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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Wheat pockets of Hry, Punjab hit by fungal diseases

Vishal Joshi   Karnal, January 19, 2013
First Published: 17:36 IST(19/1/2013) | Last Updated: 19:30 IST(19/1/2013)

Even as the wheat growing states of Haryana and Punjab have reported attack of fungal diseases, experts have said that the situation was not alarming and could be controlled by timely preventive actions.

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While pockets of Ambala district in Haryana have reported cases of brown rust, the wheat crop at villages in Nawanshahr and Ropar districts in Punjab is attacked by the deadly yellow rust.

"Our teams have assessed the fields and the present situation is not alarming. Though the infection is not widespread, we have advised farmers to spray fungicides in time to restrict its spread in the region," said Dr Indu Sharma, director of Karnal-based Directorate of Wheat Research, the central nodal agency for wheat-based research activities.

She told Hindustan Times on Saturday that no report of any fungal infection to the rabi or winter crop was reported from Uttrakhand or Himachal Pradesh.

Yellow rust is a fungal disease which attacks leaves of wheat crop by forming yellow stripes and affects their photosynthesis activity that causes shriveling of grain size.
In case of brown rust, wheat leaves get brownish in patches.

"Barring these stray incidents of fungal infections, the overall climatic conditions are favourable for the record year of high yield of the food grain. Rains and low temperature at this juncture are extremely favourable for the crop," she said.

Though several parts of north India witnessed hail storm on Thursday and Friday, experts said that no major loss was reported.

"Since no storm or wind is reported and hailstorm could not do harm to the standing crop at this time. If nature maintains similar weather conditions we are sure to cross last year's highest ever wheat production," said the director.


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