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Top borer in sugarcane

Top Borer:

Causal Organism: Scirpophaga excerptalis 

  • Waterlogging favours moth attack.
  • Severe yield loss and quality deterioration occurs due to top borer.
  • Depending upon the incidence level yield loss may be up to 20-30%.


  • Larva first tunnels into the midrib of the leaves and causes a white streak which later turns reddish brown resulting in dead heart formation.
  • Dead heart when formed is reddish brown, appears charred and cannot be easily pulled out.
  • In tillering phase of the crop, the attacked shoots die, side shoots (tillers) develop producing a bunchy top appearance.
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