Ludhiana | After advisory, PAU releases short video on dwarf virus infecting paddy crop

Published on Aug 28, 2022 10:50 PM IST

PAU, Ludhiana, made an informative video on southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus wherein experts address farmers on ways to help identify the affected paddy crop.

The video on dwarf virus infecting paddy crop by PAU, Ludhiana, comes at a time amid reports of farmers engaging in unnecessary pesticide and termite spray. (HT FILE)
The video on dwarf virus infecting paddy crop by PAU, Ludhiana, comes at a time amid reports of farmers engaging in unnecessary pesticide and termite spray. (HT FILE)
By, Ludhiana

After successfully identifying and issuing advisory to the farmers for the southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV), a viral disease that led to the mysterious stunting of paddy plants in many parts of Punjab, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) made an informative video wherein experts address farmers on ways to help identify the affected crop.

The video is also aimed at helping farmers keep a check on the population of white-backed hoppers, which operate as a vector and lead to the spread of the disease in paddy.

The video comes at a time amid reports of farmers engaging in unnecessary pesticide and termite spray. “The same not only poisons the soil, air and the crop but also adds to the input cost on growing the crop,” said Dr Anil Sharma, additional director PAU’s department of communication.

“In order to provide a better understanding of the situation. We decided to make a short video of around six minutes with Mandeep Singh Hunjan, scientist from the plant pathology department. We have shown the stunted paddy plant, so that farmers could also identify the same and take action as recommended by the university,” he added.

Sharma was quick to add that while the first video had been made in Punjabi, the process of recording the same in other languages for wider access to areas including Uttarakhand, Western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana was underway.

In the video itself. farmers have been urged to monitor the crops and keep a check on the population of white-backed hoppers.

Hunjan said the height of the stunted plants showed reduction from one-half to one-third than the normal plants, adding, “These plants had shallow roots and could be easily uprooted. These plants were observed in almost all the cultivated varieties in the farmer’s fields.”

Hunjan said that the team of PAU scientists visited the affected areas in the districts of Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Mohali, Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib and Patiala for systematically deciphering the cause behind these stunted plants in rice.

The team observed that the occurrence was more pronounced in early sown paddy crops irrespective of the variety. The date of sowing trials at PAU substantiated that June 15-25 transplanted rice crop was worse affected.

“The stunting symptoms were observed in 5-7% of the fields in these districts. In the affected fields, the incidence of stunted plants ranged from 5-7%,” Munjab said.

This is the first time that SRBSDV, first reported in 2001 from southern China, has been detected in Punjab.

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