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Haryana agriculture department on alert as yellow rust detected in Kurukshetra

Warning: Agriculture department officials advise farmers not to panic; so far, the fungal disease has affected around 20 acres of standing crop in district.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2018 10:13 IST
Neeraj Mohan
Neeraj Mohan
Hindustan Times, Karnal
Yellow rust,Yellow rust detected,wheat crop
Officials say if the temperature remains between 15°C and 20°C with humidity above 80%, it helps yellow rust to spread.(HT Photo)

The detection of yellow rust on wheat crop in Kurukshetra district has caused a threat to wheat growers of the state, as they were expecting a bumper crop this year.

As per officials in the state agriculture department, yellow rust on the crop was reported from several villages of the district. So far, the fungal disease has affected around 20 acres of standing crop in Sunarion, Dhaniram Jattan, Kalal Majra, Gadli and Morthala villages of the district.

As per reports by the department, the disease attack has affected three acres of Ratan Lal of Sunarion village. However, the officials have advised the farmers not to panic as the disease outbreak, they said, was under control.

“Yellow rust has been detected in some villages of Kurukshetra district but there is no need to panic as the weather conditions are now in favour and the disease can be prevented from spreading further,” said Karam Chand, deputy director of Haryana agriculture department.

“Yellow rust has been detected in some villages of Kurukshetra but there is no need to panic as the weather conditions are now in favour and the disease can be prevented from spreading further.” — Karam Chand, deputy director of Haryana agriculture department

Dr Hari Om of Krishi Vigyan Kendra Kurukshetra also said that the present weather was helpful in checking the disease from spreading further as yellow rust is a fungal disease that spreads in humid weather.

Officials explained that if the temperature remains between 15°C and 20°C with humidity above 80%, it helps yellow rust to spread.

However, experts said that this period was very crucial for the crop as generally, temperature fluctuates during this period and humidity remains high in the first week of March and the fungal disease spreads.

Aditya Pratap, deputy director of agriculture in Karnal, said that the disease was not reported in the district yet. “The farmers are now fully aware of the control and symptoms of the disease and prepared to prevent crop damage from yellow rust,” he said.

Meanwhile, the development has worried the farmers as they were expecting a bumper crop this year, due to favourable weather since the sowing of the crop in October. Farmers fear that if the disease spread, it may result in increase in production cost as farmers have to use fungicides to control the disease. The officials of the state agriculture department have set a target of wheat production this year at 114 lakh MT from about 25.50 lakh hectares under wheat crop in the state this year.

What is yellow rust?

As per the agriculture scientists, yellow rust is a fungal disease which appears as powdery yellow stripes on the crop. The disease usually occurs in the growth season, when temperature ranges between 10°C and 20 °C and high humidity and rainfall.

It affects both the leaf blade and leaf sheath and even on spikes when in epidemic form. It results in fewer spikes, loss in number of grains per spike and grain weight. The disease spreads with winds and losses by yellow rust can be from 50% to 90%.

It is a serious disease, which has been threatening wheat cultivation in the country since the past few years.

Scientists have advised farmers to consult experts for confirmation of yellow rust and to spray a solution of Propiconazole 25 EC (Tilt) or Tiebuconazole 250 EC (folicur) to control its spread.

First Published: Mar 04, 2018 10:12 IST