The Punjab government today approved four new high yielding and disease resistant varieties of rice while one each of maize and guar for general cultivation in the state.

The new varieties are developed by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

The varieties include “PR 121, and PR 122” of ‘A’ Grade paddy, “Punjab Basmati 3 and Pusa Punjab Basmati 1509” of basmati rice, “PMH 7” of maize and “HG 365” of guar.

The meeting of State Variety Approval Committee, held at PAU under the chairmanship of Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu, Director of Agriculture, Punjab, approved the release of these new crop varieties for general cultivation in the state.

Giving details about the varieties, S S Gosal, Director of Research, PAU, said PR-121 variety of paddy is a semi dwarf variety with dark green erect leaves. The variety resists the attack of all the 10 presently prevalent pathotypes of bacterial blight pathogen in the Punjab state, he highlighted.

The average paddy yield of this variety is 30.5 quintal per acre.

Gosal informed that the second variety PR 122 yields on average 31.5 quintals of paddy per acre. Its average plant height is 108 cm and matures in about 147 days after seeding.

It also possesses long slender clear translucent grains with high total and head rice recoveries, he said.

Among the newly released basmati varieties, Punjab Basmati 3 is an improved version of traditional tall variety Basmati 386 with respect to disease resistance and height, Gosal said.

“It is dwarfer than Basmati 386 by about 50 cm, thus won’t lodge. The variety resists the attack of all the 10 presently prevalent pathotypes of bacterial blight pathogen in the state,” he said.

He highlighted that the biggest advantage of this variety was that it would be able to capture the European market.

Gosal said that the second basmati variety Pusa Punjab Basmati 1509 has been released on adhoc basis.

It is an early maturing basmati variety which matures in about 125 days after seeding and its average height is 94 cm.

Its grains are almost double upon cooking and are strongly scented. Its average paddy yield is 15.7 quintal per acre, he said while observing that the variety would be suitable for multiple cropping systems, which will result in higher returns to the farmers.

Gosal further said that the PMH 7 is a short duration hybrid of maize which is suitable for spring season planting.

It is moderately tolerant to high temperature stress, post flowering stalk rot and shoot fly.

M S Gill, Director of Extension Education, PAU observed that the basmati varieties would prove to be a boon for the state as a whole, since these can be transplanted late in the month of July.

The varieties of maize and guar will provide new options to the farmers, he said.

(This article was published on February 27, 2013)
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