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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Rainfall damages crops, agri dept opens helpline

Jatinder Kohli , Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, January 22, 2014
First Published: 21:14 IST(22/1/2014) | Last Updated: 21:26 IST(22/1/2014)

Heavy downpour accompanied with strong winds across the state has caused worries for farmers as water logging may damage the wheat crop if rain continues for another day.

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According to agricultural experts, the overnight heavy rainfall, on Tuesday and Wednesday, may help farmers get rid of the yellow rust from wheat stalks but water logging and humidity in the coming days may again boost the rust attack, a fungal disease.

Vegetable crops, including potatoes, cauliflower, carrot have been heavily damaged due to heavy rain. Around 1.69-lakh hectare area is under wheat cultivation in Jalandhar, while yellow rust has so far been reported only from Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr.

In Nawanshahr, wheat has been cultivated over an area of 78,000 hectares but attack of yellow rust has been reported in four to five areas of the district. Agriculture department came into action and flying squad team to visit fields to examine yellow rust in wheat crops. In Kapurthala district, 1.09-lakh hectares area was under wheat cultivation and but there was no report of yellow rust attack.

Farmer Tarsem Singh of Nahlan village said, “I have cultivated HD 2967 over three acres and my fields have been filled with rainwater.”

Farmer Balwinder Singh said, “I have cultivated HD 2967 on 12-13 acres but water logging may damage the crop. Potatoes have already been damaged due to heavy rain since Tuesday night.”

Chief agriculture officer Swatantra Kumar Aeri said, “Rain may affect the photosynthesis activity of the crop that causes shriveling of grain size of the crop but there will not be any major impact on the crop.” He added that, “Around 16.5mm rain has been reported on Wednesday in various parts of the district and our department has opened a helpline for farmers (0181-2225005) on which, farmers can report about yellowish leaves of crop whenever they spot it so that department can take action.”

“Field staff, including technical and agriculture officers have been directed to immediately inform about any attack of yellow rust to the higher authorities so that necessary treatment can be done to the affected crop immediately,” he said. Kapurthala chief agriculture officer Manohar Singh said heavy downpour would damage vegetables as around 23-24mm rain has been recorded in the district.

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