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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Continuous rains may damage wheat crop: Experts

PTI  Chandigarh, February 05, 2013
First Published: 17:49 IST(5/2/2013) | Last Updated: 20:26 IST(5/2/2013)

With moderate to heavy rains lashing the northern region, farm experts on Tuesday warned of damage to wheat crop if downpour, accompanied with high speed winds, continues for next couple of days.
       

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With farmers keeping fingers crossed, wheat experts advised winter crop growers in Punjab and Haryana to drain out excess water from the fields in order to prevent crop from being lodged and getting yellowish.
       
"If rain continues then there could be chances of (attack of) yellow rust (fungal disease on wheat crop)," Punjab Agricultural University, director research, SS Gosal said.
       
Yellow rust is a fungal disease which attacks leaves of wheat crop by forming yellow stripes and affects their photosynthesis activity that causes shrivelling of grain size.
       
The incidence of attack of fungal diseases was traced in Ropar, Nawanshahar (in Punjab) and Ambala (in Haryana) last month.

Karnal-based Directorate of Wheat Research Project director Indu Sharma said the rains accompanied by strong winds could prove "damaging" for early sown wheat variety.

Moderate to heavy rains lashed various parts of Punjab and Haryana during last 24 hours. Maximum rainfall activity was observed in Rewari (48.7 mm), Gurgaon (25.3 mm), Sonepat (52.1 mm), Panipat (27.5 mm), Karnal (23.8 mm), Kapurthala (50 mm), Jalandhar (14 mm), Gurdaspur (35 mm) and Patiala (13.6 mm).

Meteorological department has predicted rains during next 48 hours.

However, there was no report of any damage to wheat crop received so far caused by continuous rains in wheat growing areas of Punjab and Haryana, agricultural officials said here on Tuesday.

"We have not received any report of damage to wheat crop because of rains in any part of the state (Haryana)," an official of Haryana Agriculture department said here.

But farmers were worried over continuous rain lashing the region and said that it could flatten the crop.

"Excess rain will damage particularly the early sown crop as strong winds and rains have the potential to flatten the crop," Karnal-based farmer VK Kapoor said.

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