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The Farm Advisory Service Centre (FASC), Gurdaspur, in collaboration with the Department of Plant Pathology, PAU, Ludhiana, organized a Farmer-Scientist interaction attended by 90 farmers, focused on “Management of diseases in Rabi Crops” at Kotli Thabla village on January 25, 2024.

Sh Rajinder Singh Bal, DES (Plant Pathology), FASC, Gurdaspur, welcomed the scientists and farmers, underscoring the significance of the interaction for the community’s success in disease management.

Dr Parminder Singh Tak from the Department of Plant Pathology, PAU, Ludhiana, provided detailed insights into the identification and disease cycle of prevalent wheat crop diseases, focusing on yellow rust and karnal bunt. Live samples were showcased to aid farmers in recognizing these diseases, and practical advice on timely identification and the judicious use of recommended fungicides was emphasized.

Dr Amarjit Singh, Principal Extension Scientist, highlighted disease management in other crops such as peas, potatoes, rapeseed-mustard, and sugarcane. He discussed using the Decision Support System available on the PAU website to manage potatoes’ late blight disease. He stressed the importance of disease-free seeds for controlling red rot disease in sugarcane.

Dr Sarabjit Singh Aulakh, Associate Director, KVK, Gurdaspur, focused on damage symptoms and management practices for efficient insect pest control in Rabi crops. He advocated for the need-based application of recommended pesticides and bio-control agents, underlining the importance of attending vocational training programs at KVK, Gurdaspur.

Gurbinder Singh Bajwa, President of the Crop Residue Manager Association and Member of the PAU Kisan Committee, shared valuable experiences and urged farmers to manage paddy straw through sustainable techniques instead of burning it. He emphasized the efficient use of natural resources like irrigation water and fertilizers, echoing the recommendations of Punjab Agricultural University for more beneficial agriculture practices.

The event concluded with an interactive session, where progressive farmer Sh Jatinder Singh encouraged farmers to make the most of such programs.

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