Blast of rice is the most widespread disease of rice caused by the fungus Pyricularia oryzae. The symptoms of the disease first appear on leaves as small bluish flecks and gradually the spot becomes ash-coloured at center with brown margin. Then brown to black spots appear on rachis of inflorescence, ears and neck of panicle as a result of the panicle bends down. As it is a fungal disease, the best method of control is to apply fungicides.
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- Nirmala Agarwal