Hailstorm, winds flatten 20% wheat crops in Karnal | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Hailstorm, winds flatten 20% wheat crops in Karnal

Unseasonal hailstorm and strong winds in the past few days are feared to have hit wheat and mustard growers in the district.

punjab Updated: Mar 09, 2015 19:37 IST
HT Correspondent

Unseasonal hailstorm and strong winds in the past few days are feared to have hit wheat and mustard growers in the district.

According to the official data prepared here, nearly 40% mustard and 20% wheat has got flattened in various blocks of Karnal.

Reports of damage to horticulture crops, including tomatoes, bitter gourd and peas, due the bad weather have also been received.

The district authorities have sent the status report on the damage to crops to the state agriculture directorate on Monday.

District deputy agriculture director Pawan Sharma said that 1.72 lakh hectare land is under wheat cultivation whereas mustard is sown on 1,000 hectare land in Assandh and Gharaunda blocks.

Sharma said Nilokheri was the worst-hit block where nearly 30% standing wheat crop was affected due to the hailstorm and strong winds.

Similarly, field data prepared by the agriculture department stated that about 25% wheat crop in Indri and Gharaunda and about 15% each in the Assandh, Karnal and Nissing blocks was hit due to winds and hailstorm.

He said that mustard sowing belts in the district are also feared to have suffered heavy damage due to flattening caused by inclement climatic conditions.

However, the wheat experts at Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) in Karnal do not apprehend any widespread damage to wheat at this stage of crop.

Institute director Indu Sharma said that barring few cases where the wheat grains were directly hit by hailstorm, the conditions were not unfavourable.

Sharma clarified that the percentage of crop damage is not calculated as loss of wheat production.

"Our field inputs have hinted a loss of nearly 5% in the northern Indian states which are attributed to various factors, including weather. Flattened plants will get erected again within three-four days of bright days, provided
the farmers do not allow accumulation of water in their fields," she said.