Based on initial reports from the field, a preliminary summary of the current rust situation in Pakistan is presented. More detailed reports will follow once survey data is compiled and analysis has been undertaken.
Like other countries in the region, Pakistan experienced conducive climatic conditions for rust development in the 2012/13 season. These conditions favored yellow (stripe) rust which was widespread. Localized, severe outbreaks were observed on older susceptible cultivars e.g., Sehar-06, but other major cultivars remained resistant. Surveillance teams covered all the major wheat growing areas and at least 100 samples of yellow rust are currently under-going race analysis. As in India (see March 20th report), no major epidemics of yellow rust were observed and all indications are that Pakistan will harvest a bumper wheat crop this season.
Both stem and leaf rust were also relatively widespread. stem rust was reported from late planted commercial fields in the southern Punjab. Over 40 stem rust samples and 30 leaf rust samples are currently under-going race analysis. However, with the Pakistan wheat crop now at maturity there is little chance of damage due to stem rust.