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In the light of rising stubble fires at farmers’ fields, the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Dr Satbir Singh Gosal called upon the extension functionaries to work round the clock to bring decline in straw burning cases which were a serious concern for the state as well as the country. Efforts to stop paddy straw burning should be expedited, he stressed, while urging to promote PAU recommended wheat varieties for cultivation. Speaking at the monthly meeting of the Research and Extension Review Committee, Dr Gosal asked the scientists to advise farmers to sow wheat crop during the first fortnight of November as delayed sowing resulted in reduction in wheat grain yield.

Dr AS Dhatt, Director of Research, made a call for popularizing new long duration wheat variety PBW 869 that could be sowed with Happy Seeder or Smart Seeder. Suggesting sowing wheat by November 15, he recommended sowing of long duration wheat varieties like PBW 824, Sunehri (PBW 766), PBW 725, PBW 677, Unnat PBW 343, PBW Zinc 2, PBW 1 Chapati, PBW 1 Zn, DBW 187, HD 3226, PBW 826 and PBW 803 varieties for better yield and returns. The sowing of short duration varieties like PBW RS 1 and Unnat PBW 550 should kick off in the second week of November, he added.

Dr GS Buttar, Director of Extension Education, while welcoming the dignitaries, senior officials and the scientists, said that PAU has been continuously working on paddy straw management issues at farmers’ fields since 2015-16 and that concerted efforts have shown a lot of difference by bringing down the graph of straw burning. At the meet, performance of rice/basmati varieties, off season management of cotton sticks and yield prospects of cotton, and sale of wheat seed were also discussed besides receiving feedback from extension scientists, he informed.

Extension scientists from PAU’s Directorate of Extension Education, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Farm Advisory Service Centre’s participated in the meet.

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