The rainfall on Thursday and constant cloudy weather here have badly affected the procurement of wheat, which was yet to pick up, adding to the worries of farmers at the grain markets of the district.
The constant bad weather is not letting the moisture content to come down to the permissible limit of 12% while all the produce brought to the grain markets is getting dumped as a result.
"Earlier, private traders were procuring the wheat but, due to bad weather, they have stopped further procurement, preferring to transport the already procured wheat to safer places," said Harvinder Singh, a commission agent from Kotkapura.
"We have bought about 8,957 metric tonne wheat so far against the last year's 51,473 due to delayed harvesting. Some procurement was made today but moisture is a problem," said Kulbir Singh Matta, the district mandi officer, Faridkot.
Many farmers in the grain market here alleged that they have been waiting to sell their produce before the rainfall occurred, but no one came forward to lift their stock.
"We have been sitting here with our produce for three days, but none visited us to procure it though our produce was dry at that time. The rainwater spoiled our produce yesterday," claimed Gurtej Singh, a farmer from Wara Daraka village and Sukhmander Singh from Panjgrain Khurd.
"I came here even before the rainfall, but there is little procurement. I was only told that my produce has moisture content higher than the permissible limit," said Bhagwan Singh from Wara Daraka village.
Another farmer Jarnail Singh from Khokhar village of Muktsar district, said that he had been there for three days, but nobody has yet come to him to measure the moisture content.
"The recoding of moisture content by different agencies is also not satisfactory. The different procurement agencies have different kinds of moisture meters and we do not know whether they are calibrated or not. Nor can we ask them. But their results vary a lot leading to the problems," alleged Ashok Kumar Goyal," secretary of the Ahartia Association, Kotkapura.
"As per the rules, calibration of the scientific equipment is required every year. The calibrating agency provides the certificate for moisture meters to be correct, but we are not sure about seeing their results," said Goyal.
Varied results confuse the farmers and commission agents as well.
"On Thursday, a particular agency recorded the moisture of heaps lying under the shed to be around 13%, that should have decreased today. But, today they recorded it at 14 per cent. So how can we believe the results with such a variation," he asked.
Kotkapura, which is a major grain market of the district, was on Friday dotted with heaps of wheat all around with more and more farmers coming to the markets.