Leaf Fall Disease in Rubber Tree

Among various diseases occurring in rubber plantations, “Phytophthora infection” leads to major economic and production loss. It leads to abnormal leaf fall Disease in Rubber trees.

Key Points

  • Phytophthora causes infection in all parts of the rubber tree except the root of the tree.
  • In India, the disease occurs mainly during the onset of the southwest monsoon in June, July, and August. It mainly affects young trees and those in nursery plants.
  • The trees which get affected with the leaf fall disease become very weak.
  • The disease results in retardation in growth and leads to an extended immaturity period. It drastically affects the yield of rubber and hence is a major cause of economic concern.
  • Presently, there is no efficient disease control mechanism available due to the pathogen’s peculiar physiological characteristics and unpredictable environmental conditions.
  • The Phytophthora genus was first described in the year 1875.

Leaf Fall Disease in Thailand Rubber Trees

In November, Thailand reported that rubber trees in the country have leaf fall disease. As per the reports, 90,000 hectares area in the country has been affected by the disease. The Rubber authority of the country highlighted that the sector is going through losses due to the disease. The country had a total natural rubber production of 5.14 million tonnes which has decreased to 4.9 million tonnes in the year 2019. The production is expected to reduce further. It must be noted that Thailand is the biggest producer of natural rubber in the world.

Leaf Fall Disease in India

Recently, the disease was observed in Kerala also. As per the Rubber Board officials, the disease has affected around 300 hectares which is spread over Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and Thrissur districts of the Kerala state.  Before this, the disease was noticed 2 years ago in Kottayam, Kerala.

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