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PAU Urges Farmers to Hold Off Paddy Transplantation Until June 20 to Conserve Water Amid Sinking Levels

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has cautioned farmers against early paddy transplantation, citing the urgent need for water conservation amidst sinking groundwater levels.

KJ Staff
PAU Urges Farmers to Hold Off Paddy Transplantation Until June 20 to Conserve Water Amid Sinking Levels (This image has been created with MidJourney)
PAU Urges Farmers to Hold Off Paddy Transplantation Until June 20 to Conserve Water Amid Sinking Levels (This image has been created with MidJourney)

In a bid to combat the escalating crisis of sinking groundwater levels in Punjab, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has issued a stern warning to farmers, urging them to refrain from transplanting paddy before June 20.

Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor of PAU, emphasized the urgent need for water conservation, highlighting the detrimental impact of premature paddy transplantation on both agriculture and the environment.

Dr. Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Director of Research at PAU, advised farmers to consider transplanting less water-consuming and early maturing 'PR' varieties, such as PR 131, PR 129, PR 128, PR 121, PR 122, PR 114, and PR 113, starting from June 20.

Additionally, varieties like PR 126, PR 127, PR 130, and HKR 147 should be transplanted from June 25 onwards. Dr. Dhatt particularly emphasized the benefits of PR 126, which allows for the timely sowing of other crops like potatoes, peas, or berseem due to its early vacating of the field.

potatoes, peas, or berseem due to its early vacating of the field.

Transplanting paddy after June 20 is not only a conservation measure but also ensures high yields and sustainable rice cultivation, as per Dr. GS Mangat, Additional Director of Research (Agriculture) at PAU. He underscored the significance of adopting water-saving practices for successful and eco-friendly agriculture.

Dr. MS Bhullar, Director of Extension Education at PAU, advocated for the promotion of nursery sowing of short-duration rice varieties, including Punjab Basmati 7, Punjab Basmati 5, Pusa Basmati 1121, Pusa Basmati 1847, and Pusa Basmati 1718 in the first fortnight of June. Additionally, varieties like CSR 30 and Pusa Basmati 1509 should be sown in the second fortnight of June.

PAU has been actively promoting short-duration rice varieties and direct-seeded rice (DSR) to conserve water, reduce labor, and enhance profitability. During a recent monthly review meeting for research and extension work, extension functionaries were instructed to encourage the adoption of these practices among farmers. Furthermore, vigilance was urged to deter the illegal use and sowing of water-intensive rice varieties like Pusa 44, which has been banned.

The concerted efforts of PAU and farmers are essential to address the water crisis and ensure sustainable agricultural practices in Punjab.

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