Rain damages basmati, potato crops in Jalandhar

Untimely showers will delay sowing of seasonal vegetables

Rain damages basmati, potato crops in Jalandhar

Flattened basmati crop after heavy rain accompanied by strong winds and thunderstorm

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 24

Rain that started on Saturday evening continued on Sunday adding to the woes of farmers. Heavy rain accompanied by strong winds and thunderstorm damaged major crops like basmati, sugarcane, potato and peas.

Gurpal Singh, a Phagwara-based farmer, said about 80 per cent of his basmati crop and 30 per cent ready-to-harvest paddy had been damaged in the rain.

The fresh spell of rain not only caused damage to the standing crop, but also delayed the sowing of seasonal vegetables. Farmers in several parts of the Doaba fear that the harvesting of the standing paddy crop would further be delayed by one more week.

“Besides, farmers, who had sown potato recently, also reported damage to their crop. The untimely rain will lead to rotting of potatoes sown in the soil. However, we hope weather will remain clear in the next few days and we will sow again our crop,” added Gurpal.

Agricultural experts said, “Undoubtedly, rain at this time is not favourable for any crop, but it is too early to assess the loss caused to crops as in some parts of the region, rain did not cause much impact. In areas where paddy and basmati plants have flattened, we fear the quality of the harvested paddy and basmati will fall in the lowest range quality.”

Besides, farmers say that paddy grains would be discoloured as the moisture content has increased in the crops. “Basmati 1509 has suffered more damages than other varieties,” adds Amardeep Singh, another farmer. He said there was a possibility that paddy growers would suffer a loss of nearly three to four quintals of rice grains in one acre land.

“Besides, farmers in our village, who have sown potato, also reported damage caused to the crop due to incessant rain,” Amardeep further added.

The late arrival of monsoon had already affected the quality of rice saplings and now flattened crop would again get discoloured and we would face difficulties in selling it, said a Bhartiya Kisan Union farmer. Earlier, cracks had developed in many areas owing to water shortage, eventually reducing the quality of the crop sown.

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