Chandigarh, Jan 22 (PTI) Widespread rain that lashed Punjab and Haryana is beneficial for the wheat crop and will help boost the yield, an official of Punjab agriculture department said Tuesday.

Rain will also help in containing the fungal disease yellow rust, the director of the agriculture department, Jasbir Singh Bains, said.

“Rains have come at the right time. At this stage, rains are very beneficial for wheat crop. Rainfall activity will lead to increase in photosynthesis activity and it will help in increasing output of the crop,” he explained.

Wheat is the main rabi crop in Punjab and is grown in over 35 lakh hectare area in the state, also known as the food bowl of the country.

“The weather conditions were congenial for the attack of yellow rust. But now with rains, it will be controlled to a large extent,” Bains said, adding that an attack of yellow rust had already appeared on wheat crop in a village in Anandpur Sahib.

Yellow rust is a fungal disease which turns crop’s leaves yellowish and stops photosynthesis activity. Bains, however, advised wheat growers to not let the rain water stagnate in the field as it could be harmful to the crop. Widespread rain lashed Punjab and Haryana Monday, with Pathankot receiving the highest rainfall of 94 mm. Amritsar (13.1 mm), Ludhiana (53.6 mm), Patiala (14.8 mm), Adampur (57 mm), Halwara (44 mm), Bathinda (4 mm), Faridkot (2.2 mm) and Gurdaspur (67.1 mm). were among the places which received rainfall in Punjab. In Haryana, Chandigarh (10.6 mm), Ambala (7.7 mm), Hisar (30 mm), Karnal (16.8), Narnaul (12 mm), Rohtak (3.2 mm), Bhiwani (1.4 mm) and Sirsa (5 mm) received rainfall, an official of the meteorological department said here Tuesday.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.