Virus to the rescue

The people of Himachal Pradesh and the adjoining states have finally got some respite from the weed, Ageratum conyzoids , locally known as "neela phulnu', which had ravaged pastures, forest land and grazing areas. The weed has been infected by the leaf-vein mosaic virus. The infected plants have been sent to H P Krishi Vishvaidyalaya in Palampur to identify the vector responsible for the disease. In the meantime, farmers have been advised to collect extracts of the affected plants, mix it in water and spray the solution on healthy plants.