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Causes And Transmission of Napier Grass Stunt Disease

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Jolly Kabirizi

Napier grass stunt disease is caused by a bacteria which is transmitted by the leafhoppers. After inoculation, the disease rapidly infects the whole plant causing extensive damage to Napier grass plants.

Symptoms of napier grass stunt disease

  • Napier grass stunt disease symptoms are visible in the re-growth that happens after the grass has been cut.
  • Affected plants remain stunted, have short internodes, bunchy appearance and leaves turn thin and yellow.
  • Plant height of napier grass is reduced from about 1.0 to 0.3 meters.
  • Under severe dry seasons, the plants dry completely.
  • Napier stunt disease incidence of 10% to 90% has been recorded in parts of Uganda where farmers practice zero grazing dairy production system.
  • Disease incidence is highest in the Lake Victoria Crescent areas because of high number of stall-fed animals that depend on purchased fodder due to limited land and lowest (less than 10%) in highland areas such as Mbale and Kabale districts.

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