Survey and surveillance of wheat biotic stresses: Indian scenario
520Biotic stresses are the main constraints in wheat production worldwide. Realizing the importance of crop health monitoring, regular wheat disease surveys were initiated during 1967 under All India Co-ordinated Wheat Improvement Programme (AICWIP). In India, the concerted efforts of wheat surveillance have contributed significantly in keeping vigil on new pathogens and devising strategy for developing new resistant varieties ahead the pathogen can cause loss to the crop. A systematic plant protection program emphasizes the need for identifying the potentially important pests. Crop health monitoring and surveillance activities help in identifying these crop health problems early enough, so that timely management measures can be undertaken to keep the pests at the lowest possible level, or to have information that the pests, feared by the farmer, may not warrant intensive crop protection measures. These surveys were carried out through mobile units and trap nurseries which generated considerable information on the appearance of rusts in different parts of the country. With the advancement in technology, the machine driven intelligent system has come to existence to facilitate remote agriculture monitoring in developed nations. Earlier, emphasis the working of earlier robot was based upon radio frequency (RF), which faced the problem of range. This problem is now overcome by intelligent robot which employs global system for mobile communication (GSM) technique. The robot captures the visual image of plant leaves, compares its color and height with reference value set in the system, and correspondingly indicates the plant health. In future, remote based technique either through remote sensing or through intelligent robot can play important role in surveillance of wheat diseases in India. This will help in getting information in real time and necessary management options will be followed well in time to avoid any major loss to food grain production in the country if any new pest/pathogen appears in severe form due to changing climatic scenario.