There was no respite from the rain, which lashed Amritsar for the third consecutive day on Sunday. The rain added to the woes of farmers as water collected in some of the low-lying fields leading to lodging of the wheat crop.
Though the weather did clear up towards the afternoon, but the forecast of more rain further is adding to the worries of the wheat growers in particular. The areas that were hit by hail suffered the maximum damage to wheat and other standing crop.
Punjab’s director agriculture Gurdial Singh undertook a tour of the areas affected most by the rain and hail. He visited villages of the Chogawan and Ajnala Blocks, which suffered damage due to the rain that lashed the areas on Saturday.
“As many as 14 villages of the Chogawan Block and another four of the Ajnala Block have suffered the maximum damage due to the hail. The damage is more in the case of the wheat than other crops,” he said while talking to HT. He said the district administration has already undertaken special ‘ girdawari’ of the hail-hit areas of Ajnala while the process in the Chogawan Block will begin on Monday, if the weather clears up. The damage to the wheat crop in the hail-hit areas is estimated to be about 50%.
“Another cause of worry for the farmers and the agriculture department is the lodging of the wheat crop in some areas. Due to the winds and collection of water, the wheat crop falls on the ground and this affects the yield,” he added. The director said where ever lodging has occurred, the wheat crop can still be saved provided it does not rain any more. Bright sunshine is what is required for the wheat, he added.
Replying to a question, he said, “The yield of wheat due to hail and rain (lodging) may fall from 10% in less affected areas to 35% where the damage was the maximum.” Asked about the other districts, the director said though the rain had been fairly widespread, but has caused the maximum damage in Amritsar district. In other parts of the state, the damage to the wheat crop has been very minimal. Gurdial Singh directed officials to carry out an extensive tour of their respective blocks.
The director said the rain has been helpful for the crops. It has checked the rising temperatures during the day and the night as high temperatures in the early half of March are not very helpful in the formation of a healthy wheat grain. Moreover, the rain has also checked the spread of yellow rust as it has washed away the powdery yellow substances from the plants. Likewise, the rain has also helped in washing away the Aphid (incest) that attacked the wheat crop.
NO RESPITE FOR GURDASPUR FARMERS
T here is no respite for Gurdaspur farmers from the intermittent rains that started on Friday causing damage to wheat and other crops. Strong winds accompanied by a heavy downpour hit the district on Sunday night too. Water continued to stagnate in the fields where the wheat crop had already been flattened adding to the woes of the farmers.