Clouds help wheat avoid yellow rust, bee-keeping gains | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Clouds help wheat avoid yellow rust, bee-keeping gains

punjab Updated: Feb 14, 2014 21:08 IST
Raghbir Singh Brar

With cloudy skies a regular feature for over a month now, there were some apprehensions that the wheat crop may be adversely affected.

However, agriculture experts say it has no negative effect on the wheat crop, which is two months from harvest. The showers that the region has received are favorable and help the crop fight wheat rust.

"The cloudy sky has had no negative effect on wheat crop as yet. The rain received a week ago helped wash off the spores of the yellow rust from wheat crop, if there were any," informs Dr Amrit Paul Singh Brar, deputy director Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Faridkot.

This means farmers can expect a crop free of yellow rust.

"Though the night temperature at about 9-10 celsius is favorable with dew drops for yellow rust, but there are no reports of yellow rust in the south western Punjab. There may also not be spores of yellow rust fungus, which are spread by winds from hilly areas," Brar added.

Yellow rust had attacked the PBW 343 variety and had to be withdrawn recently.

"The wheat yield is somewhat affected by sudden rise of temperatures in March, however it can be managed with irrigation after March 15 to match the water needs of the plants and control the soil temperature," added Brar.

However, local small kinnow farmers have claimed that their produce is selling at a discount.

"Kinnow rates in local market are a little tepid as demand rises only in sunny and warm days. I have sold most of my fruit at an average price Rs 9 per kg, while the normal rate is at Rs 13-14 per kg," said Amarjeet Singh, a kinnow grower from Bargari village in Faridkot.

"We expected an increase in prices, but there has been a decrease," said Amarjeet, a farmer.

The weather condition is also favorable for bee keepers.

"We transport our bees to Rajasthan on mustard flowers. The cloudy sky has been favorable, as due to the absence of sunlight, the bees did not work actively," claimed Simarjeet Singh, who has transported 350 boxes of honey bee from Aulakh village.