57th All India Wheat & Barley Research Workers Meet concludes at BAU

Wheat varieties HI-1612 & K-1317 most suitable for Eastern India including Jharkhand

Ranchi: Three-day All India Wheat & Barley Research Workers Meet organized at Birsa Agricultural University (BAU), Ranchi, which concluded on Sunday (August, 26) has recommended wheat varieties HI-1612 & K-1317 for Eastern India including Jharkhand as these varieties performed well under restricted irrigation and rainfed conditions. Altogether 14 high yielding varieties of wheat, seven each by Central Varietal Release Committee and State Varietal Release Committees, were released during 2017-18 which have tolerance towards major pests and diseases. The meet also recommended utilization of genotypes HD-3219, PBW-752, HI-1617, WH-1202 and DBW-187 having heat tolerance, in breeding programme by the breeders across the country.

Product specific varieties of wheat were recommended for further strengthening and utilization. Varieties WH-1124, DBW-71, HD-3237 and PBW-757 were recommended for chapati quality while WH-1124, HD-2967, HD-3059, WH-1080, HD-2733, DBW-71, HD-3226 and PBW-752 were recommended for bread. Similarly, wheat varieties HS-490 and DBW-168 were found suitable for biscuit and recommended for cultivation by the farmers for this purpose.

Under resource management, two sprays of Chlormequat chloride (0.2%)+tubuconazole (0.1%) at first Node and flag leaf stages was recommended to achieve higher wheat productivity under high fertility condition.

For barley, variety DWRB-137 for north eastern planes zone and central zone, variety RD-2899 for central zone and RD-2907 for salinity and alkalinity in north eastern and north western plane zones was recommended for cultivation along with package of practices of respective states of the zones. Seed treatment with Vitavax power 2g/kg + propiconazole spray @ 0.1% was found effective in managing foliar bright in barley.

The recommendations were presented in plenary session by Drs Ravish Chathrath, R K Sharma, D P Singh, Sewa Ram, AS Kharub and GP Singh, all from Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal. The session was chaired by Dr DN Singh, Director Research, BAU. 

Discussion on International Linkages

Earlier, in the technical session on international linkages this morning, Dr Ronnie Coffman, Vice Chairman of Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) and Director, International Programme of Cornell University, New York made a presentation on BGRI and the delivering of genetic gains in wheat. He said in the scenario of rising global temperatures posing a threat to wheat production, the BGRI was actively engaged in  wheat improvement since last ten years and had released over 140 high yielding varieties resistant to different biotic and abiotic stresses including durable rust resistance. Besides, it was also involved in surveillance & monitoring of pests and diseases, screening of nurseries, development of pathology infrastructure, seed multiplication and distribution and advocacy & communication. With the support of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UK Aid, this initiative of Cornell had trained over 700 scientists including large number of women on aspects of development. BGRI has been started in the memory of late Norman Borlaug, father of Green Revolution in the world.

Dr Pawan Kumar Singh, Head of Wheat Pathology at International Maize & Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Mexico made a presentation of current status and progress in phenotyping of wheat blast, a seed borne and air borne disease in South Asia which attacks any ariel part of wheat plant but seen mainly on spikes. He said wheat blast is an established disease in Brazil, Bangladesh and several other south Asian countries but officially India does not have this disease till date, however, several parts of east, central and west India are vulnerable to this disease and 10-15 % yield loss may occur if its infestation occurs. Besides south Asian countries, US and European countries are also concerned about this disease. Wheat variety Milan, developed by CIMYT appears to have resistance towards blast under field conditions.

Dr Ramesh P S Verma, Barley Breeder, International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Morocco said area of barley crop, cultivated for feed, forage, food and malt across the globe, was going up in developed countries but going down  drastically in developing countries. ICARDA was engaged in hybridization, evaluation and genetic enhancement of this crop in Morocco, Lebanon, India and Saudi Arabia.

Dr Baidya Nath Mahto, Executive Director, National Agricultural Research Council of Nepal made a presentation on Challenges and opportunities for wheat improvement in Nepal. He said only 21% land of the country is cultivable and wheat is the third most important crop after paddy and maize. Drought, flood, soil fertility degradation, land fragmentation and fallow, wheat blast, yellow rust, Karnal bunt  diseases, pests, youth migration, feminization, landslides and desertification were main problems of agriculture in the small country. However, opportunities also were there in the form of wide diversity of wheat and barley land races, diverse ecology and less risk bearing crops.

Dr Ravi Prakash Singh and Dr Govindan Velu of CIMMYT, Mexico and Dr Legjay of Department of Agriculture and Forests, Govt. of Bhutan also participated in the deliberations of this session which was chaired by Dr H S Gupta, Former Director, Indian Institute of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.