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Inclement weather threat to late-sown wheat, may hit yield

Inclement weather threat to late-sown wheat, may hit yield

A farmer looks at his flattened wheat crop in a Hisar village. Ashok Kundu



Tribune News Service

Deepender Deswal

Hisar, March 18

Vagaries of weather continue to pose a threat to the rabi crops as after the extreme hot conditions, rain coupled with hailstorm and strong winds have been reported from various districts, including Bhiwani, Hisar and other areas. Farmers fear an adverse impact on the wheat yield this season.

The agriculture experts are keeping their fingers crossed on the impact of the weather conditions, stating that the lodging (flattening) of the late-sown wheat crop could record up to 25% fall in the yield due to shriveled grain. However, early sown wheat crops are unlikely to be affected due to flattening. The government has a target of 12.5 million tonnes at an average of 4,900 kg per hectare. The state has a wheat crop of 2,550 hectares. Last year, the state had recorded the production of 10.44 million tonnes, which was nearly 20% below the target of the Agriculture Department.

Dinesh Panghal, a farmer of Tosham in Bhiwani, which recorded four-mm rainfall today, said the rain at this stage was uncalled for and would only damage the crops, including wheat and mustard. “While the wheat crop has got flattened due to high-speed winds that resulted in adverse impact on the yield. The mustard crop has also suffered losses in areas where a hailstorm occurred or is likely to occur in the next few days.”

Dr Om Prakash Bishnoi, scientist at the Wheat and Barley section of Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University (HAU), said though the fall in temperature had benefitted the wheat crop, which got respite from the extreme heat, but the rains and strong winds had resulted in lodging of the standing wheat crop. “As of now, parts in Hisar, including Talwandi village and certain areas in Bhiwani, have recorded light hailstorm. The crops will suffer damage in areas where it has got flattened due to the strong winds. Farmers should stop irrigating wheat,” he said.

“Lodging can result in shriveled grain, which affects the quality and weight of the grain. The yield in the late-sown crops can fall by 20% to 25% due to the lodging of the standing crops. However, the timely and advanced sown crops will have minor impact of lodging in yield,” he said.

The HAU scientist said the farmers should not spray fungicide in areas where brown rust and yellow rust had been reported in recent days as the rains would wash out the fungus from the plants. “I expect that the inclement weather with fall in temperature can be beneficial if there is no lodging of standing crops and no hailstorm,” he added. The farmers had reported that the wheat crop had matured early due to the extreme hot temperatures in late February and early March this year.

IMD issues yellow alert

The IMD has issued a yellow alert in many districts of Haryana with the prediction of thunderstorm/light gusty winds at a speed of 30-40 kmph for the next five days

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