After weeks of rain and thunderstorm, there is some relief in store for farmers in the state. Weather experts have predicted sunny days ahead which will help the wheat crop to mature.
The weather is likely to remain clear next week, said Chandigarh meteorological centre experts. “Dry weather with long sunshine hours are expected for the next six-seven days. There is no possibility of high-velocity winds. However by March-end, there may be chances of rain,” said Chandigarh metrological centre director Surinderpal Singh.
The farmers are waiting for the crop to mature as wheat harvesting and procurement is likely to start by April 1 in the state.
They, however, say the harvesting will be delayed as the crop has not matured yet. “The colour has not turned golden yet due to the inclement weather for the past fortnight. The quantity and quality of their produce will also be affected,” said a farmer.
“We hope the weather remains clear and sunny and our crop matures on time,” said a group of farmers at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). “We are also expecting better storage facility for our produce in mandis this year.
The next 10 days are crucial. If farmers are able to drain out water from their fields and the sun shines, losses will be minimised, said experts.
Gurmeet Singh Buttar, head of the agronomy department at the farm university said farmers have already suffered huge losses due to unfavourable weather conditions, but with sunny days ahead, there is some relief for the farmers. At this point of time, sunshine needed for the wheat to mature.
Meanwhile, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has directed the authorities to assess the crop damage due to inclement weather in the state. Deputy commissioners of all districts across the state will assess this damage.
The Punjab government’s recent survey of wheat crop damage due to rain and hailstorm reveals that 7 lakh acres under wheat cultivation has already been affected.
MAXIMUM RAINFALL IN GURDASPUR
According to meteorological centre experts, Gurdaspur recorded maximum rainfall (83 mm) in the state between March 12 and March 18, followed by Faridkot (56 mm) and Moga (53 mm). The wheat crop in these areas has witnessed maximum damage.
Farmers in Gurdaspur say water has accumulated in their fields and they are making efforts to drain it out with the help of buckets.