In several parts of Punjab is staring an attack from a fungal disease - sheath blight on rice crop.
Experts advising rice growers to take appropriate steps to prevent damage and also warned that current weather conditions are quite conducive to spread disease.
P S Sekhon, Head, Department of Plant Pathology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) said, "The reports regarding the incidence of sheath blight disease on rice have been received from various parts of Punjab,"
Referring to its initial symptoms, he said affected plants exhibit oval to irregular grayish green lesions with purple margins on the lower leaf sheath just above the water level.
Because of this, the infected leaves could die rapidly, thus affecting crop yield. Under favourable weather conditions, the lesions expand upwards, affecting the entire plant and yield.
The experts have cautioned farmers about the appearance of this disease in basmati rice varieties as well.
Farmers have been advised to spray their crops with recommended fungicides to curb the spread of this disease.
Punjab this season has seen paddy acreage of about 28 lakh hectares.