Causing heavy losses to farmers, heavy rain in most parts of the district on Friday and Saturday has damaged the already-matured paddy, with buyers refusing to purchase the damp crop lying in grain markets.
For the past seven days, farmers were harvesting early-maturing varieties like Sharbati, and hybrid varieties like 3325 and 1509, and their arrival at the markets was increasing by the day.
In the grain markets at Kurukshetra and Pehowa, 15,000 bags were destroyed, while 7,000 to 8000 bags of paddy each at Pipli and Shahbad mandis, sold in the Friday morning auction, were not lifted by the traders in the evening as they got wet in the rain.
Commission agent Suresh Kumar said while the government agencies will start purchasing from October 1, rice millers and traders who purchased the paddy on Friday refused to pick it up as it got wet in the sudden rain. No auction was held in many mandis in the district due to rain.
Hansala village farmer Karnail Singh said that at many places, unthreshed paddy lying on the ground after cutting has been submerged in the standing rainwater, and its grain was likey to sprout in a day or two.
Jasvinder Singh of Bagthala village said the yield of basmati would also be affected in many villages, where crops were damaged by heavy rain and high-velocity winds.
Kuldeep Kakkar, farmer-cum-businessman of Shahbad Markanda, said that besides causing damage to paddy in the mandis and fields, rain would delay potato sowing in the area by at least 10 days, adding that lack of storage space in mandis for the incoming crop was also causing problems.