Manganese deficiency in wheat crop in Punjab

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Ludhiana, Jan 27: The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has recorded manganese deficiency in the wheat crop in Punjab, particularly in Faridkot and Ferozpur districts.

According to the advisory given by the PAU soils scientists, Dr I M Chhibba and Dr A S Sidhu, who carried out a survey severe deficiency of this micronutrient has been recorded in wheat fields in the districts of Faridkot and Ferozepur. The scientists said that in some fields the manganese deficiency is so acute that there can be a yield loss of 10-12 qunitals per hectare.

The two scientists warned that the problem was not only confined to the two districts but was common in other districts of the state also. They pointed out that the manganese deficiency is mainly confined to wheat grown on coarse textured soils and where wheat is grown in rotation with rice for more than five years regularly.

The deficiency of manganese appears as streaks of grayish yellow, grey, brown or pinkish buff/brown colour in the inter-veinal areas of the old and middle leaves of the wheat plants. In severely affected plants, similar symptoms can be seen on the young mature leaves also.

The scientists warned that if no attention was paid, the crop will give a withering look and ultimately may die.

They have advised the farmers to spray the wheat crop with 0.5 per cent solution of manganese sulphate (which can be prepared by dissolving 500 grams of manganese sulphate in 100 litre of water) at weekly intervals. Four sprays are necessary to rejuvenate the crop which has started showing signs of severe deficiency.

The scientists cautioned the farmers against mixing of any other chemical/fertilizer/weedicide with the manganese sulphate solution.

Farmers are also advised not to use any Micronutrient Mixture/NPK mixtures as these are not at all helpful in combating the manganese deficiency problem.

The sprays must be carried out on sunny and calm days to make them completely effective, the experts have added.


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