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At the monthly meeting on 05.10.2023 of the Extension and Research Review Committee at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, asked the scientists to roll up their sleeves and brace themselves for no-burn agriculture in Punjab. “Working step by step and tracking minute by minute will go a long way in combating the critical challenge of paddy stubble fires in Punjab,” he said, while calling for promoting the adoption of PAU Happy Seeder, Super Seeder, Smart Seeder, Surface Seeder, Super Straw Management System, etc. for the timely management of crop residue in fields. Recalling the farm fires that blanketed the entire region with smog and resulted in health hazards and calamities, Dr Gosal hoped that better sense prevailed upon Punjab farmers. He appealed to the farmers to stop torching paddy straw for the protection of citizens, agriculture and environment.

While discussing Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR), Dr AS Dhatt, Director of Research, divulged that during the current year, DSR covered maximum area in Sri Muktsar Sahib (31.1%) followed by that at Fazilka (28.0%) and Bathinda (7.7%) districts. Further, he informed that PR 126 continued to be the main variety (33%) and first choice of the farmers followed by Pusa 44 (15%), Supreme 110 (7.5%) and PR 128 (7%) varieties. Pusa Basmati 1121 was grown on 26.5 per cent of area followed by Pusa Basmati 1509 (22.7%), Pusa Basmati 1718 (14%) and Pusa Basmati 1847 (13%), he added.

Dr GS Buttar, Director of Extension Education, while welcoming the research and extension scientists, told that no incidence of stunting virus was reported in rice. Besides, discussions were also held on paddy arrivals in mandis and fire incidence, fall armyworm in maize and pink bollworm in cotton, he said.

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