HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Now, Yellow rust hits fodder crop

Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times  Nawanshahr , January 13, 2013
First Published: 18:27 IST(13/1/2013) | Last Updated: 18:44 IST(13/1/2013)

Despite continuous steps taken by Agriculture department to control the spread of yellow rust disease, the efforts proved futile after outbreak of disease in Mehandpur village last week, and recent outbreak in village Chhidauri of the district.
Moreover, the cold waves with showers of few hours in past two days have increased problems for the department.
During a visit of agriculture department officials on Friday at Mehandpur village, they also went to Chiddauri village after a farmer Santokh Singh informed them about outbreak of the disease in his fields.
The chief agriculture officer Dr Sarbjeet Singh Kandhari, Agriculture officer Dr Hari Ram and others inspected his fields, and found that a yellowish powder had appeared on the leaves of fodder crop.
Speaking with Hindustan Times, chief agriculture officer, Dr Sarbjeet Singh Pandhari confirmed that yellow rust had also been found on fodder crop at village Chhidauri of Saroya block in the district.
He said that department has asked farmer Santokh Singh to spray propoconizole, a fungicide to control it, as it was on first stage otherwise the disease would be difficult to control after few days.
He said, "The season is conducive for yellow rust and it is important to prevent its further outbreak, otherwise the damage could be widespread and crop yield will be affected, as it did last year."
When asked about availability of propoconizole, he said that "we are yet to receive this from higher authorities. The department had requested for 16,000 litres of propoconizole to agriculture director Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu who visited Mehandpur village on last Friday", he said, adding that the supply is still awaited.
He also said that, even deputy commissioner Tanu M Kashyap had written to financial commissioner (Development) GS Sandhu to provide this chemical as soon as possible.
He said that most of the farmers do not enter or inspect crop in their fields as they usually send their workers who possess any knowledge about the fodder's disease.

Requesting farmers to visit their fields, he said that once yellow rust attacks the crop, it would be difficult to check it as it is an air-borne disease."

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