Rain to prove beneficial for wheat crop in Punjab, say agronomists : The Tribune India

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Rain to prove beneficial for wheat crop in Punjab, say agronomists

Rain to prove beneficial for wheat crop in Punjab, say agronomists

Commuters experience the first rain of this winter in Patiala on Thursday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAJESH SACHAR



Tribune News Service

Mohit Khanna

Patiala, November 30

Today’s rain will prove beneficial for all, especially farmers. Besides helping in settling down smog and other pollutants, it has also provided the much-needed moisture to the soil, which is considered beneficial for the wheat crop sown on an estimated 34 lakh hectares across the state.

According to agronomists, the winter showers will prove favourable for farmers who had sown the crop in the first two weeks of November. Those who had sown the crops a few days ago might face problem as rain could lead to hardening of soil, which could hamper seed germination.

MS Bhullar, head, Department of Agronomy, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), said overall the rain was good for wheat crop, except for the farmers who had sown the crops a few days ago and were awaiting germination. The rain leads to crusting of soil (karand), which hampers seed germination. In such a scenario the seed needs to be sown again, he added.

On the other hand, Pavneet Kaur Kingra, head, Department of Climate Change and Agriculture Meteorology, said rain and cloud cover provided much need moisture to the soil. She added that the weather would be clear from December 1. The overcast conditions led to a dip in the temperature. The mercury witnessed a dip of 6 degree Celsius in Patiala. While the maximum temperature was 19.6°C, the minimum temperature was recorded at 13. 3°C.

In the past sudden rise in temperature during winter had led to the thinning and shortening of wheat grain size. Wheat is very sensitive to high temperatures, especially at the grain development stage due to the direct effect on grain number and grain weight, which are important from crop yield and quality point of view.

Not good for late sowers

The rain is not good for farmers who had sown the crops a few days ago and were awaiting germination. The rain leads to crusting of soil, which hampers seed germination. In such a scenario, the seed needs to be sown again. — MS Bhullar, head, department of agronomy, PAU

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