Manav Mander/Arun Sharma
Ludhiana/Ropar, March 31
Rainfall and gusty winds when wheat is in its maturity stage are causing a lot of damage to the crop. Rainfall has caused lodging on more than 25,000 hectares in Ludhiana district.
It rained in the district today and the weather is expected to remain cloudy with the possibility of gusty winds and thundershowers tomorrow.
Chief Agriculture Officer Narinder Singh Benipal said a few days back a hailstorm lashed some areas in the district. Water was stagnating in fields and lodging had damaged the wheat crop, which was in its hard dough stage, said Benipal.
Several villages, including Aatiana, Rajoana Kalan, Rajoana Khurd, Sudhar, Akalgarh, Raikot and Rauni, were badly affected. “Wheat crop on more than 25,000 hectares has flattened due to the recent rain and winds. The harvesting process will be delayed by 15 to 20 days,” he said.
In Ludhiana district this year, wheat was sown on 2.43 lakh hectares. The crop was damaged in almost all villages but its extent was varied. Balbir Singh from a village near Samrala said the last time, it was dwarf paddy crop which weighed heavy on farmers and this year, rain ruined their wheat crop.
“We will be incurring losses due to the untimely rain this time,” he said.
Meanwhile, farmers who adopted the surface seeding technique for sowing wheat recommended by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) had withstood the fury of nature.
Sohan Singh, a farmer, had sown wheat on 27 acres. He said there was less lodging of the crop sown through the surface seeding technique. Crop sown on adjoining fields through other methods had suffered moderate to heavy lodging, he said.
PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Satbir Singh Gosal said the surface seeding technology recommended by university was the cheapest, environmental friendly and revolutionary technique for the paddy straw management and sowing of wheat.
He said, “The technology is helpful for farmers, especially those who cannot afford large machinery. It can also prevent burning of paddy straw.”
Unseasonal rain in March has damaged wheat crop on least 30,000 hectares in the Ropar district. The Agriculture Department officials said that out of total 68,000 hectares under wheat crop in the district, 33 per cent to 75 per cent of damage was assessed on 30,000 hectares due to heavy rains on March 25 and 26, while the situation is set to deteriorate further because of rains in the region since yesterday.
Chief Agriculture Officer of Ropar Gurmel Singh said that besides wheat, crops of mustard and barley standing on 100 and 10 hectare of area, respectively, have also been damaged to the same extent.
The yield is set to decrease by around 10 per cent, he added. SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra, who visited the area today, said the CM needs to get financial help for farmers from the Calamity Relief Fund.
Surface seeding technique boon
Farmers who adopted the surface seeding technique for sowing wheat recommended by the PAU had withstood the fury of nature
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