Even as the states of Haryana and Punjab are experiencing temperature higher than normal this winter, the experts are hoping for a good wheat crop this Rabi season.
However, the farm scientists in the twin states have also alerted the peasants against stray incidents of yellow rust in the region.
Indu Sharma, director, Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) told Hindustan Times on Wednesday that speculations of dismal wheat season were too premature at this juncture.
“After Haryana, I am extensively touring Punjab and have not come across anything amiss in the wheat crop. Temperature is nearly four degrees above normal but it has not shown any adverse impact on the crop. We expect a good wheat harvest this year also,” she said.
IIWBR, an important constituent of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), is the nodal agency for wheat research activities in the country.
Sharma said all depended upon the forthcoming weeks when chilly climatic conditions would prevail. “Wheat production depends upon climatic conditions and if the major wheat producing states of Haryana and Punjab get cooler days, it would have positive impact on the crop,” she said.
However, she said the threat of fungal disease yellow rust was there.
Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Rupnagar and Nawanshahr in Punjab and Yamunanagar district of Haryana had reported stray cases of yellow rust.
Sharma said as per inputs received from Haryana and Punjab, the states were well-equipped to tackle the threat.
“Yellow rust is an yearly phenomenon in these regions. The disease has affected only a few patches and will be controlled well in time. We have no fresh input about the disease from the region,” said the expert.
“Farmers should regularly visit the fields and keep a tab on signs of the disease. If a plant is infested with yellow rust, it stains hands when touched,” she said, while urging farmers to immediately approach the agriculture officials for timely remedial measures.