Patiala/Ludhiana, March 18
Heavy rain accompanied by strong winds in many parts of the state has added to woes of farmers. Agriculture experts said though light rain spell was beneficial at this stage, strong winds and heavy downpour would affect the “crop yield” and delay harvest by 10 days.
Farmers said the untimely rain would also push prices of fodder up as water had got accumulated in the fields.
- Farmers have sought immediate relief for their crop loss and alleged they haven’t received any compensation previously for such events
- Raikot and Ahmedgarh SDMs said officials of the Revenue Department had been asked to coordinate with farmers in this regard
Patiala Chief Agriculture officer Harinder Singh said rain spell had caused damage and farmers would suffer losses. “Punjab has roughly 2.33 lakh hectares under wheat crop and the rain spell has roughly caused damage to 10 per cent of the standing crop. In Patiala, yield may decrease by two per cent,” he said.
The early-sown wheat varieties suffered more damage. “If the crops remain inundated, then harvesting it will be an onerous task,” said Chajju Singh from Nabha.
High temperature balanced out
High temperature in February has been balanced out with these showers. But rain accompanied by strong winds has damaged standing crops. —Dr MS Bhullar, Head, Department of agronomy, PAU
Similar was the case in Sangrur as farmers fear lossesd due to flattening of the crop. Gurpal Singh of Thalesa village, said, “Winds have flattened the wheat crop. If rain continues for some days, my crop will get totally damaged.”
Farmers said they had not received any financial assistance from the government for the crop loss they suffered in the past. They said they were already under huge debt and another crop failure would multiply their woes.
Agriculture Development Officer Dr Amarjit Singh said there was no need to panic, despite the weather.
“Strong winds and rain has flattened the wheat crop at various places, but there is no loss of crop at present.” The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) had suggested the farmers not to irrigate their wheat crop. “This was done due to wet weather forecast,” said the experts.
According to weather experts, similar conditions would prevail for the next three days. “Rainfall is favourable for the wheat crop at this point. High temperature in February has been balanced out with these showers. With dip in mercury, now there is no fear of shrivelled grain. But rain accompanied by gusty winds has damaged standing crops,” said Dr MS Bhullar, head, Department of Agronomy, PAU.
Cautioning the farmers, Dr Bhullar said stagnant water in the fields would lead to drop in yield. Dr Pavneet Kaur Kingra, head, Department of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, PAU, said weather would remain same till March 21. “High-velocity winds are a major cause for concern at this stage. Waterlogging makes crop heavy and it tends to fall when the wind blows,” said Dr Kingra.
Dr Rajan Aggarwal, principal scientist-cum-head, Renewable Energy Engineering, PAU, said, “Rain will help in checking over exploitation of groundwater, which is declining by 70-90 cm every year.”
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