Yellow rust has started to attack wheat crop in the region, owing to unseasonal rain and the subsequent decline in temperature.
Moderate to heavy rain accompanied by high velocity winds lashed most parts of the district in the last few days, damaging the standing crop.
The district has witnessed almost double the rainfall in February and March this year as compared to last year. 15mm and 31mm rain was recorded in February and March, respectively, in 2014, while 29mm and 53.6mm rain was recorded in February and till March 15 respectively, this year, and is expected to cross 65mm till the end of the month.
Gurdev Singh, a farmer of village Badali Ala Singh, said, "Yellow rust has started attacking the wheat crop in my village. I along with other famers in the village have started spraying pesticides and other fertilisers on the crop to save it from the damage."
However, agriculture development officer Satish Kumar said, "The situation is normal at present. If the inclement weather continued for a few days, then the entire crop would be affected by yellow rust." He urged the famers to be in touch with the department to seek advice before spraying the crop.
Kumar informed that wheat was being cultivated on about 84,000 hectares in the district and other crops such as potato, pulses, and sugarcane were being grown on 12,700 hectares.
"The harvesting of wheat and other crops would be delayed if the situation continued for another week or so," he said.
"The department is fully equipped to deal with yellow rust. Pesticides and other fertilisers are being provided at the block-level offices at 50% subsidy," added Kumar.