Down to Earth

Wheat blast disease spreads to India


farmers are preparing to harvest rabi crops, wheat blast, a fungal disease that attacks the standing crop, has struck India. Agricultur­e scientists say the disease has entered India from Bangladesh, where it had damaged 15,000 hectares of wheat last year. It has been reported in a few pockets in Murshidaba­d and Nadia districts of West Bengal. The agricultur­e department


of West Bengal has already started burning the diseased crops and sprinkling pesticides on adjacent fields to prevent the fungal spores from spreading to other key growing areas. Agricultur­al scientists have stated that there is no cause for concern as in most parts of Bihar and Bengal farmers sow varieties that have the inbuilt capacity to deal with the fungus.

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