Taking the infestation of wheat crop by yellow rust in the state seriously, agriculture secretary Kahan Singh Pannu held a meeting at Garhshankar with chief agriculture officers of five districts namely Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Nawanshahr, Pathankot and SAS Nagar and asked them to spread awareness among farmers about the disease and make every effort to contain it.
The yellow rust disease infects the leaves of the standing crop and does not allow photosynthesis to take place, resulting in stunted growth and shrivelled grain.
Farm scientists of Punjab Agriculture University have detected the disease attacking crop in the sub mountainous kandi area. Scientists have not yet succeeded in developing a variety of wheat which is yellow rust-resistant.
Pannu said that last year the disease had reduced wheat yield by about 10 lakh tonnes, which was a matter of concern. It could cause tremendous loss if not checked in time, he added. He directed the agriculture officials to spread awareness through kisan clubs and mobile vans in villages and ask the farmers to remain extra careful and monitor their fields regularly.
He asked them to ensure that farmers got propiconazole pesticide at 50% subsidy.