Status and strategies for averting the threat of yellow rust (Puccinia striiformis Westend.) in North Indian states
Yellow rust of wheat caused by Puccinia striiformis Westend. is one of the important diseases of wheat in India. In north Indian states it spreads quite fast due to favourable temperature and moisture prevailing in these states during major part of crop growth (November-mid March). In spite of favourable weather, proactive survey and surveillance and advisories issued in time resulted successful management of yellow rust in India during past four decades. Even large scale cultivation of varieties like HD 2967 in about 12 million ha past two years did not result any losses. Three spots of initial foci near foot hills in Punjab have been identified and are monitored regularly. Any sign of yellow rust is controlled effectively with the foliar sprays of fungicides like propiconazole @ 0.1%. Use of mobiles phones and internet services is regularly done for transfer of information on wheat crop health and suggestions for proper management. Strategic planting and sowing of wheat in which newly released high yielding yellow rust varieties helped in reducing the yellow rust inculum build up. Regular monitoring of wheat health via weather forecasts take place after every fortnight from December to March. During 2016-17 crop season, yellow rust was effectively managed and its occurrence was delayed in Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand states. Two new pathotypes, 110S 119 and 110S 84 developed recently were used for evaluation of entries of wheat yield trials during 2016-17 at hot spot locations. The new varieties in pipe line of identification and release are tested against yellow rust. The most critical period for yellow rust management remained from December till mid February.