L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Selenium toxicity worries experts
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 20
Selenium-toxicity has been observed in the animals of some of the villages in Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahar districts of Punjab. Revealing this KS Dhillon of department of soils, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, said selenium (Se) concentration in the soil-plant systems was directly related to the health of animals and human beings.

According to Dhillon, when the concentration of Se exceeds 0.5 mg/kg of soil, the forages and other crops grown over that soil absorbed more than 5 mg Se/kg,the maximum permissible level of Se for animal consumption. Regular ingestion of such fodders or grains for 2-3 months resulted in the development of chronic selenosis (accumulation of excess of selenium in the body) in animals as well as human beings, he disclosed.

Dhillon, another scientist in the department of soils, listed overgrowth and appearance of cracks followed by gradual detachment of the hoof, shedding-off of horn corneum, loss of hair, necrosis of tail and reluctance to move as some of the symptoms of Se toxicity in animals.

Early abortion and repeat breeding were other symptoms of excessive selenium content in the body. In chronic cases, liver and kidney functions could be affected and death could occur, he added.

J.S. Hundal, a scientist from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Langroya, suggested some remedies to control the transfer of excessive selenium in green fodder from soil.

He advocated application of gypsum at the rate of 3-4 q/acre on alternate year to reduce 60-70 per cent flow of selenium from soil to green fodder. Cultivating oat, bajra, jowar, maize and guinea grass as fodder was another option as they absorbed less selenium as compared to other fodders. Hundal warned against cultivating fodder in paddy fields as soil of such fields became rich in selenium due to repeated irrigation with underground water.

To prevent selenium entry into animals system through water, Hundal suggested that irrigation water for crops be drawn from deep tubewells (350-400 ft.) as they were low in selenium.

Grains as well as wheat and paddy straw produced on selenium-rich soil should also be avoided. He pointed out that utilization of mineral mixture containing moderate levels of Se could increase animal productivity in areas producing fodder from low-level of selenium.

But it would be harmful for animals reared on Se-rich belt of Punjab.

He, therefore, advised to use only recommended mineral mixture by PAU. 

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Emotional adieu to  B. Com students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 20
Students of B.Com (second year) of Gobindgarh Public College, Alour (Khanna), bid farewell to their seniors in a valedictory party hosted by them.

Suresh Goyal, chairman, GPC, presided over the function. O.P.Goyal, president, GESWT, Chaman Lal Garg and Swaranjit Singh also graced the  occasion.

The function comprised of several dances, skit and song items. Games were also organised for the entertainment of students and guests.

The highlight of the party was a modeling competition among senior students.

Aarti Verma was crowned Miss Farewell and Mr Harsimranpreet was crowned Mr Farewell.

Principal Dr Suresh Tandon blessed the outgoing students and wished them good luck for their future.

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