ICAR-AICRP (Potato), CPRI, Shimla
Success story of Late Blight Management
Late blight is the most dreaded disease of potato causing annual crop loss of about 12 billion € globally. Its appearance and spread is highly dependent on environmental factors. Under favourable conditions its spread is so fast that it can wipe out the crop within a week time. In India it is very serious in the hills where it occurs regularly but in the plains it may or may not appear and even if it appears its time of occurrence would vary. The time of its occurrence and severity determines the yield loss which may exceed 40% country wide in some years. Prevention through prophylactic sprays of recommended chemicals is the best option since once it appears it is very difficult to control. This, however, requires information on the likely time of appearance of the disease and hence the importance of disease forecasting.
Therefore, AICRP (Potato) has developed INDO-BLIGHTCAST late blight forecasting model. It is a web based forecasting model (http://cpri.ernet.in) developed to predict the first appearance of late blight disease using daily weather data of meteorological stations. It is applicable pan India, since, it requires only daily weather and does not need local calibration The AICRP (Potato) centers and IMD centers are entering the meteorological data and forecasting the disease appearance for their region and issuing agro advisories. This system can be further augmented through the KVK’s.