Despite untimely rains in April leading to delayed harvesting, the average wheat yield in the border district of Amritsar has not been affected and initial indicators suggest that it could cross the highest ever yield of 49.48 quintals per hectare.
Preliminary reports received by the district agriculture department indicated that the average yield of the grain this time is just marginally short of 49 quintals per hectare. This is much better than the average yield of the 2012-13 season (last year) which was 46.70 quintals per hectare.
“We may even cross the highest ever yield figure of 49.48 quintals per hectare achieved during 2011-12 season”, chief agriculture officer ( C AO ) Paramjit Singh Sandhu told HT here on Friday.
Asked about the reasons for the high yield despite the rains delaying harvesting, Sandhu said, “It is basically due to awareness among farmers, who have gone in for seed replacement instead of repeating the varieties in their fields. They have gone in for the high-yield varieties and before sowing most of the farmers went in for seed treatment”.
Most farmers, not only in this district but in other parts of the state, have preferred the ‘HD’ seed varieties of the Haryana Agricultural University (HAU) instead of going in for the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) varieties.
The state government and the state agriculture department had tried their best to popularise the PAU varieties but the farmers had more faith in the varieties from the neighbouring state because of the better yield and also because these have a higher resistance power to pest and fungal attacks.
Sandhu claimed that the untimely rains, which at times were accompanied by high-speed winds, affected the late sown wheat, mainly in the vegetable belt of the district. Lodging of the late sown wheat took place as green plants, being heavier than ripened ones, easily fall to the ground after getting wet and due to the winds.
“Lodging has af fected the yield and quality of the grain. It has also added to the cost of the far mers, as plants that have fallen to the ground will have to be cut manually rather than with combine harvesters”, added Sandhu while pointing out that the rains did not affect the grain quality of the early sown crop.