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Yellow rust - a fungal disease- has been spotted on wheat crop in Punjab prompting farm experts to advise farmers to remain vigilant as the current weather conditions are conducive for it to spread.
According to a survey carried out by scientists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), yellow rust disease has appeared in small patches in a few wheat fields near Anandpur Sahib and Nangal in Ropar district which are sub-mountainous areas of Punjab.
"The attack of yellow rust has been witnessed in HD 2967 variety of wheat crop in the sub-mountainous areas of Ropar and Anandpur Sahib, though it is in patches," Karnal based Indian Institute of Wheat & Barley Research, Director, Indu Sharma said today.
"The prevalent weather conditions are favourable for this fungal disease to spread," she cautioned.
Yellow rust is a fungal disease which turns the crop's leaves into yellowish colour, stops photosynthesis and causes tremendous losses in yield, experts said.
The disease appears as yellow coloured, powdery linear stripes on the leaves. When touched, the yellow coloured spore mass sticks to the fingers, a conspicuous criteria for disease identification, they said.
Asking farmers to remain vigilant to prevent the spread of the fungal disease, Sharma said, "Growers should spray recommended fungicides over affected fields so that it should not spread to adjoining crop."
She said that farmers in Gurdaspur and Pathankot in Punjab, Yamunanagar in Haryana and Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir should be vigilant and monitor their crops regularly.
"In case yellow rust is observed, it should be immediately checked by applying the effective fungicides," said P S Sekhon, head of Plant Pathology Department in Punjab Agriculture University.