Agriculture scientists have advised farmers of Haryana and Punjab to be on the guard for timely detection of the yellow rust infection in the wheat fields.
Indu Sharma, director of the Karnal-based Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR), told Hindustan Times on Friday that field reports about yellow rust were reported from eight places from the two wheat-growing states.
Clarifying that the situation of the fungal disease was neither alarming nor widespread, Sharma said that each case was restricted in few square meters.
Six isolated cases of yellow rust have been reported in Yamunanagar district whereas fungal infection was detected in fields in few patches in Rupnagar and Nawanshahr districts of Punjab.
Director of the institute, an important constituent of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the nodal agency for wheat research activities in the country, issued an advisory on yellow rust for the farmers on Friday.
“Farmers should regularly visit the fields and keep a tab on any suspicious development in the crop. If a plant is infested with yellow rust, it stains hands when rubbed against it,” she said while urging farmers to immediately approach the agriculture officials of their region for timely action.
There is no threat to foodgrain yield due to the detected cases and the teams of agricultural experts are regularly assessing the field situation, said the scientist.
Sharma said that farmers need not panic and should resort to spray of fungicides only if wheat plants are found to be infected.
“The present climatic conditions of low temperature and foggy weather help in causing fungal infection to the crop. If similar weather conditions continue then it would be most congenial for spread of the disease in the region.
Wheat growers should be extra vigilant in detecting and initiating timely preventive measures,” she said.
Indu Sharma said that in order to take stock of the prevalence of the disease in other states, farmers can confirm it themselves if the yellowish colour on the wheat plant was due to the fungal attack.
“If a plant is infested with yellow rust, it stains hands when rubbed against it. Farmers should not panic and yellowness may also occur due to the low temperature,” said Sharma.