Rain, wind flatten crop; no cause for concern: Experts

Tribune News Service

Moga/Bathinda, March 22

Light rainfall in many districts due to a fresh western disturbance in the past 24 hours not only lowered the temperature, but also brought cheer to wheat growers.

The Meteorological Department in Chandigarh has said intermittent rain will continue at isolated places in the state over the next 24 hours. In Amritsar, it was 3.2 mm, Patiala 1.8 mm and Ludhiana 3.4 mm. The rain was also witnessed in Moga, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Muktsar, Bathinda, Barnala, Sangrur, Mansa, Taran Taran, Gurdaspur, Mohali, Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib and other districts of the state.

Dr Jaswinder Brar, Agri Dept Scientist

Yield will be good

Wheat crop needs cold conditions to thrive. An expected drop in the minimum temperature over the next five to 10 days will help increase the grain size, thereby boosting the yield.

Reports from Taran Taran, Goneana in Bathinda district, Moga and some places in Ferozepur revealed that gusty winds of 30 to 40 kmph flattened the wheat crop. However, no hailstorm was reported from any part of the state. “The wheat crop has the tendency to withstand such vagaries of weather,” said Dr Jaswinder Brar, an agro-scientist of the Agriculture Department.

He claimed the rainfall was beneficial for wheat growers who had sown their crop without burning straw by mulching technology. The scientist who visited several villages of Attiana block in the Sudhar area of Ludhiana on Monday said good moisture was seen in the roots of the wheat plants.

Devinder Singh, a farmer in Attiana, told the visiting agro-scientist the crop was healthy and he was expecting a good yield. The paddy straw left in the fields had completely decomposed, making the soil healthy, he said.

However, high-velocity winds and rain damaged the standing crop, which was to be harvested in mid-April, in parts of Bathinda district. Jagga Singh of Balluana village said: “It would be difficult to harvest the fallen wheat and they would have to pay more to labourers.”

Another farmer Parminder Singh of Balluana village said “We were expecting bumper crop this time, but the standing crop now lies flattened in the field. The yield is expected to be reduced by around 50 per cent.” They also demanded that the government should immediately order a special ‘girdawri’ (revenue survey to assess losses) and give compensation to farmers for their crop loss. An agriculture expert, however, said this rain was good for the wheat crop at this point of time as it had lowered the temperature. “There is no need to panic as there is ample time for the crop to recover,” he said.

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