Recently, scientists have warned that the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, which is destroying South American wheat crops, could spread worldwide.
About Wheat Blast:
- What it is? It is a fungal disease in tropical and subtropical wheat production regions caused by Magnaporthe oryzae.
- The fungus infects wild and cultivated grasses, most notably rice and wheat.
- It spreads through infected seeds, and crop residues as well as by spores that can travel long distances in the air.
- The crop fungi are known to mutate and adapt to new conditions
- History of the outbreak of this disease
- Researchers first detected this pathogen in Brazilian wheat crops in the 1980s.
- Asia’s first outbreak of this pathogenic wheat blast was reported in Bangladesh in 2016.
- Two years later, an outbreak of this fungus was detected in wheat crops in Zambia, which was the first time the pathogen was detected in Africa.
Key Facts about Wheat
- It is the second most important cereal crop in India after rice.
- It is a Rabi crop which requires a cool growing season and bright sunshine at the time of ripening.
- Temperature: It requires 10-15°C (at the time of Sowing) and 21-26°C during Ripening & Harvesting.
- Rainfall: Around 75-100 cm.
- Soil required: Well-drained fertile loamy and clayey loamy.
Q1) What is Rabi crop?
Rabi crop is a type of agricultural crop that is sown in the winter season in India, usually between October and December, and harvested in the spring, typically between March and June.