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No groundwork, late sowing ‘diktat’ goes unheard 

Chandigarh: The government steps to make farmers plant early maturing and less water-consuming paddy varieties, either forcefully or by creating awareness, stand exposed as transplantation officially begins on Wednesday.It seems another year has been lost on saving groundwater, as a majority of farmers across the state have already transplanted water-guzzling varieties of paddy.This year, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) had recommended PR 127, a medium maturing high-yield variety. To make a complete switch from traditional varieties at least 61,000 tonnes of seed was needed to sow 30.69 lakh hectares, as per figures tabulated by the university.This year, 2,600 quintals of PR 127 was sold for Rs 50 a kg at kisan melas, regional research stations, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, seed farms located at Ladhowal, Naraingarh, Faridkot and Kapurthala, and Farmer Advisory Service Centres of PAU.Dr TS Dhillon, Director (Seeds), PAU, said PR 127 was a high yield paddy variety with medium maturity period and was disease resistant. “It resists attack of 10 prevalent pathotypes of bacterial blight pathogen present in Punjab, which makes it the best option as compared to traditional varieties. The average yield of this variety is 30 quintals per acre. It is a better genetic product and the farmers should go for it in a big way,” he said.

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