Bhanu P Lohumi
Shimla, February 14
Bumper wheat crop prospects have brightened up in Himachal as the state received 57 per cent excess rain during the current winter session, while 93 per cent excess rain was recorded in January alone.
“As about 75 per cent of the land under cultivation is rainfed, periodic and excess rain are beneficial for crops. A bumper crop is expected this year,” said Director, Agriculture, BR Takhi.
Conducive growth conditions
About 75 per cent of the land under cultivation is rainfed. Periodic and excess rain lends moisture during sowing and maturing of crop. —BR Takhi, Director, Agriculture
Rain in lower areas, particularly in rainfed regions, was beneficial for wheat as it provided sufficient moisture during sowing and maturing of crop, he said. It helps control spread of yellow rust disease and facilitates spray of urea. Another spell of rain during the milky stage in March would ensure that the production target of 672 thousand metric tonnes is surpassed, he said.
The area under cultivation and production was 3.19 lakh hectares and 628 thousand metric tonnes in 2019-20, which has marginally increased to 3.40 lakh hectares. A production target of 672 thousand metric tonnes with an average yield of 20 quintals per hectare has been set for 2021-22.
Himachal received 212.6 mm of rain against normal rainfall of 135.7 mm, an excess of 57 per cent, from January 1 to February 14. Sirmaur received 329 per cent excess rain, followed by Solan (271 per cent), Una (253 per cent), Bilaspur (204 per cent), Hamirpur (124 per cent), Kangra (118 per cent), Mandi (104 per cent), Kullu (88 per cent), Shimla (62 per cent) and Chamba (52 per cent).
“Due to scanty rain in December, we were worried as there was no growth. However, rain in January helped increase the size of the plant to 1 foot,” said Gian Singh, a farmer from Sujana village in the outskirts of Shimla.
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