Proceedings of TASK Force on wheat RUST disease

Proceedings of the meeting held on 12th February, 2013 at Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi

The TASK Force on wheat RUST disease met on 12th February, 2013. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Director General (CS).  The following officials participated in its first meeting.

Dr. S.K. Datta, DDG (CS) – Chairman
Dr. T.P. Rajendran, ADG (PP), ICAR (Member Secretary)
Dr. (Ms.) Indu Sharma, Director, DWR, Karnal
Ms. Reena Saha, Director, NFSM, Dept. of Agriculture & Cooperation
Dr D.P.Malik, Additional Commissioner (Crops), Dept. of Agriculture & Cooperation
Dr Rajan, Principal Scientist (PP), ICAR
Dr D.R.Suman, Technical Officer, PP Section

The Director, Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR) brought out the scenario of Yellow rust disease outbreak in the ongoing rabi season. It was told that early siting of the rust was done in first to second weeks of January, 2013 in Punjab. Yellow Rust was noticed in Yamunagar of Haryana on 31st January, 2013 and subsequently in other neighbouring areas. The affected varieties are WH 711, DBW 17, HD 2967, DPW 621-50. Director, DWR also brought the scenario of leaf rust/brown rust diseases in Dharwad district (Karnataka); one field in Ambala district (Haryana) and one field in Satara (Maharashtra).

The Task Force noted that the cultivation of non-recommended wheat varieties has created inoculum pool of the disease, making moderately resistant varieties such as DBW 17, DPW 621-50 etc. also to be infected by the disease.

The indent by states for Breeders seed of rust susceptible wheat varieties as well as non-recommended varieties was viewed as serious violation of the decision of this Task Force in 2011 and 2012. The Seed Division of DAC may be advised not to process such indents for Breeders Seed as well as not to supply the states with such varieties for cultivation during next year. (Action: Seed Division, DAC)

The states may be advised to phase them out from recommendation for cultivation. (Action: Crops Division, DAC)

The Task Force arrived at the following decisions for implementation and for further review.

  1. Weekly monitoring of the spread of the disease. This may be taken up by i) Plant Protection Advisor through Central IPM Centres; ii) Directorate of Wheat Development and iii) DWR through respective KVKs, AICRP centres and NCIPM. DWR shall collate the information from all these agencies. The weekly report on wheat rust diseases may be electronically communicated with ADG (PP), ICAR. Respective agencies may also report to their controlling officers in DAC.
  2. DWR, Karnal and Directorate of Wheat Development, Ghaziabad may take up surveillance plan for the current season. The complete plan with full details about the agencies and stakeholders for this purpose may be finalized and informed to Member Secretary, Task Force.

The established practice of last year on the methodology of surveillance and reporting including SMS flashing to nodal points for effective survey and monitoring of disease build up in both plains, sub-mountainous regions and in hills needs to be put in place.
Strong awareness campaign through mass-media to educate the farming community regarding identification and management of strip rust through press, electronic media and literature in local languages of respective states have to be brought in.

  • To identify the disease symptoms
  • Importance of time to time field visit by themselves for early detection of the disease
  • Apprising them of primary focus of rust infection
  • Advising to avoid early sowing under shade/trees
  • Chemical management with spray schedule of either Propiconazole 25 EC (Tilt) @ 0.1% or Tebuconazole 25 EC (Folicur) @ 0.1%  or Triademefon 25 WP (Bayleton) @ 0.1%

Since awareness campaign on the rust diseases of wheat to farmers and other stake holders is necessary for timely detection, the season long training programme on wheat may be undertaken by DPPQS and shall be technically backstopped by Directorate of Wheat  Research and Directorate of Weed Science. Suitable scientific literature and resource persons from these two institutes shall actively participate in the season long training programme for wheat farmers in various states.

DWD along with Directorate of Extension may provide the advisory information, collated by DWR last year through mass-media to farmers. Special radio/TV programmes in major channels may be taken up. (Action: Director, NFSM)

DAC may request ISRO for satellite monitoring pilot study of rust disease during the current wheat season to standardize the requisite parameters of interpretation of the data and validate with ground-truth data.

The meeting ended with Vote of thanks to the Chair and all officials and to meet on monthly basis for further recview.


Asst. DG (Plant Protection)
Member Secretary, Task Force