• Symptoms

  • Trigger

  • Biological Control

  • Chemical Control

  • Preventive Measures


Claviceps fusiformis


In a Nutshell

  • Creamy pink to red colored liquid on the ear head (honeydew).
  • Black sclerotia or ergot bodies replace grain kernels.




In the ear head, a pink to red liquid is secreted from the infected florets. It can drop on the foliage and onto the ground. The liquid contains a large amount of conidia. Infected florets do not produce grains. Black fungal masses replace the seeds.


Favorable conditions are a relative humid climate and temperatures between 20 to 39°C. 5 to 7 days after infection, honeydew is secreted. The honeydew promotes a secondary infection of the florets. Ergot can lead to severe health problems for humans and animals in case of consumption. The fungus survives throughout the year in plant residues.

Biological Control

Crude Neem products can be used.

Chemical Control

Fungicides containing Ziram can be used to control and prevent Ergot.

Preventive Measures

Plant resistant varieties.,Use uncontaminated seeds.,Ensure balanced nutrient supply (low nitrogen and high phosphor).,Plant early in rainfed conditions.,Plough deep to bury all plant residues.,Intersperse Sorghum with Mung bean.