Plant Protection

Plant protection is the science and practice of managing plant diseases and pests that damage agricultural and horticulture crops. All crops grown in Dakshina Kannada are included horticulture and agriculture crops (Arecanut, coconut, pepper, cashew, bhendi, paddy, jasmine, banana, mango etc.,). The crops in field are exposed to many factors. Proper crop protection is important to produce higher quality crops with minimal wastage. This increase in productivity leads to less land, water and labour being required for food crops. Plant protection includes two divisions: Entomology and Pathology.

Methods of Plant Protection
There are three main approaches to successful plant protection, each with varying degrees of success; pesticide based measures, biological pest control and barrier methods. Here is some brief information on each.

Biological pest control is the practice of controlling insects, weeds and diseases by using other living organisms. A ladybird population can be ‘grown’ or maintained to control aphids in the garden. Aphids are the most destructive pest to vegetable plants. Having a good population of beneficial insects will take a lot of the hard work and heartache out of pest control.

Barrier methods are anything that effectively creates a barrier between plants and pests, weather or diseases. These include butterfly and bird netting, micromesh, garden fleece, plant collars and garden cloches. Electronic pest deterrents also fall under this category as they create an invisible barrier.

Pesticide based measures are used to attract and/or destroy garden pests. There are three main methods in common practice; Herbicides are used to kill unwanted plants and weeds, Insecticides are used to kill insects, and Fungicides are used to kill fungi, some of which can cause serious damage to agriculture.


Field visits

Visits to Dept. Farms along with NHM members

Visit to marigold field at Kakkepadav, Karinja

Off campus training programmes done by SMS (Plant protection)

Safe use of pesticides at Panemangaluru

Coconut white fly at Manjeshwar

Training on cashew cultivation, pest and disease at Belthangady

Training programme on coconut white fly at Krishi Vigyana Kendra , Mangaluru

An awarness training programme on coconut white fly: Symptoms and management was conducted for the farmers on 31-10-2017 at Krishi Vigyana Kendra, Dakshina Kannada. in collaboration with Horticulture Department.  Dr. Shivakumar Magada, Programme Coordinator and Mr. H. R. Naik, Deputy Director, gave introduction about rugose spiraling white fly in coconut.

Dr. Sylviraj and Dr. A. N. Shailesha Scientist from National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources as resource persons gave the complete details of the coconut white fly. Ms Rashmi.S, Subject Matter Specialist (Plant protection) continued the session with symptoms and management of coconut white fly. Open house interaction between scientist and farmers was the ending programme. About 92 farmers and media persons attended the programme.

Invasion of rugose spiraling whitefly

The infestation of RSW on coconut palm in some packet of Pollachi, Tamil Nadu was reported to NBAIR in the month of August, 2016.The species was confirmed as Aleurodicus rugioperculatus at IWST and ICAR-NBAIR, Bengaluru (Selvaraj et al., 2016; Sundararaj and Selvaraj, 2017). This species not known from India as well as Oriental region. This is invasive, very destructive pest, highly polyphagous and reported to feed on 120 host plants. Mode of entry of this pest to India is unknown, however, it most likely through the plant material/ornamental plants.

Symptoms of damage

Nymphs and adults are prolific feeder especially on underside of the leaflets/leaves of its host plants. Adults produce the large quantities of honey dew excretion which in turn completely darken by sooty mold development on the upper surface of leaves. The infestation leads to the premature drying of coconut leaflets and leaves of banana. The typical concentric waxy spiraling symptoms on various parts of host plants. Waxy flocculent material produced by adults causing nuisance to human being where heavily infested areas. In coconut, RSW prefers to colonize on hybrid and dwarf varieties, especially Chowghat orange dwarf, Malaysian orange dwarf and Ganga Bondam semi-dwarf.

Rugose Spiraling Whitefly

Management strategies for RSW

  1. Introduction of this parasitoid to newer areas wherever incidence occur by placing the parasitoid nymphs along with leaflets.
  2.  Spray water forcibly wherever water available and spray starch solution at 2% to remove the sooty molds which hinder photosynthesis.
  3.  Spray neem oil at 2% or NSKE @5% in severely infestation palm.
  4.  Community based approach.
  5.  Yellow sticky trap at 15 no. /ha and light trap at 2 /ha in evening time to catch adult whiteflies.
  6.  Balanced application of nutrients (NPK) and water. 
  7. Maintenance of orchard free from weed plants and any other host plants.


  1. Management of quick wilt in pepper

Disease symptoms
One or more black spots appear on the leaves which have a characteristic fine fiber like projections at the advancing margins which rapidly enlarge and cause defoliation. The tender leaves and succulent shoot tips of freshly emerging runner shoots trailing on the soil turn black when infected. The disease spreads to the entire vine, from these infected runner shoots and leaves, during intermittent showers due to rain splash. If the main stem at the ground level or the collar is damaged, the entire vine wilts followed by shedding of leaves and spikes with or without black spots. The branches break up at nodes and the entire vine collapses within a month. If the damage is confined to the feeder roots, the expression of symptoms is delayed till the cessation of rain and the vine starts showing declining symptoms such as yellowing, wilting, defoliation and drying up of a part of the vine.

Technologies assessed:

  • Spray with 1% Bordeaux mixture.
  • Sanitation, soil application of 50g Trichoderma along with 2kg FYM. Spraying with 1% Bordeaux mixture.
  • Drenching with Copper oxy chloride 3g/ l.
  • Sanitation, Drenching with Arka Microbial consortium 4-5l per plant (20g/l). Apply three times during June, July and August. (IIHR Bengaluru)

Overall, OFT training on Management of quick wilt in Pepper was attended by 19 farmers participated in the training programme. Among which 15 were male and 4 were female. Finally, the session was ended by interaction between scientist and farmers.

Results of OFT: 2015-16
The results indicated that sanitation and drenching with Arka Microbial consortium 4-5l per plant (20g/l). Apply three times during June, July and August gave best results by reducing the pest incidence (2.14%) with increasing the yield (2.04 t/ha). The result found was on par with Sanitation, soil application of 50g Trichoderma along with 2kg FYM. Spraying with 1% Bordeaux mixture with the pest incidence (4.9%) with increasing the yield (1.148 t/ha).


  1. Integrated crop management in Jasmine

Udupi Mallige (Jasminum sambac): The cultivation of Udupi Mallige is of relatively recent origin. Cultivation of this variety of jasmine started in Shankarapura in Udupi district about 100 years ago.

It is found extensively in BhatkalUdupiDakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada, and has been found more economically viable among all the three varieties. The flower is in high demand in places such as Mumbai, besides the coastal region. Every home in this region has 0.5 to 1 acre (2,000 to 4,000 m2) of land in front of the house for Jasmine growing. The flowers are used for garlands, especially at weddings and other auspicious occasions and for making garlands for worship of temples deities. Jasmine is widely cultivated for their flowers, enjoyed in the garden, as house plants, and as cut flowers. The flowers are worn by women in their hair in southern and Southeast Asia. They are exported and thus highly remunerative to the farmers. Its medicinal uses are as anti depressant, anti septic, anti Spasmodic, Aphrodisiac, Sedative and Uterine.

For better yield and protection from major pest and disease like white flies and leaf spot some of the recommended measures based on UAS, Bangaluru were suggested such as proper use of fertilizers (Urea, Rock phosphate and Potash) and insecticides for the plants (Malathion, Carbendizium, etc.,)

  1. Management of inflorescence die back and inflorescence caterpillar in Arecanut

The arecanut palm is the source of common chewing nut, popularly known as betel nut or Supari. In India it is extensively used by large sections of people and is very much linked with religious practices. India is the largest producer of arecanut and at the same time largest consumer also. Major states cultivating this crop are Karnataka (40%), Kerala (25%), Assam (20%), Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya and West Bengal.

Inflorescence die-back and Button shedding:
Die-back of inflorescence due to the association of micro-organisms is reported to be associated with the low fruit set in arecanut. About 60% of the palms in the states of Karnataka and Kerala are infected by this disease causing severe shedding of buttons. Yellowing and drying of the rachis from the tip towards the base followed by shedding of female flowers (buttons). The fruiting bodies of the fungus, (conidia) appear as concentric rings in the discolored areas.The disease are severe mostly during dry condition. (February – March).

Inflorescence caterpillar:
This is reported from Karnataka and Kerala. The adult moth lays eggs in the mechanically damaged portions of the spadices and the emerging caterpillars bore into the inside of the spadices. The egg period lasts five days and the larval period for about 26 days with five instars. Pupal period lasts for 9-11 days. The caterpillars feed on the inflorescences especially the tender female flowers and rachillae and web together the rachillae into a wet mass with silken threads formed by the caterpil­lars and take shelter in it. Mature caterpillars can damage newly opened inflorescences also. In severe cases of incidence, these bore into the tender buttons and tender nuts as well. As a result of webbing and feeding the inflorescence is unable to exert the natural pressure on the spathe necessary for its opening and thus spathe opening is delayed. Yellowing of spadices, presence of small holes with frass and drying patches on the spathe are the external symptoms of attack.

Activities undergoing at KVK, Mangaluru

  • Management of Black Headed Caterpillar in coconut
  • Management of white flies in coconut
  • Vermicompost production
  • Trichoderma production

Vermicompost production


Awareness programme on BHC on coconut and releasing Goniozus nephantidis parasitoid  at Thokkottu, Managaluru


OFT on Management of quick wilt in pepper at Uppinangady, Puttur

FLD on Management of inflorescence die back and inflorescence caterpillar in Arecanut

FLD on Integrated crop management in Jasmine