Field management of Taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) leaf blight via fungicidal spray of foliage
Taro leaf blight (TLB) epidemic hit Cameroon for the first time in 2009. Since then, the disease is persistent and its typical devastating legacy is threatening Taro (Colocasia esculenta) in the North and South West Regions of Cameroon. This study was initiated with the objective to determine the potentials of some fungicides to control TLB. The experimental design was completely randomized with a 3x15x2 factorial, including 3 treatments: T1 (Callomil plus72WP), T2 (Mancoxyl plus 720WP) and T3, 1:1 ratio T1 + T2 all applied at concentrations of 4g/L; 15 repetitions and 2 planting seasons (dry season i.e. October 2014 – March 2015 and rainy season i.e. April-October 2015). Disease incidence and disease severity were used to evaluate the disease progression while corm yield was used to appraise the economic injury. The results revealed disease incidence of 0% during the dry season and 18.2%, 27.3% and 100%, for T1, T2 and T3 and control during rainy season respectively. Disease severity was 75% in control and only 1% for the different treatments. Corm yield in the rainy season was 17.4kg, 15.08kg, 14.27kg and 5.89kg for T1, T2, T3 and control respectively. This study suggests that TLB epidemic can effectively be managed by foliage spray with Metalaxyl containing fungicides at a weekly dosage of 4g/L.
Key words: Chemical control, Colocasia esculenta, Epidemic, Phytopathology, Phytophthora colocasiae
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