Haze hits wheat sowing in state

Tribune News Service

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, November 14

With a film of haze obstructing sun rays, farmers in the area have started pulling out wet paddy straw manually with the help of rakes. Amid cloudy weather conditions and rain forecast this week, the farmers are working on ways to prepare their fields for sowing wheat. Most of them are likely to miss the November 15 deadline and a delay would mean a loss of 1.5 quintal per acre per week, say experts in the Agriculture Department.

Usually, over 90% sowing is completed in the first half of November. But owing to a long spell of smog and deficient sunshine this time, only about 10-15% wheat has been sown in the state so far. The region saw moderate rain last week.

Scattered clouds continue to block sunshine for rain-irrigated fields to prepare these for ploughing and sowing. Rain in coming days will cause a sand crust on wheat seed, hampering germination and sprouting. After rainfall, the farmers will have to wait for at least a week as sowing in soil that has a high moisture content is not suitable for germination. Due to smog, wheat sowing has slowed down drastically this season. 

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