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Farm Advisory Service Centre (FASC), Gurdaspur, in collaboration with the Department of Plant Pathology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, and Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Gurdaspur, organized a comprehensive Farmer-Scientist interaction on the effective management of diseases in Rabi crops, with a special focus on combating yellow rust in wheat. Held on February 12, 2024, at village Bhaini Mian Khan in Gurdaspur district, the event aimed to enhance farmers’ awareness and understanding of crucial disease management strategies.

Welcoming the gathering, Sh Rajinder Singh Bal, DES (Plant Pathology) at FASC Gurdaspur, underscored the significance of the program and encouraged active participation from farmers for its success.

Dr Parminder Singh Tak, Plant Pathologist from the Department of Plant Pathology, PAU Ludhiana, provided detailed insights into the identification and disease cycle of various wheat crop diseases, particularly highlighting yellow rust and karnal bunt. Live samples of these diseases were showcased for enhanced farmer understanding, emphasizing regular field monitoring and judicious use of recommended fungicides for effective disease management.

Dr. Amarjit Singh, Principal Extension Scientist at PAU Ludhiana, addressed disease management in other crops such as sugarcane, rapeseed-mustard, berseem, and pulses. He emphasized the importance of using disease-free seeds, implementing crop rotation, and leveraging weather forecasts for informed farm operations.

Dr Ankush Proch, Assistant Professor (Animal Science) at KVK Gurdaspur, shared insights on dairy animal disease management, highlighting the importance of mineral mixtures and other supplements for optimal animal health.

Dr Satwinderjit Kaur, Associate Professor (Soil Science) at KVK Gurdaspur, discussed nutrient deficiency management in different crops and advised farmers to test their soil regularly for optimal nutrient management.

Dr Sarabjit Singh Aulakh, Associate Director at KVK Gurdaspur, focused on insect-pest management in Rabi crops, stressing the need for tailored pesticide application and the use of bio-control agents for sustainable pest control. He also encouraged farmers to participate in vocational training programs offered by KVK Gurdaspur.

D. Bhupinder Singh Dhillon, Director at the Regional Station Gurdaspur and DES (SM) at FASC Gurdaspur, urged farmers to fully leverage such initiatives. He emphasized the importance of sustainable agricultural practices, including the proper management of paddy straw, efficient use of irrigation water and fertilizers, and adherence to PAU recommendations for maximizing agricultural benefits.

The event concluded with a renewed commitment from both farmers and scientists to collaborate and implement effective disease management practices for enhanced crop productivity and sustainability in the region.

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