Cigar end rot is a disease
that can ruin your banana farming venture. It is prevalent in almost all banana
growing tracts. It affects the developing fingers which results in the tip ends
of the fingers drying up. The ends resemble the greying ash of a cigar.
Affected fingers are rejected in the market and hence can result in huge
losses. It is therefore important to control the disease before its too late.
The fungal disease can also attack ripening banana fruits making a dry rot to
develop at the flower ends. During transportation or storage, cigar end rot can
progress to the entire fruit. This disease is common when there is high
Disease Cycle of Cigar end rot
The pathogen gets into the banana finger through the flower resulting in the formation of a dry rot that spreads to immature banana fingers. Fungal spores/ conidia are spread by air currents and the days mainly occur in the early days of fruit formation. The infection spreads slowly as the fruit develops leading to skin blackening. With time, the tips of the infected fingers are fully covered with a powdery mass of spores. Cigar end rot is common in plantations with excessive shade and high altitude areas with moist conditions.
Common Signs & Symptoms
Presence of black necrosis which spreads from the perianth to the tip of
Dry rot develops on the pulp of the infected banana fruit. At times, the rot
can spread even up to 2 centimeters from the tip of the fingers.
The wrinkled necrotic tissue eventually becomes completely covered with the
mycelia of the fungi.
The entire finger can get rotten especially when the emerging fingers are
The formed fungal spores are hyaline, oblong to cylindrical. These spores are mostly in small groups.
Since they are asexual spores, conidia are borne at the ends of tapering phialides.
The dormant mycelia are the primary source of inoculum while air and soil-borne conidia are the secondary sources of inoculum. Epidemiology
High humidity ranging from 90-92%, high rainfall and low temperatures, and weak plants provide an ideal environment for disease development.
Management of Cigar end Rot Disease
Farmers should use healthy and disease-free and resistant plants.
Filed sanitation should be maintained at all times. Since the disease is carried by an alternate host, all potential hosts of the fungus should be removed from the banana plantation immediately. Dead, hanging leaves should be removed from the plants to lower the inoculum level.
Once the fruits have been formed, the perianth and pistil should be removed immediately. Infected fingers should be removed and destroyed.
Enough aeration should be ensured in the plantation by minimizing the overcrowding of the banana plants.
Polythene sleeves should be placed over the stems before the fingers emerge.
Maturing stems should be constantly bagged.
The bunches should be sprayed with copper fungicides to prevent disease formation.
To minimize the chances of post-harvest infestation, ripening room and packing stations should be kept clean.
controlled, cigar end rot can result in huge losses. Over the past few years,
the occurrence of the disease has increased simply because farmers are unable
to employ proper management techniques. Healthy and disease-resistant varieties
are what anyone should consider planting.
Carbon is an important component that should be present in the soil. Human activities can either result in improved carbon storage or loss. Deforestation and decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) contributes to the reduction of carbon levels in the soil. Deforestation removes the forest canopy increasing the soil temperatures when the ground becomes warmed up. The activity of the microbial decomposer community causes the decomposition of SOM in the absence of continual rates of carbon input. Loss of carbon input has increased Carbon (IV) Oxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere. To maintain the carbon input in the soil, planting fruit trees is an important idea that farmers should put into consideration. Fruit trees not only help in capturing CO2 in the soil but also in keeping soil temperatures at optimum levels.
However, the rate at which a tree stores carbon varies
depending on the rate at which the tree grows and how big the tree becomes.
Carbon input levels are cause dictated by the capacity of the soil to store
moisture, the rate at which water is lost through transpiration, evaporation,
runoff, and the ability of the soil to
absorb water. These factors are determined by the proportions of silt, clay,
and sand. With the right mixture in the soil structure, there are many pores in
the soil. Since soils such as clay soil have micropores, they can store more
water compared to sandy soils which have macropores. Apart from surface crust
and compaction, soils with a good soil structure tend to hold water longer. The
amount of organic matter that breaks down into nutrients and carbon plays an
important role in improving the water absorption rate.
How to maintain soil carbon levels
There are many agronomic management practices
that farmers can employ to maintain soil carbon levels. These include:
Minimizing tillage on the farm.
Employing soil health and
environmentally friendly farming practices.
Promotion of farm forestry by
planting fruit trees.
adoption of environmental and
soil health-friendly farming systems;
Planting cover crops especially
in farms with fruit trees to minimize water loss through evaporation.
Mulching crops with synthetic
materials or different forms of crop residues.
Minimizing water and soil
losses by erosion and surface runoff.
Employing organic farming
practices. Farmers can apply external organic matter such as biochar, compost,
biosolids, manure, and mulch. Biosolids not only provide nutrients to the soil
but also promote carbon storage. Extra soil carbon that is stored in the soil
helps in capturing more moisture which means that plants will grow strong and
healthy. Biowastes reduces the effects of drought on productivity and soil
Adoption of integrated nutrient
management practices to increase soil fertility.
Importance of soil carbon sequestration
It helps in reducing the
emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
It helps in minimizing CO2
It reduces nutrient losses.
It helps in lowering atmospheric
It improves productivity and
It creates a suitable biotic
It helps in reducing soil
It enables and promotes root
It promotes water conservation
by minimizing water loss through evaporation and runoff.
agriculture sector can play an important role in reducing emissions of GHGs if
suitable measures are adopted. Since soils with a high organic matter have
higher carbon dioxide sequestration potential, healthy soils can help in
fighting climate change. Farmers should ensure adopt regenerative agriculture
to increase biodiversity, enhance ecosystem services, and enrich the soils.
Fruit farming not only helps in storing soil carbon but can also be a lifetime
venture. If you are planning to venture fruit farming, you should buy seedlings
at Oxfarm Ltd.
There are two types of pathogen-caused leaf spot diseases, especially on vegetables such as lettuce and tomato and on stone fruit trees. There are those caused by fungus and those caused by bacteria. Various kinds of leaf spots have a similar appearance and effect and can be prevented or treated with the same practices. Members of the Prunus family such as orange, plum, almond, peach, and cherry are prone to bacterial leaf spot. Vegetables such as pepper and lettuce are also affected by bacterial leaf spot. It also infects perennial and annual flowering plants such as purple coneflowers, geraniums, and black-eyed Susan. Fungal leaf spots mainly attack brassicas and other vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and turnip. It also attacks poplar trees and aspen.
Causes and Symptoms of Leaf Spot
leaf spot is caused by warm temperatures and plenty of moisture. Bacteria may
be transmitted to the citrus plants by rain and wind. Warm temperatures and
sufficient moisture provide an ideal environment for the growth of the
bacteria. The bacteria spread in the soil around the infected citrus plants, in
seeds and on garden debris. It also remains in the leaves, stems, and twig
cankers of the infected trees. Poor crop vigor also favors disease formation.
There are brown or black water-soaked spots with a yellow halo on the foliage which are uniform in size. Under wet conditions, these spots enlarge and increase in number. When seriously infected, the leaves turn yellow, wither and drop.
Prevention and Control
Prepare orchards using seeds that are
free from the disease.
Consider planting varieties that are
resistant to citrus leaf spot disease. Grafted plants are mainly resistant to
Rake up fallen fruits and keep the soil
under the tree clean.
Mulch the trees to prevent the disease
from splashing onto the leaves and reduce weeds.
Prune your trees to improve air
circulation. Lack of air circulation favors the growth of bacteria.
Practice field sanitation by removing the
infected parts and debris of the citrus plants and destroy them. This will
reduce the spreading of the disease to other trees.
there is no cure for bacterial leaf spots, various preventive, and organic
measures can be employed to control the disease. These include:
Spray the affected citrus plants with
baking soda. However, if applied excessively, baking sodas may burn some
Spraying the affected plants with
copper-based fungicides such as copper hydroxide and copper sulfate, mancozeb, and sulfur sprays at the
recommended rates. Apart from killing the leaf spot, organic fungicides also
prevent the formation of spores. However, farmers should apply fungicides that
are beneficial to insects and non-toxic to honey bees, especially during
Apply manure and fertilizer constantly to
maintain good health and crop vigor.
In severe cases, citrus leaf spots may
affect the fruits. Farmers should ensure that they employ a consistent spray
program to prevent disease development. Poor choice of the seedlings can ruin
your citrus fruit farming venture. Non-resistant varieties are prone to the
bacterial leaf spot which can reduce the yields greatly. Oxfarm offers
high-quality seedlings that are resistant to a wide range of diseases such as
citrus leaf spot. When buying seedlings, you should consider buying them at