Patiala, September 17
The two days of rain in many parts of Punjab will prove beneficial for paddy crop, which is nearing its harvesting stage, as the drop in temperature will help the grain to ripe slowly, thus increasing the yield. This year, the area under paddy crop is about 32 lakh hectares, an increase of 32,000 hectares as compared to 2022-23.
Experts suggest that the September rain will not only help the kharif crop, but will also retain soil moisture and support the sowing of rabi crops. But farmers in a few districts were worried if the rain spell would further aggravate pest attack on the crop.
“Rainwater has essential minerals and also helps in controlling pest attacks. In certain pockets the sown paddy is facing attack from various pests, including turmeric disease and Brown Plant Hopper (locally called kala tela), which was affecting crops in certain districts due to high humidity and almost no rain in the past fortnight. Now, the rain spell will check pest attack and help the crop,” they said.
Will increase output
The drop in temperatures will be beneficial for the paddy grain and it will help in increasing the output and also improve the quality and quantity of the ripened paddy. —Gurnam Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer
With a good rain spell on Saturday and Sunday in majority of the districts and the night temperatures dropping, the farmers were worried if it would affect their paddy crop. “The drop in temperatures will be beneficial for the paddy grain and it will rather help in increasing output and also improve the quality and quantity of the ripened paddy,” said Chief Agriculture Officer, Gurnam Singh.
“The only caution needed is to ensure that there is no water accumulation in the paddy fields as it can damage the grain,” he stated. The harvesting typically begins in the first week of October, with basmati 1509 being the only exception, sown in June and currently being harvested in some districts.
Despite paddy crop on approximately 10,000 hectares of cultivable land being totally damaged after two floods in July and August in Punjab, the state government is still looking at a bumper paddy crop.
Last year, 182.29 LMT of paddy was purchased by the government agencies in the state.
Arrangements are in place for agencies to purchase 182 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of paddy this year, once the procurement starts next month
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