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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Heat wave likely to affect cotton crop

Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times  Sangrur, May 26, 2013
First Published: 22:41 IST(26/5/2013) | Last Updated: 22:51 IST(26/5/2013)

The continuous heat wave prevailing in the region does not bode well for cotton crop.

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Though no damage has been reported from this district, there have been reports of burning of leaves from other parts of the state, leading to worry among farmers and agriculture officials.

According to agriculture experts, extreme temperature above 45 degrees in the coming week may damage the crop to some extent. The problem is more in store for farmers who have delayed the sowing.

The agriculture department, under crop diversification, has increased the area under cotton by 2,000 hectares, but if the heat wave continues, it would dash their hopes of increasing the area under cotton every year.

Around 13,000 hectare of area is under cotton cultivation against the 11,000 hectare last year. In Sangrur district, Sunam and Lehragaga are considered the cotton belt area producing 90% of the cotton in the district.

Earlier, drought-like conditions had marred the wheat crop resulting in shriveling of the grains and thus reducing yield by three quintals per hectare. This year, 51.73 quintal per hectare of wheat production was recorded as against 55.05 quintal registered in 2012 in Sangrur district.

Chief agriculture officer Rajinder Singh Sohi said though no such damage had been reported, agriculture officers had been directed to conduct surveys in their respective areas to closely look at the development of the cotton crop besides giving important advice to farmers to save their crop.

"Farmers who have sown cotton after May 10 are advised to irrigate the crop immediately to avoid burning of leaves. Those with poor quality of land have been asked to take regular rounds of the fields to monitor the growth of the crop," Sohi said.

"It is still early to predict a failure of the crop, but if such weather continues in the coming days, apart from burning of leaves, farmers have to put in extra effort to save the crop," he said.

Sohi said agriculture heads of cotton-growing districts, especially in Malwa region, were in constant touch. "Even Bathinda, where the temperature varies and records a degree or two more than other parts, has not witnessed any considerable damage to the crop," he claimed. 

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