The western disturbance that was active in north India since March will finally subside after April 10, bringing better days for farmers who have suffered losses due to untimely rain and hailstorm.
Experts at the Chandigarh meteorological centre have predicted clear days between April 10 and April 16 in Punjab and Haryana.
They say while it may not rain in Haryana, parts of Punjab are likely to receive light to heavy rain accompanied by high-velocity winds between April 16 and 23. This may further delay harvesting, they say.
According to the fresh forecast, says Chandigarh meteorological centre director Surinder Paul Singh, wheat farmers in Punjab and Haryana are likely to get some relief from the rough weather. He says the weather is likely to remain more favourable for wheat In Haryana than in Punjab.
“The weather will not be conducive for wheat ripening till April 9 as rain is likely to lash parts of Punjab and Haryana. After April 10, we may see sunny or partly cloudy days. But after April 16, rain will again hit the region and the weather is expected to remain wet till April 23,” says Singh.
According to Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh, rough weather conditions have damaged wheat crop on lakhs of hectares in the region. This will affect the wheat contribution from Punjab and Haryana to the central pool and the country is likely to miss the target to procuring 300 lakh tonnes of wheat this year.
The minister, however, says low temperature can boost the wheat maturity. “It is premature to say that harvesting will begin from April 15. It will depend on the maturity of the crop,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Punjab Agricultural University farm management extension specialist Raj Kumar and head of the agronomy department of the varsity GS Buttar feel the harvesting will be delayed due to inclement weather since mid-February as the crop is yet to mature.