Extreme weather conditions since Friday has damaged almost 30 percent of wheat crop in the district. High speed winds and rain showers have left the standing crops flattened and have also led to water-logging in the fields.
Vegetable crops like potato, tomato, chilly and others have also been damaged due to the rough weather. Windstorm also broke the branches of trees in the orchids.
Hailstorm spoiled crops at some places in Nabha, Samana, Bhunerheri and Patiala blocks. Earlier, hailstorm on March 6 had damaged 33,000 hectares of the standing crops in Patiala.
Out of the total cultivation of around 2,70,000 hectares, wheat covers 2,32,000 hectares in the district.
Agriculture and other departments are conducting the survey reports for the actual damage to the crops across the district.
Meanwhile, farmers could be seen worried while draining out the excess water from their fields to reduce the effect of the rain on their crops. Davinder Singh, a farmer from Simbro village, said they were hoping for a bumper crop this year, but the inclement weather wiped out all their hopes. “Windstorms flattened the wheat crop and I was left helpless in front of the nature’s fury,” Davinder said.
Another farmer Lakhwinder Singh said after the tragedy, the government would further aggravate our pain by sending them compensation cheques of nominal amounts, which would not be of much use to them.
He urged the government to conduct fair survey of the damage and demanded a reasonable amount of compensation to save agriculture from the crisis.
Avtar Singh of Kulburchhan village said farmers were already suffering from the agrarian crisis and now the nature added to their problems. He added that the damage would decrease the yield of the crops and farmers would not be able to repay the agricultural costs.
“The government’s crop insurance schemes are meant only for politics of votes. Not even a single lawmaker thinks about the ground realities while framing the policies for agriculture,” Avtar said.
Chief agricultural officer Parminder Singh confirmed that there has been around 30 % damage according to the preliminary reports. He added that the actual figure could be confirmed only after the proper survey, which would be completed within a day or two. “No doubt, the yield of the wheat will decrease, but as of now it is too early to predict about the actual figure of the loss,” he said.
He said the loss had increased because the wheat crop was on flowering to milking stage and as the standing crops were flattened, water had also damaged the pollination of the crop.
Meanwhile, Patiala deputy commissioner (DC) Rambir Singh, along with other administration officials, also toured some villages for the overview of the damage due to rain and strong winds. The DC said the formal orders of the girdawari of the affected areas would be ordered on Monday.