HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

Untimely rain delays wheat harvesting, adds to cost

Raghbir Singh Brar, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, April 20, 2014
First Published: 14:35 IST(20/4/2014) | Last Updated: 14:38 IST(20/4/2014)

The untimely rain in the district has badly affected wheat harvesting operations. The district received about 31 mm rainfall on Thursday morning and Friday night that led to more delay in harvesting of wheat and more input costs to the farmers who opted for manual harvesting over the mechanical one for more wheat straw. The wheat harvested manually has been lying in stagnant rain water in the fields.

“The rain has badly hit all the harvesting operations and it would lead to many problems for the farmers. The entire crop is mature now and all the farmers would like to have it harvested in the next two days, but it is not possible.

There would be shortage of combine harvesters as several farmers will need them simultaneously.

Earlier, the early crop was harvested first and then late verities were harvested,” said Dharam Singh, a farmer from Panjgrain Kalan village.

“The rain has delayed all the wheat operations and now they would go along with the election process. It may also lead to the low turnout of voters and, under the present circumstances, the harvesting is not expected to be finished by the polling day and, if the farmers and farm laborers remain busy, they may not be able to participate in the poll activity,” said Sukhdeep Singh, a farmer from Surghuri village.

As straw rates were higher last year, some of the far mers opted for manual harvesting, but this cost heavily as sheaves of harvested wheat are still there in waterlogged fields.

“Now sheaves would be badly damaged. We will have to again open the sheaves and let them dry which would cost us more as it is time-consuming and labororiented job,” said a farmer of Kotkapura.

“The district has received about 31 mm rainfall during the last two days, which is higher than some neighboring districts. It has delayed harvesting of the crop.

But, we do not expect considerable loss to the crop,” said Jagjeet Singh Sekhon, chief agriculture officer of Faridkot.

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