A new disease of Napier grass Management advice for farmers

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Date
1998
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Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
Abstract
A serious disease of Napier grass, caused by a smut fungus, has recently been reported in Kenya. The fungus is spread by spores and infected planting material. Infected stems are smaller in size and produce much less leaf than healthy plants, and so there is less plant material to feed cattle. Diseased plants develop short flowering stems in which the flower head is a mass of black spores. Infected plants usually flower early. There is no evidence that the fungus affects cows fed on infected plants. Use of fungicides is not recommended because the fungus grows inside the plant.
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