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29 February, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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Rust, blast attacks dash hopes of wheat farmers

OUR CORRESPONDENT, Jhenidah
Rust, blast attacks dash hopes of wheat farmers
This recent photo shows a wheat farmer examining the damage to his crops by pests at a Jhenidah farmland. INDEPENDENT PHOTO

Just when farmers were hoping for a good wheat harvest and make profits due to good market prices and di-ammonium phosphate (DAE) becoming cheaper, rust and blast fungal attacks have shattered their dreams.

The diseases have affected the standing wheat crop as fungicides are proving to be ineffective, say farmers.

According to farmers of Jhenaidah Sadar and Shailkupa, the leaves of wheat plants are drying up and turning yellow due to the rust attack. When a farmer enters a rust-affected plot, his clothes turn reddish.

Liakat Ali, Abul Kashem, Abbas Ali, Rafiuddin Mia, and several other farmers of Chengakhali village in Sadar upazila said all their plots had been badly affected.

Some farmers of Damukdia, Bijulia, and Habibpur said the leaves turned yellow soon after sprouting.

They even sprayed fungicides on the affected plots as advised by officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE). But the chemical did not have much effect, the farmers added.

According to DAE deputy director’s office in Jhenidah, farmers in six upazilas have brought a total of 6,525 hectares of land under wheat cultivation against the DAE target of 3,400 hectares this season. Better prices and a reduction in the cost of DAP had mainly prompted them to almost double the cropping area.

DAE Deputy Director Kripangshu Sekhar Biswas admitted the massive attack of blast and rust. He said the rust attack was more severe than that of blast. Comparatively higher temperature during the milky stage and use of sub-standard seeds were mainly responsible for the attack, he added.

He also said the DAE usually advised farmers to cultivate the BARI-26 variety of wheat for safe and optimum production.

But the farmers used BARI-30, 31 and 33, which they usually preserve with traditional methods.

As the wheat plots were affected both by blast and rust, the DAE has been advising the farmers to spray scheduled doses of fungicides. Awareness among them might save the crops from the diseases the next time, added Biswas.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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