Two fungal diseases are prevalent now and threatening the rice crops in Iloilo province, according to the Philippines Department of Agriculture (DA).
Based on the reports of DA’s Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) from the provinces of Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz and Antique, around 3,155 hectares were already affected by Rice Blast.
Rice blast, caused by a fungus, causes lesions to form on leaves, stems, peduncles, panicles, seeds, and even roots. So great is the potential threat for crop failure from this disease that it has been ranked among the most important plant diseases of them all.
DA officials said frequent rains and moderate to strong winds damaged the leaves of rice plants contributing the disease.
In addition, Sheath Blight is also threatening rice crops. Sheath blight is a fungal disease caused by Rhizoctonia solani.
Symptoms are usually observed from tillering to milk stage in a rice crop and includes oval or ellipsoidal greenish gray lesions, on the leaf sheath.
The management of fungal diseases is mainly on prevention and suppression methods, relying on good cultural management practices, such as planting seeds of good quality, proper water and fertilizer management and sanitation practices in the field.
“The use of fungicides and chemicals is the last resort, when other management practices were already exhausted,” DA officials note.