While deficient monsoon during the paddy sowing season two months ago left farmers in a tight spot, the untimely rainfall has made them a worried lot as the increased moisture content and humidity in the environment may cause fungal diseases in the maturing crop.
Heavy rainfall over the past week have brought down mercury levels and improved irrigation prospects, but the agriculture department has directed farmers to be wary of crop diseases.
Experts say that increased moisture and humidity make all variety of paddy crops prone to Sheath Blight, False Smut and Neck Blast diseases.
Moreover, Basmati rice varieties face the threat of Foot Rot disease, if the weather persists.
Patiala chief agriculture officer (CAO) Inderpal Singh Sandhu said that farmers had to be careful about crop health, but there was no need to panic as the crop production and color of grains were not in danger yet.
“We have not received any complaints so far, but we alerted farmers to protect their crop which will mature in another 35-40 days,” said the CAO.
Voicing similar opinions, Sangrur CAO Rajinder Singh Sohi said chances of fungal attack were high.
“The department has alarmed all field officers to keep close vigil across the district so that diseases may be controlled at early stages,” said Sohi.
However, farmers were warned against unnecessary use of pesticides and chemicals.