The incessant and heavy rain on Thursday and Friday, which is quite untimely and unwanted for the standing crops in the Malwa belt, for crops including early-maturing varieties of paddy and cotton, is supposed to again hit the farmers hard like the last year when heavy rain lashed the region and destroyed cotton in large parts and led to very low yield.
"The cotton crop, at the flowering stage at present, has been badly battered by the rain and most of the low-lying fields are inundated with water, which is bound to lead to decline in the yield of cotton in particular," said Chamkaur Singh, a farmer from Kotkapura village.
The cotton and early-maturing varieties of paddy like PR 111 are expected to incur heavy losses if there is more rain in days to come.
"The region has received very heavy rainfall after a long dry spell while the cotton crop was at the peak of flowering and near maturity. It may lead to shedding of the flowers and fruit and the crop may again return to the vegetative stage, which may lead to decline in the yield," said Rajinder Singh Brar, chief agriculture officer, Bathinda.
"The Talwandi Sabo block received 125 mm rainfall by Friday morning and Bathinda block about 65 mm. The standing water is harmful for the crop. The situation may worsen if more rain lashes the region," added Brar.
Bathinda is a major producer of cotton with 1,50,000 hectares of land under it. The situation in Muktsar and Fazilka districts is also worrisome.
"The rain is totally untimely and may lead to big loss to farmers if there is more rain now. Muktsar has already received about 90 mm rainfall and some paddy fields are filled with water in villages like Tamkot and others," said Beant Singh, chief agriculture officer, Muktsar.
The area under cotton has already shrunk in Muktsar from about 95,000 hectare to 75,000 as the torrential rain last year in August had completely destroyed cotton on about 30,000 hectares in the district.
Fazilka, which is also a major grower of cotton with 99,000 hectare under it, may also suffer losses due to heavy rain.
"Cotton fields are under two to three feet water in the district. If rain stops and water drains out in a few days, the crop would be affected only to a limited extent, but if there is more rainfall during the next two-three days, it may turn out to be destructive for many farmers," said Parminder Singh Dhanju, agriculture development officer from Fazilka.
Similar is the situation in Faridkot, where only about 15,000 hectare area is under cotton. Most cotton fields are waterlogged and the crop is set suffer damage.