Due to the inclement weather in the past few months that brought along intermittent rainfall, hailstorms and strong winds across the state, harvesting of wheat has been delayed by 15 to 20 days.
A visit to the local new grain market located at National Highway 1 revealed that farmers were anxious over saving their crop.
“It is unbelievable that it is almost April end and harvesting has not culminated yet. I know many farmers in Gurdaspur district, who have not even initiated the harvesting process all because the district witnessed a lot of hailstorms and even strong winds that led to logging of crops,” expressed Harbhajan Singh, a farmer from Bhadurke village in Ludhiana district.
According to GS Buttar, the head of agronomy department at Punjab Agricultural University, said, “The regular rainfall, along with hailstorms, in March extended winter. It should not be ignored that during April, the crop is in its ripening stage - when it requires sunny days.
Therefore, harvesting was delayed in various parts of the state. Secondly, due to logging of crop and heavy hailstorm, the yield lowered down as compared to last year.”
He said as of now, they had estimated 46 quintals per hectare for the state for this year, which was 1.16 quintals lesser as compared to last year, adding that the area for wheat cultivation remained same as last year.
“As per the latest data, wheat has been cultivated on 35.4 lakh hectares, which is almost same as last year,” he added.
District mandi officer (DMO) Narinderpal Singh Tiwana said, “Although, harvesting is still on, since last week, wheat has started arriving in mandis.
Last year, the total arrival in mandis of Ludhiana district was around 8.6 lakh metric tonnes (MT), and these days, we are daily receiving about 90,000 quintals of wheat in our mandis.”