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India’s wheat crop is critical to the nation’s food security. Farmers across the country now use their cell phones to send pest sightings and growing conditions to the Directorate of Wheat Research in Karnal, led by Indu Sharma, member of the WHEAT Management Committee.

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Thanks to the introduction of high-yield dwarf varieties about 40 years ago, India has since become a net exporter of wheat, but there are concerns that a strain of wheat rust called Ug99 could devastate harvests. Wheat farmers across the country now use their cell phones to send pest sightings and general growing conditions to the Directorate of Wheat Research in Karnal. So far, Ug99 has not been seen in India, says Indu Sharma, the directorate’s head.

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