Punjab: Rainfall, strong winds play spoilsport; delay wheat harvest | punjab$patiala | Hindustan Times
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Punjab: Rainfall, strong winds play spoilsport; delay wheat harvest

The threat of damage looms large over the standing wheat crop, following heavy rainfall and high velocity winds across the region on Wednesday. Hailstorms in some parts of the district added to the worries of farmers.

punjab Updated: May 07, 2017 07:30 IST
Navrajdeep Singh
The threat of damage looms large over the standing wheat crop.
The threat of damage looms large over the standing wheat crop.(Bharat Bhushan/HT)

The threat of damage looms large over the standing wheat crop, following heavy rainfall and high velocity winds across the region on Wednesday. Hailstorms in some parts of the district added to the worries of farmers.

Post-inclement weather conditions, besides waterlogging in the fields and flattening of standing crop has been reported from several villages of Ghanaur, Nabha, Bhadson, Patiala and Patran blocks.

Atleast 1.8mm of rainfall has been recorded on Wednesday. The metrological department is expecting cloudy sky with multiple spells of rain and thundershowers in the next 24 hours.

However, the unfavourable weather conditions are likely to delay crop harvesting, thus affecting the wheat procurement process, further.

Not only the standing crop, even the wheat yield unloaded at purchasing centres will suffer due to the rain. The farmers will now have to soak water and moisture from the yield before selling it.

The agriculture department has rushed its teams to different areas to access the damage done to wheat crop.

The weather conditions remained crop-friendly throughout the rabi season as the crop was reportedly in good health and no pest or yellow rust attack was reported.

At least 2.34 lakh hectare of area is under wheat cultivation in the region and the agriculture department is expecting wheat production of 10.61 lakh hectare.

Meanwhile, the agriculture experts believe that if rainfall and high velocity winds continue in the coming days, besides reduction in the yield and increase in the moisture level; rainfall is also going to affect the quality of grain, making it vulnerable to shriveling, blackening and discolouration.

The metrological department had predicted rainfall from April 4 to 6.

Chief agriculture officer (CAO) Parminder Singh said that the fresh rainfall has delayed the harvesting of wheat as the farmers cannot harvest the crop mechanically with combines till the field and crop are dry.

“Rainfall, at this stage, is a cause of concern. However, no damage has been reported so far. The damaged is the least, as of now,” said Parminder.

The CAO added that he has asked for a detailed report from all rain-hit blocks of the district. “The teams are still surveying different areas vociferously, to take stock of the situation. They are appealing to the farmers not to panic,” he added.

“Hailstorm has largely damaged my chili and onion cultivation. The crop was to be harvested in the coming fortnight, but the inclement weather destroyed it. I have faced a loss of Rs 10-15 lakh,” said Karamvir Singh Sidhu, a progressive farmer from Samana.

He added that though he can afford to bear the damages but the small farmers cannot. “The government must come up with some insurance scheme to save farmers from heavy losses,” he said.

Rain damages wheat crop in Sangrur

Rain has badly affected the wheat crop in Sangrur and Bhawanigarh area on Wednesday. In four villages — Retgarh, Balial, Mattran and Thaman Singh Wala — unseasonal rain and hailstorm has damaged the crop in many acres of land. “We were going to start the harvest in a few days, but rain has damaged the crop in our village,” said Jaspal Singh Sidhu, a farmer from Mattran village.