Rainfall observed in April and May in the Konya Plain is causing damage to cereal fields. Konya Plain, experiencing the highest rainfall in the past 20 years, is now facing yellow rust disease.
Yellow rust disease, also known as stripe rust, is a fungal disease that affects various cereal crops, including wheat, barley, and rye. It is characterized by the appearance of yellow or orange-colored stripes or pustules on the leaves, which can lead to reduced photosynthesis and yield losses.
The disease is caused by the fungus Puccinia striiformis and is typically favored by cool and moist conditions.
Ali Ergin, the Director of Konya Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry, stated to an AA correspondent that the recent increase in rainfall, combined with warm and humid weather, increases the risk of an outbreak of yellow rust disease.
Ergin emphasized that farmers should monitor their cultivated areas as the rainy period is expected to continue. In areas at risk of the disease, farmers are advised to contact the nearest agricultural directorate and start chemical control measures without delay to prevent crop losses.
Burak Kırkgöz, the President of the Chamber of Agricultural Engineers in Konya, stated that the rainfall in April and May was approximately twice the long-term average.
Kırkgöz emphasized that the rainfall, exceeding 80 millimeters per square meter in May in the Konya Plain, is highly beneficial for cereals as it meets their water needs. He further explained, “This rainfall is crucial for cereal fields. However, it can also bring about certain diseases. With the warming weather, we are starting to see some diseases. Currently, we are witnessing a significant occurrence of yellow rust disease in Konya, particularly in cereal fields. We recommend that farmers apply pesticides early on for this disease. The spraying can be done until the plant enters the ripening stage. Even in areas where the disease is not observed, we advise farmers to carry out protective spraying. During these periods, farmers need to monitor their fields more frequently.”
Kırkgöz stated that the cereal harvest in the Konya Plain will begin in July, and there is approximately a 10-day window for pesticide applications. He expressed that through this effort, the spread of the disease can be prevented.