ESTATE CROPS INFO – Root neck rot caused by Sclerotium rolfsii is the main disease in iles-iles plant. The fungus Sclerotium rolfsii can attack at any stage of plant growth, but is more common before harvest. Symptoms of attack are characterized by rot at the base of the root neck that spreads to the petiole, as a result the leaf stalks fall and rot and eventually the plant withers and dies. Infection of S. rolfsii causes tuber rot which reduces production, quality and quantity.
Control can be carried out using several control techniques such as cultivation techniques, biology and chemistry. Cultivation techniques use disease-free planting material, remove infected plants, increase drainage, and apply plant-based pesticides to the soil. Carboxin seed treatment can reduce the incidence of disease by (10 – 30%). Mulching rice straw or other organic waste and reducing the frequency of weeding (avoiding injury to plants) can also reduce root-neck rot disease.
Biological control using Trichoderma sp. (Td-1), Bacillus subtilis, B. cereus and Trichoderma asperellum can reduce the incidence of root-neck rot by 10-30%, while for chemical control, it can be done by wetting the soil with 0.2% captan. (Anjas)