Though there is no any report of yellow rust attack on wheat crop in the district so far, yet experts of the department of agriculture are already organising awareness and educational camps as well as field days for early detection of yellow rust attack on wheat crop.
It may be mentioned here that several farmers of various districts have been facing the problem of yellow rust attack on wheat crop at the moment.
Experts of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, as well as the agriculture department said, "One of wheat's worst enemies is yellow rust, a disease responsible for yield losses of up to 70% or complete crop loss if the disease occurs early in the growing season. To overcome the devastating economic and environmental impact of yellow rust, experts and scientists have developed wheat varieties resistant to the disease."
State award winner agriculture development officer (ADO) Dr Jaswinder Singh Brar, educating farmers at Talwandi Bhangerian village in this district on Sunday, said that the disease usually occurs early in the growth season, when temperature ranges between 2 and 15°C; but it may occur to a maximum of 23°C.
During the special campaign, Brar further said that high humidity and rainfall are favourable conditions for increasing the infection.
"Losses can be 50%, but in a severe situation 100% loss can occur. Yellow rust takes its name from the appearance of yellow-coloured stripes on wheat leaves. Continuous monitoring of the crop for early detection of such infection foci is a must," said the ADO.
Chief agriculture officer (CAO), Moga, Dr Sukhdev Singh Brar, said that there is no any report of attack of yellow rust disease on wheat crop in the district. "If the yellow rust is noticed in the wheat crop, then the farmers are advised to spray the crop with propiconazole @ 200ml per acre (1 ml/litre) with 200 litre water using power sprayer or tractor-mounted boom sprayers. Sooner these infection foci are managed, better it would be to check further spread of the disease," said the CAO.
Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh said that the state government would supply fungicides on 50% subsidy to the farmers very soon and the agriculture department is going to purchase fungicides worth Rs 5 crore ( Rs 2.5 crore as farmers' share and Rs 2.5 crore as subsidy).
"On the other hand, experts of the agriculture department are motivating the farmers across the state for adoption of improved technology along with improved agronomic strategies, which will help in enhancing the productivity of the crops. Farmers should adopt new technologies as recommended by experts for the control of insect pest and diseases of the crop as well as to save the natural resources," said the minister.