Ø Patents awarded:
A. RICE IMPROVEMENT:
Over the last 35 years the Centre has released / adopted 25 rice varieties for different agro - eco - situations of the state as per details given below:
* Under cultivation
A. RICE AGRONOMY:
On the basis of the field experimentation conducted at the centre as well as on the farmers’ fields, following recommendations have been made which have been included in the package of practices for Kharif crops of the University:
Ø For upland rice, farmers should use 60 kg seed / ha for sowing in lines 20 cm apart while for the broadcast method the seed rate should be enhanced to 80 kg/ha.
Ø Weed management has been a major problem in direct seeded sprouted rice under puddled conditions. A new recommendation on the use of pyrazosulfuron ethyl @ 0.025 kg a.i./ha applied 8-12 DAS for direct seeded sprouted rice and 8-12 days after transplanting (DAT) for transplanted rice was made. It was very effective in controlling the growth of grassy, broad leaved weeds as well as sedges under both sets of conditions. In addition, butachlor @ 1.5 kg a.i./ha for upland rice, butachlor + safener @ 1 kg a.i./ha for sprouted rice and butachlor granules @ 1.5 kg a.i./ha for transplanted rice, are other important herbicides for effective control of weeds in rice.
Ø Optimum plant spacing of 20 cm between rows for upland rice and 20 x 15 cm spacing for transplanted rice using 2 to 3 seedlings/hill have been recommended.
Ø If the farmers is raising rice crop adopting SRI method, he should transplant 15 – 18 day old seedlings at a spacing of 20 x 20 cm using a single seedling/ hill. Seedlings should be transplanted within one hour of taking them out of nursery beds and roots should be kept straight. It is beneficial to keep 2-3 cm of standing water for a period of five days.
Ø A fertilizer dose of 90:40:40 kg N, P2O5 and K2O/ha has been recommended for transplanted rice. In zinc deficient soils 25 kg zinc sulphate/ha should be used.
Ø For efficient water management in upland rice, raising of field bunds by 25 to 30 cm is a must. In areas of low temperatures water level of 4 to 5 cm depth should be maintained and continuous flow of water from field to field avoided.
C. RICE PATHOLOGY:
Two recommendations for the control of false smut and glume discoloration of rice, respectively have been included in the package of practices for Kharif crops of the University over the last few years:
Ø Spray copper oxychloride 50 WP @ 0.3% twice at heading and 10 days thereafter for effective management of false smut in rice.
Ø Provide three sprays of fungicides viz., first spray of Bavistin 50 WP @ 0.1% at booting, second spray of Indofil M 45 @ 0.25% 10 days after first spray i.e. at heading and third spray of Blitox 50 WP @ 0.3% 10 days after second spray for the effective management of glume discoloration and neck blast in rice.
In addition to these recommendations, a number of varieties / genotypes developed by this centre have been identified as donors for resistance to different diseases at the national level. Some of these genotypes are as below:
D. RICE ENTOMOLOGY:
· During Survey and Surveillance of insect-pests, a larval parasitoid namely, Chrysonotomyia speices was reported for the first time on rice hispa from Himachal Pradesh.
· An another species of rice hispa namely Hispellinus moestus (Baly) was also reported from kangra district for the first time.
· Rice hispa, Dicladispa armigera (Oliver) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) was also reported for very first time from wheat crop in Himachal Pradesh.
· Severe defoliation of paddy crop due to slug caterpillars (a new pest ) was reported from Tikari, Kathiara and Panaper villages. The pest was reported for the very first time and farmers of the areas are advised to go for some contact insecticide against this menace.
· Plant hoppers (BPH/WBPH): For the first time hopper burn due to mixed populations of WBPH and BPH was observed in mid hills of the state during 2007.
· Chaffer beetle adults hither to unknown pest has beome a major pest which feeds on the rice panicle during milky stage.
· White tip nematode has been found to be associated with rice crop at nursery stage .
· Root-knot nematodes are becoming an alarming problem in rice-wheat eco-system.
· Black beetle has been found to damage upland crop and the crop during nursery stage.
E. WHEAT IMPROVEMENT:
Over the last 24 years the Centre has released 12 wheat varieties for different agro - ecological - situations of the state as per details given below:
Ø More than 20 wheat genetic stocks developed at this station have been included in NGSN for key characteristics like disease resistance to yellow rust and leaf rust and yield attributes
F. WHEAT AGRONOMY / RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:
Ø In order to harvest about 2.2 t / ha green fodder at 85 days after sowing without any decline in yield from dual purpose wheat (VL 829), farmers need to use 25 kg additional seed (125 kg/ha) or 30 kg additional nitrogen (150 kg N / ha).
Ø Delayed sowing of wheat up to 1st December resulted in 20 to 34% reduction in grain yield as compared to the optimum time of sowing and therefore, its sowing should not be delayed beyond first fortnight of November. Further seed rate should be increased to 125 kg / ha in case of late sown irrigated and 150 kg / ha for late sown rainfed conditions.
Ø A fertilizer dose of 120:60:30 kg N, P2O5 and K2O / ha for irrigated wheat and 80:40:40 kg N, P2O5 and K2O/ha for rainfed wheat has been recommended.
Ø Use of isoproturon @ 1.5 kg a.i. / ha 30 – 35 days after sowing for controlling both grassy and broadleaved weeds when grassy weeds are dominant and a mixture of isoproturon @ 1.0 kg a.i. / ha plus 2,4 – D @ 0.5 kg a.i./ ha when broadleaved weeds are more dominant.
Ø Weeds in wheat crop can also be effectively controlled by the spray of new herbicide combination product having clodinafop propargyl and metsulfuron methyl (60 + 4 g / ha). Application of this combination product, available in market as Vesta, gives effective control of both grassy and broad leaved weeds
G WHEAT PATHOLOGY
Ø A large number of wheat lines have been identified as resistance sources for rusts (yellow and brown rusts), powdery mildew, leaf blight, head blight /scab and hill bunt. These lines were identified by creating artificial epiphytotics on various wheat pathological nurseries viz., IPPSN, PPSN, LBSN, HSSN, PMSN and HBSN.
Ø Postulation of Pm resistance genes in the AVT-1 and II year entries was done and powdery mildew resistance genes like Pm 3a, 3c, 5 and 8 singly or in various combinations were found to impart resistance in Indian wheat.
Ø Dry seed treatment with Raxil @ 1 g/kg seed and wet seed treatment in 0.01% solution of Tilt 25 EC for 6 hrs were recommended for the control of loose smut.
Ø A new formulation of carbendazim, Mavistin 50 WP @ 2.5 g / kg seed was also recommended for seed treatment for the control of loose smut of wheat.
Ø Dry seed treatment with Dividend 30 WS @ 1 g/kg seed and wet seed treatment in 0.01% solution of Tilt 25 EC for 6 hrs were most effective giving complete control of hill bunt as compared to the seed treatment with standard recommended fungicide Vitavax 75 WP (0.25%). Also wet seed treatment with Tilt 25 EC was found to be economical costing just Rs. 0.15/kg seed as compared to Rs. 1.88/kg seed treatment with Vitax 75 WP (0.25%).
Ø Long term evaluation of wheat germplasm against powdery mildew revealed that a high degree of resistance was available in abundance in triticales, dicoccum and durum wheats whereas, in aestivum wheats, only a few varieties were having moderate resistance.
Ø The efficacy of Tilt 25 EC (0.01%) solution used for seed dip against loose smut goes on decreasing with serial dipping of seed lots in left over solutions and can at best be used only twice.
Future strategy/ Thrust area:
· To introduce and develop early maturing, blast resistant & bacterial blight resistant rice hybrid / varieties for irrigated areas.
· Identification and development of special high value rice varieties e.g. red rices, local scented/ high quality rices among the traditional rice germplasm and explore possibilities for their upscaling for blast resistance to make them highly competent export candidates.
· Integration of nutritional quality of red rices with aroma and taste from basmati and traditional rice.
· Development of high yielding yellow rust and powdery mildew resistant wheat varieties for different agro-climatic conditions.
· Development of water use efficient/ drought tolerant and nutrient use efficient wheat genotypes for low-input agriculture of hills.
· Development of Integrated Disease and Pest Management (IDPM) and Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) technologies for rice and wheat based cropping systems.
· Studies on newer methods of rice establishment viz., SRI, ICM and Drum Seedling and the disease and insect pest problems related to these cropping systems.
· Development of technology for organic cultivation of high value rice i.e. scented & red rices.
· Formulation and commercialization of indigenous botanicals against major insect-pests and diseases in rice and wheat.
· Identification and exploitation of natural enemies for the control of rice folder and rice hispa in Himachal Pradesh.
· Studies on the root-knot nematodes in rice-wheat ecosystem and its impact on yield.
· Evaluation/ development of technology for Zero-Budget farming both in rice and wheat