The Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR) in India have issued a series of advisories about yellow rust occurrence in North-west India in recent weeks. Full details can be found on the DWR web site with repeat postings on the Rust Tracker India page. Staff at DWR and other agencies in India are congratulated for these prompt and regularly updated advisories on the current yellow rust situation and the timely provision of control advice issued to farmers in the region. Despite the appearance of yellow rust in some areas, many analysts are predicting another bumper wheat crop for India in the current season.
First reports of yellow rust were obtained in January 2013 from Punjab state. Yellow rust was first reported from the village Mehindpur (near Chidouri, Saheed Bhagat Singh Nagar) in Punjab on January 9, 2013. In mid-January another report of yellow rust was received from the village of Surewal in Ropar district, Punjab. At the end of January (30-31st) two yellow rust foci were observed in the village of Madhubas (Radaur, Yamunanagar district) in Haryana state. In general, during January 2013 very extensive, India-wide, wheat disease surveys coordinated by DWR only revealed very minor occurrences of yellow rust (see DWR Wheat Crop Health Newsletter, Feb 2013).
By late February, yellow rust had spread and increasing levels of disease were reported from Haryana state. On 26th February, 474 hectares of wheat were reported to be infected in the Sadhaura and Jagadhri blocks of Yamunanagar district, Haryana. High incidence and severity (up to 60S) of yellow rust were reported from Sarawa village (Sadhaura block, Yamunanagar district) with the following varieties showing susceptibility; Super 172, WH 711, HD 2851, and Raj 3765. Variety HD 2967 was also observed to be susceptible (30S) in Jaroda village (Jagadhri block, Yamunanagar district). Further spread of yellow rust was reported by DWR on 14th March, with reports obtained from Yamunanagar, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat, Panchkula, Kaithal and Sirsa districts of Haryana. Yellow rust is reported to be severe in varieties; Super 172, WH 711, HD 2851, HD 2894, Raj 3765.
Current reported district-level occurrence of yellow rust in North-west India (up to 14th March 2013) with approximate timings are illustrated in Map 1. However, future spread of disease is not a certain outcome and will depend on several additional factors, including; conducive climatic conditions (temperature and moisture being critical), efficacy of control measures, growth stage and resistance of commercial cultivars.