The untimely heavy rain, coupled with strong winds and light hail, at many places has dashed the hopes of many farmers whose crop has been flattened. Farmers fear that this would result in decrease in the yield, besides paying more for harvesting.
Faridkot received about 37mm rainfall since Friday night till Saturday evening.
“About 50% crop has been flattened and the loss could go up if the weather remains unchanged in the coming days. Crop on four acres has been lodged which leads to decline in the yield as the ears under the fallen crop do not receive sunlight and air. Besides, farmers have to pay more for harvesting,” said Sukhmander Singh, a farmer from Sarawan village of Faridkot.
“In my area, about 40% of crop has been flattened. Heavy rain accompanied by hail and winds on Saturday morning have led to losses to the farmers. About 75% crop on 7 acres of has been lodged. A portion of the crop for personal consumption, where fertilisers and chemicals were not used, too has been flattened,” said Sukhjinder Singh Brar, a farmer from Niamiwala village of the district.
Faridkot chief agriculture officer Baljinder Singh Brar said lodging in the district was only 10 to 15%.
“We estimate about 2% decline in the yield. Otherwise crop is good and we expect bumper yield this year. But it depends on the weather conditions over the next two days. Most of the lodged crop is the one given high dosages of nitrogen,” said Brar.
In Muktsar, according to the agriculture department, the lodging has occurred on about 10 to 15% of the total sown area. “Though the lodging is there, yet many farmers saved the crop by stopping the irrigation for many days going by the prediction of the weather. In areas prone to waterlogging, farmers have learnt from the past experiences and they do not irrigate the crop for three to four weeks, so that maximum of rainwater seeps into the soil,” said Beant Singh, chief agriculture officer, Muktsar.
But farmers differ with the departmental version. “My village has about 9,500 acres and we think lodging of nearly 60 to 70% crop,” said Resham Singh, a farmer from Bhilaiana village of Muktsar.
“However, Rain is welcome till February, but in mid-March, it causes damage to the crop. Still there is hope if the weather clears in the next 24 hours. As per the forecast, the weather is expected to be clear from Monday,” said Beant Singh.
Agricultural experts also claim that the fallen crop would recover as it is still in milking stage.
“The grain formation starts after March 25 and then ears gain weight. The lodged crop will resurrect itself easily,” said the officer.