The rain, accompanied by the fast winds on Monday night, has further delayed the sowing of cotton at many places, besides causing a loss to the crop sown one or two days before the rain, as the hard layer formed on the surface of the land would not allow the plants to emerge out of the earth.
“As cotton sprouts up with broad leaves, the hard layer on the surface of the earth formed by rain stops the sprout from growing up. It is called the ‘Karand’ of the crop,” said Dr Amandeep Keshav, project director of the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA), Faridkot.
“The heavy rainfall in my village has damaged the latest sown cotton crop of many farmers as the rain would form a hard layer on the earth and the crop will simply not grow now,” said Jagseer Singh, a farmer from Niamiwala village.
“If the crop has to be sown again, it would cost a cotton farmer about `2,500 to `3,000 per acre as the BT seeds alone cost `1,800 to 2,000,” he added.
“I had sown cotton on four acres on Sunday, but now the crop would grow only after the hardened layer is broken manually with a particular tool,” said Gurlal Singh, a farmer from Kotkapura.
According to the recommendations of the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, the sowing of the cotton crop is supposed to be finished by May 15 to get good yield. But the sowing of cotton has now been delayed for a long time due to the rain.
“The sowing of cotton in our village is already rather delayed this year because of the delayed harvesting season due to inclement weather. Only less than 20 per cent crop was sown, which has now been hit by ‘karand’ (hard laywer) due to rain,” said Sukhmander Singh, a farmer from Khara village.
“If the sowing of any crop gets too much delayed, the yield also gets affected adversely, because each crop needs its its time for growth from germination to maturity.”
He added, “As the yield of a crop depends on weather conditions, sometimes late crop has to face adverse weather conditions leading to loss to the farmer. A much delayed crop further leads to delayed sowing of the next crop,” said Bhupesh Joshi, deputy project director, ATMA.