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Varsity help for mango farmers

- Fight in orchard under bug attack

A team from Bihar Agriculture University, Sabour, has come to the help of a district orchard, where borers, a type of insect, have cut off supply of water and nutrients to mango trees.

On Wednesday, a team of scientists went to an orchard in Bhavnathpur, a village around 12km west of the district headquarters known for its Jardalu mango production. The branches were drying up rapidly and the trees were slowly dying.

Spotting an attack of mango stem borers, the team led by V.B. Patel, chairperson, department of horticulture (fruit), Bihar Agriculture University, suggested remedial measures to the farmers.

Patel said: “We observed some of the mango trees in the orchard were completely dried up while some were partially dried up. Substances were oozing out of the trunk and stems. Upon further examination of the infected trees, substances were found oozing from crevices around the trunk. The barks were rotten. On removal of the rotten bark, we found 3-4cm long grubs (young form of an insect) in the trunk. The larvae were identified to be of mango stem borers.

“The insect hinders the flow of water and nutrients to the tree. More than 40 per cent of the trees were found infected with it,” he added.

“The crevices have to be cleaned with cotton dipped in petrol or kerosene or 76 per cent of dichlorvos (an organophosphorus insecticide) and plugged with moist soil.”