After facing consistent failure in producing good quality of wheat crop in the last few years, the favourable weather conditions during the current wheat harvesting season bring cheers to the farmers as their hard work is expected to produce the finest quality of the crop.
However, the wheat yield may see a little downfall due to early arrival of summer conditions, resulting into shrinking of wheat grains due to high temperature but the quality of grains will be excellent.
Most of the wheat arriving in grain markets of Punjab is ready to sell as the crop is fulfilling all the guidelines prescribed by the government for procurement, including moisture content of less than 12%, proper lustre, boldness. Also, the grains should be wrinkle-free and should not be discoloured.
Agriculture experts said from the last three-four years, the quality of wheat being produced was not good due to untimely rainfalls during harvesting season, resulting in damage to the grains, which mars their quality.
Wheat agronomist, Hari Ram, said with the weather conditions remaining favourable from the last 15 days, the wheat crop had not lost its lustre, boldness and colour.
“However, we have not received yield data of this season as wheat crop has not been completely harvested so far but it seems that wheat production may face a little drop in this season as compared to the last season due to high temperature,” he said.
“If the temperature remained a bit mild during March and the starting of April, the yield would not have been affected,” he added.
Ram further said the wheat crop remained free from diseases this season while in the last season, the crop was attacked by Karnal bunt disease and yellow rust.
Agriculture officials said after learning a lesson from disease attacks last season, the authorities of Punjab Agricultural University and department of agriculture had spread awareness among farmers regarding the use of disease-free better quality seed.
“During the cultivation period of wheat, we had distributed disease-free seeds to farmers so that the crop would not be attacked by common diseases and agriculture specialist teams kept vigil regarding the health of crop,” Resham Singh, an agriculture officer, said.
Resham said whenever farmers complained of any kind of disease on their crop, agriculture department sent teams to spray pesticides on the crop to save it from diseases.
Bhagwan Singh, a farmer from Moga, who visited the grain market to sell 250 quintals of wheat crop, said he had not seen such good quality grain in the last 4-5 years.
“This season, weather remained favourable due to which we reaped grains of excellent quality,” he said.