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HindustanTimes Tue,22 Jul 2014

Untimely showers can hurt overall wheat crop yield: DWR

PTI  Chandigarh, March 01, 2014
First Published: 16:30 IST(1/3/2014) | Last Updated: 16:35 IST(1/3/2014)

The widespread untimely showers may hurt the overall yield of the wheat crop in the region, including Punjab and Haryana, the Karnal-based Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR) said on Sataurday.

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"Rain at this stage is not desirable... It is not good for the wheat crop at all. We require dry and sunny weather for grain formation, but consistent rain could impact overall crop productivity," DWR project director Indu Sharma told PTI today.

Grain formation is in process right now. Rain, and low temperatures, are not desirable as that will affect grain formation. We require photosynthesis for faster formation of grain, the farm expert said.

She advised farmers not to let water stagnate in their fields and also asked them to stop watering their crops to prevent crop damage.

Widespread showers today lashed Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory Chandigarh as minimum temperatures across the region dropped by up to 2 degrees Celsius below normal.

A recent hailstorm impacted crops in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Sharma said.

Haryana government yesterday ordered a special 'girdawari' (revenue assessment) of Rabi crops in light of the likely damage to them in the hailstorm in the districts of Mahindragarh, Rohtak and Sonipat.

However, the Punjab agriculture department today said it had not received any reports of crop damage due to hailstorm or rain.

Major food grain-growing states, Punjab and Haryana have 38 lakh and 25 lakh hectares, respectively, of land under wheat cultivation in the current Rabi season.

DWR has, meanwhile, also gave warning about a possible attack of yellow rust on the wheat crop in Punjab's Pathankot area. The fungal disease has spread in several parts of Jammu region. Yellow rust turns crop leaves into a yellowish colour and prevents photosynthesis.

We have observed yellow rust spreading in Jammu's Kathua, RS Pura areas. It can also spread to adjoining areas of Punjab in Pathankot and Dinanagar if preventive steps are not taken, she said.

Yellow rust had earlier attacked crops in a few areas of Punjab and Haryana in January this year.

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