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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Sunday squall wreaks havoc on paddy crop

Raghbir Singh Brar, Hindustan Times  Faridkot, September 17, 2013
First Published: 22:20 IST(17/9/2013) | Last Updated: 22:22 IST(17/9/2013)

The Sunday evening squall has flattened fully grown paddy crop in a number of villages. The worst hit are the farmers who had applied nitrogen more than the prescribed limit. Flattening of crop means lower yield and escalation in the harvesting cost.

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"Due to nitrogen, plants grow faster than normal and excess water had already weakened the stem and root of the plants. The very first gush of high velocity winds grounded the crops,"said Arvinder Singh Chahal, a farmer from Wander Jatana village.

This correspondent travelled from Wander Jatana to Chack Kalyan village and saw the crop flattened on the entire stretch. The situation was no better in Dhimawali village on the Duareana-Phidde Khurd link road.

The farmers of Wander Jatana village were still pumping out excess water from their fields to save the crop. "Around 50% of the fields are flooded,"said Arvinder.

The early varities like PR 111 are among the worst hit. "Earlier, farmers used to apply higher dosages of nitrogen to have more yield because it makes for the shortage of water. But this year, rainfall was more than normal, which increased the height of the plants fast and thus got flattened easily,"he explained.

"Waterlogging for a prolonged period weakens the root and stem and the crop is vulnerable to falling flat even if there is mild increase in the velocity of winds. The yield of flattened crop would come down by at least 10%,"said Sukhwant Singh Srar, chief agriculture officer, Faridkot.

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