Yellow rust spotted on wheat crop in Yamunanagar village | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Yellow rust spotted on wheat crop in Yamunanagar village

punjab Updated: Jan 03, 2014 21:54 IST
Vishal Joshi
Vishal Joshi
Hindustan Times

In first such instance this rabi season, the attack of fungal disease - yellow rust - on the wheat crop has been witnessed in the Damla area of Yamunanagar district.

After a field tests, the experts at the directorate of wheat research (DWR) have confirmed the disease at Ratangarh village.

However, scientists said the situation was an isolated case and it was not alarming at this stage.

Yellow or stripe rust was observed in a field on January 1 where a farmer had sown WH-711, a wheat variety that is susceptible to the fungal disease. This particular variety of wheat was sown on October 29.

Yellow rust is a fungal disease that attacks leaves of the wheat plant and forms yellow stripes and it affects the photosynthesis process, which, in turn, leads to withering of grain size.

Principal investigator (crop protection) of DWR, MS Saharan, who had confirmed the fungal attack, told Hindustan Times on Friday that the state agriculture department had been apprised of the situation in order to control the disease from spreading.

Stating that it was the first case of spotting yellow rust in the north India, he urged farmers not to panic.

The DWR, an important constituent of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), is the nodal agency for wheat research activities in the country.

"As of now, the fungal disease has been spotted at Ratangarh and farmers need not to resort to unwanted chemical sprays on the crop. In case of any doubt farmers should contact the field extension officials of the state agriculture department or the DWR," Saharan said.

According to the wheat expert, who was touring Himachal Pradesh on Friday 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 Dr Sarahan.

Meanwhile, DWR director Dr Indu Sharma said it was important to control the disease at the initial stage.

"Last year, nearly 1,000 acres of land in Sadhaura block of Yamunanagar was infested with the disease.

If not controlled in time, it could spread to other areas and cause a huge damage in the wheat-growing belt," she said.

The DWR director said the latest incident confirmed that the non-recommended varieties of wheat such as WH-711, HD-2851, Super-12 and Raj-3765 were still sown by farmers.

"In spite of awareness campaigns, farmers still lack knowledge about the right kind of wheat varieties. The recommended varieties that are resistant to yellow rust are HD-2967, DPW-62150, DBW-550 and DBW-17," Sharma added.