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Stem rot management in organic basmati rice

Stem rot

Causal organism: Helminthosporium sigmoideum var. irregular (Leptospheria salvinic or Magnaportha salvinii)

  • High nitrogen levels increase stem rot but potassium reduces the harmful effect of excessive nitrogen.
  • Phosphorus also stimulates the disease but with less effect.
  • Silica inhibits the disease.
  • The disease incidence is two or three times higher on plants infested by stem borers.

                          Stem rot


  • Stem rot stars with small, blackish irregular lesions on the outer leaf sheath near the water level at the later growth stages of the rice plant.
  • The fungus penetrates the inner leaf sheath and finally the leaf rots and sclerotia are formed.
  • Further advance of the fungus causes infection on the stem.
  • One or two internodes of the stem rot and collapse leaving only the epidermis and vascular bundles.
  • Small back sclerotia dots are inside split internodes.


  • Burn rice stubbles and infected straw.
  • Avoid continuous flooding of field.
  • Grow resistant varieties such as dudshar of Bengal, seri Raja, Lembu Basah, Machang, Ramined str 3, BPI- 76 and Hondurawada.

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