will
control the pest naturally. Release these egg parasites @ 20000 per acre twice or
thrice depending on pest incidence.
• Cultivation of resistant varieties likeVikas, Sasyasri, Rasi, Cauvery, Swarnamukhi, Varsha and Pothana etc.
• Deep summer ploughing exposes hidden pupae to birds and harsh sunlight.
• Intercropping cotton with short duration crops like
cowpea, groundnut, greengram and soyabean to build up natural enemies like
ladybird beetles, chrysopa and syrphids etc. and subsequent transfer of these
natural enemies to main crop.
Paddy stem borer management
• Clipping the plant tips at 45 days after sowing to remove the eggs of larvae.
• Clipping the damaged / drooping shoots and destroying them to destroy the hidden larvae
/pupae or eggs.
• Stopping use of chemical pesticides to encourage natural control agents like
Trichogramma, Chrysopa, lady bird beetles etc.
• Spraying 5% Neem seed kernel suspension as repellent against egg laying adults.
• Spraying chilli-garlic suspension to kill young larvae.
• Sowing trap crops like bhendi on field bunds. The eggs and larvae on the trap crops should be
destroyed manually and regularly.
• Border crop / Barrier crop - Maize, sorghum around the fields. These crops are taller with lot of
foliage which obstruct the invasion of pests. They are congenial for growth and development of
• Putting bird perches @10 per acre to attract birds for controlling larval stages.
spot in Paddy
Casual organisms: Helminthosporium oryzae
Favourable conditions: High relative humidity
(>90%) with temperature between 25 to 30OC
and heavy and late North East Monsoon.
Damage Symptoms: The leaves how oval
shaped spots with yellow halo. Severely
affected field presents a reddish appearance.
Grains become discolored.
• Seed treatment with Beejamruth or cow dung
+ urine + asafetida solution.
• Correction of soil acidity by application of
lime (0.5 Kg/ Sq.m)
• Use resistant varieties.
Little leaf of brinjal
Causal Agent: Phytoplasma
Vector: Leaf hopper (Hishimonus phycitis & Amarasca
Symptoms: The disease affected plants appear
short, proliferation of large number of branches, roots and
leaves occur. Internodes get shortened, many buds appear
at the leaf axils giving the plant a bushy appearance. Flower
parts get deformed and the plants do not bear any fruit. If
any fruit is formed, it becomes hard and fails to mature.
• Select seeds/seedlings from disease free plants and areas
• Grow jowar or bajra or maize as border crop
• Vector management i.e. leaf hopper management by
spraying 5% vitex decoction or 1% tobacco decoction
Brinjal Little leaf
• Uproot and destroy the affected plants as soon as been
Leaf curl in chillies
Causal agent: Chilli Leaf curl virus
Vector: Whiteflies (Bemesia tabaci) and mechanical
Symptoms: disease affected plants will have leaves with
shortened internodes and upward curled leaves. Severely
infected plants produce clusters of reduced sized leaves
with few flowers and fruits. Small sized fruits are
produced with deformed seeds
• Obtain seeds / seedlings from disease free source
• Control the vector by growing the seedlings under net to
prevent the whiteflies attack on the seedlings.
• Seed treatment with raw cow milk (1:1 ratio) for 24 hrs
shade dry them and then treat the seeds with
Trichoderma viride @ 6g/kg seed
• Treat the nursery bed with Trichoderma viride @
• Grow border crops like maize, jowar or bajra around the
• Treat the seedlings with raw cow milk 15% for 20 min and
Leaf Curl Disease in Chillies
Other causes for leaf curl
• Causal organism: Thrips, Aphids and mites
• Symptoms: Thrips – Upward curling of leaves, Aphids and mites –
Downward curling of leaves. In case of mites, webbing on the lower
side of leaves is observed. In severe cases, leaves turn yellow and dry
• Grow border crops (maize, jowar etc)
• Encourage natural enemies by growing mixed cropping
• Spray 1% tobacco decoction or 5% vitex decoction
Cauliflower damaged due to excessive follidol dust application