In a first of its kind experiment to identify specific trait from country's huge genetic resources, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) has characterised more than 5000 varieties of wheat germplasms for development of better seed varieties which could withstand climate change issues.

The national seed bank which operates under NBPGR, has more than four lakh accessions out of which around 1.2 lakh belongs to only rice and wheat varieties.

Wheat an exception but observers say 5-10 per cent damage possible clear trend likely next month

The optimism of policy makers that an increase in the rabi crop output in 2012-13 would compensate the loss of kharif production due to monsoon delay might be dashed, as a cold wave is taking a toll. Sowing has risen 2.6 per cent but even so, overall agricultural output this year might be lower than last year due tothe impact of the cold on pulses, vegetables and oilseeds. However, wheat output might get a boost due to the presence of moisture in the weather.

Teeth-chattering cold winds from Siberia to intensify; farmers worried, but wheat crop safe

Icy Siberian winds have chilled northern India and will intensify in the days ahead, making the winter even more severe, and highlighting the uncanny rise in extreme weather patterns such as droughts, hot spells and torrential downpours like the one that swamped Mumbai in 2005. For companies selling beverages, winterwear and heaters, business is booming with sales rising up to 40% in one of the coldest Indian winters in decades, but farmers are getting anxious about the impact on vegetables, pulses and oilseeds although the wheat crop is secure. The weather office says there is no quick relief in the offing.

Developed by the city-based Directorate of Oilseeds Research, BT (Bacillus thuringiensis), a bio-pesticide, will be showcased at the CoP-11 biodiversity conference, it was informed.

BT extract is used to kill pests such as pod borer, castor semi-looper and other insects that affect the rice crop, castor and pigeon pea and other oil seeds. Instead of transgenic crops, which give rise to serious apprehensions on bio-safety, scientists say the BT extract bio-pesticide is a safer alternative.

At an estimated 117.18 million tonnes, it is, however, “better than expected,” says Pawar

At an estimated 117.18 million tonnes, kharif production is expected to fall short of the target by 11.84 million tonnes this year, what with the delayed and deficient monsoon hitting production of coarse cereals, pulses and oilseeds in parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. It is lower by 12.76 million tonnes than what was achieved during kharif of 2011-12, though the southwest monsoon deficiency has come down to five per cent after significant late rainfall in August and September.

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre’s (BARC) nuclear technique for agriculture, particularly in creating new genetic variability in crop plants has been a success.

European Union plans to cap the use of food-based biofuels are a major setback for an industry once seen playing a central role in the fight against climate change, but now more often cast as the v

Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy which plays the most decisive role in the socioeconomic development of the country. Indian agriculture is a miscellaneous and extensive sector involving a large number of actors. India has one of the largest and institutionally most complex agricultural research systems in the world. The agricultural research system in India includes some 27,500 scientists and more than one lakh supporting staff actively engaged in agricultural research, which makes it probably the largest research system in the world.

Centre mulling alternative crops

The Union Government is looking at the possibility of replacing rice crop in Punjab and Haryana with alternative crops such as pulses, fodder and oilseeds that help in nitrogen fixation. The water-intensive rice cultivation over the years has become unsustainable in these two States and the water table has fallen to precarious levels.

Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University has developed a new mustard variety RH 0749 which has been identified for cultivation under timely sown, irrigated conditions in zone II compr