Due to inclement weather, says the Punjab government’s recent survey, 7-lakh acres under wheat cultivation has been affected; but now with more heavy rainfall and strong winds expected in the next two days, this figure will rise and it may delay wheat harvesting and procurement, say Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) experts.
This weather update has come from the meteorological centre in Chandigarh, from where an official also confirmed that the expected rainfall will be between 13 and 24 cm, and wind speed could be 45 kilometres per hour. “This weather will have adverse affects on the crop and, other than heavy rainfall and winds, hailstorms are also expected at isolated places across the state,” confirmed the source.
PAU head of agronomy GS Buttar said: “Wheat crop has already been highly affected. The crop mainly requires sunny days, but with the kind of weather expected over the next two days, it seems harvesting and procurement may also get delayed. On top of that, with strong winds and hailstorm, logging will occur in the fields, and the crop will not be healthy. I feel farmer’s cup of woes brimming over.”
Further on the delay in harvesting and procurement, MS Sidhu, a senior economist from the PAU, said: “Rainy days will not let the crop mature, which will delay the harvest naturally, and if there is more delay, the demand and supply of wheat may not remain in sync this time.”
Ghost of 1982
He said that in May 1982 as well, due to constant rainy days and manual harvesting in those days, state had to suffer a huge loss, and the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi, had come to Chandigarh to supervise the loss.
In In 1988, between September 24 and 26, there was rainfall across Punjab, which also caused a high amount of damage to the crop, has added.
On the other hand, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to compensate the state for damage to wheat. He has sought relief of up `7 crore for damage to the Rabi crop.