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Groundnut leaf rust

Puccinia arachidis
  • Use resistant cultivars
  • Adjust times of sowing to avoid favourable environmental conditions for rust outbreak (20-25 °C, < 85% HR)
  • Eradicate volunteer groundnut plants since they can host the fungus
  • Practice crop rotation with two cereal crops, one after the other (e.g. with maize, sorghum, rice and sugarcane)
  • Control weeds as the disease may be favoured by the high humidity in a dense crop canopy
  • Ensure a sufficiently long break of at least 4 weeks between successive groundnut crops where the disease is present
  • Plant new crops as far as possible from infested fields. If this is not possible, then do not plant downwind of them
  • Remove any volunteer plants and weeds of the Arachis genus which can host the fungus
  • Keep weeds to a minimum in order to increase groundnut yield and to minimise humdity levels surrounding the crop (humid conditions favour the disease)
  • Leaf rust is caused by a fungus and can affect all above ground parts of the plant
  • Monitor twice a week for symptoms on leaves, starting 30 days after germination:
    • Orange-coloured pustules appear primarily on the undersides of the leaves, and turn reddish-brown
    • Pustules may later appear on the upper surfaces opposing the pustules of the lower surfaces
    • Rust-damaged leaves become necrotic and dry up, but remain attached to the plant
    • In severe damage, the crop has a burnt appearance
  • Infected plants tend to mature 2-3 weeks earlier than those that remain healthy
  • Symptoms may first be noticed within patches of a field
  • Monitor carefully for rust development during favourable conditions (20-25 °C, free water on the leaf surface and high relative humidity)
  • Consider applying control measures as soon as rust spots are seen, even if only on a few plants
  • At an early stage of the disease development, remove affected plants and carry them away from the field in a plastic bag and burn the debris to prevent the spores from spreading. Plant debris can also be used as fodder
  • Don't move infected plants to disease-free areas

CREATED/UPDATED: December 2017
PRODUCED BY: Plantwise

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