HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Basmati under bacteria attack, yield to lessen

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Gurdaspur, October 04, 2013
First Published: 22:56 IST(4/10/2013) | Last Updated: 22:58 IST(4/10/2013)

Bacterial leaf blight has launched a massive attack on the basmati crop in the district which will cause decrease in yield and quality of the crop, said director, Directorate of Rice Development,Patna, Bihar MC Divakar at the fields of farmer Dhir Singh in Talwandi Rama village of Dera Baba Nanak sub division of Gurdaspur district on Friday after inspecting the disease affected basmati crop fields.


Divakar said normally PUSA 1121 variety of basmati has the potentiality of surviving this disease, but unfavourable weather conditions have made the disease acute.

He said this disease had attacked the basmati crop grown in Dhariwal, Kalanaur and Dera Baba Nanak blocks. Speaking on the signs of the bacterial leaf blight disease, Divakar said first the leaves went dry from the upper part to the lower part.

"If watched closely, the plants, early in the morning like dew drops on leaves, bacteria can be seen clinging in the shape of water drops to edges of the leaves,"he said.

He added that this disease spread with the strong winds accompanied by rains. "The disease spread with the rain water and irrigational water standing on the fields for days,"he added.
Divakar said this disease caused more loss if it attacked the crop at the time of flowering and enrichment of the grains because the new leaves got completely dried and the plants did not get proper nourishment.

Gurdaspur chief agriculture officer Ravi Kumar Sabharwal said basmati crop grew on 69,000 hectares in the district this season.

He said there was no remedy to this disease at this stage. "Basmati growers of the district should immediately drain out the standing water from their fields. Do not spray any insecticides on the affected crops. Consult the agriculture development officer of their respective area before adopting any remedy,"said Sabharwal.

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