Untimely rains accompanied by hailstorm and strong winds in Punjab and Haryana will hit wheat crop which was to be harvested next month, feared farm experts, saying showers at this stage were “unfortunate” for growers who were hoping for bumper yield.
“Rains along with strong winds at this point of time are not beneficial especially for wheat crop. It will adversely impact crop yield of early sown varieties,” Hisar -based Chaudhary Charan Singh of Haryana agricultural university, director of research, S S Siwach said on Saturday.
He said because of strong winds and hailstorm, there will be lodging of wheat crop which has witnessed grain formation.
Lodging refers to the term used to describe crop falling flat on the ground due to heavy rain and winds which causes yield loss in crop.
“Due to high velocity winds, crop can flatten and there can be root injury in wheat crop,” said Punjab agriculture department, director, Gudial Singh said adding, “Heavy rains are not desirable at this stage.”
“It is quite unfortunate that rains are lashing at this stage as it can shatter the hopes of growers for bumpers aid Siwach.
Farm experts have also warned of attack of fungal disease stripe rust or yellow rust on wheat crop because of conducive weather conditions and advised farmers to monitor the crop regularly to prevent any damage from disease.
Punjab and Haryana, two major foodgrain growing states, sown wheat crop at 35 lakh hectares and 25 lakh hectares respectively during Rabi season 2015-16. Both states are major contributors of wheat to the central pool. Wheat harvesting starts in April month in Punjab and Haryana.
Punjab and Haryana today witnessed widespread rains in almost all parts of the two states.
Director Chandigarh meteorological department, Surinder Pal , said, “Rains have been widespread in Punjab and Haryana because of western disturbances today. It will continue for whole day today. Sunday also, the showers will continue but intensity may be lesser.”
He further said as per reports, hailstorm also hit areas like Bathinda, Kapurthala, Jalandhar in Punjab and Fatehabad and Bhiwani areas in Haryana.
Experts advised growers to drain out excess water from fields as it will damage plants. Farmers were also asked not to irrigate crops at this point of time to prevent crop from damage.
Experts further said that rains could also damage vegetable and some other crops.
Notably, Punjab and Haryana last year had witnessed unseasonal rains and hailstorm in the month of March which led to damage to wheat crop in both states.