Weather woes: Agri department fears losses on 15% land under wheat cultivation

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Mar 30, 2015 20:34 IST

Even as the Haryana revenue authorities are assessing crop losses due to rain and hailstorm this rabi season, wheat crop on nearly 15% of the area was hit in the northern districts, according to the state agriculture department.

Pawan Sharma, deputy director, agriculture, Karnal, said a status report submitted to the directorate early this month said 10-15% of the wheat fields were affected, whereas mustard-growing fields suffered up to 30% losses in the district.

However, information from various districts said there was no immediate major impact on crops in the past 36-hours due to climatic conditions unfavourable to the wheat crop.

Light showers were reported from Karnal, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar and Kaithal since Sunday morning.

Though there was thunder and lightning in various districts of the region since Sunday, there was no report of winds blowing at high velocity.

Meanwhile, agriculture officials said inclement climatic conditions in March had impacted several farmers, adding that an exercise to assess losses by the state revenue department was underway.

A total of 1.72 lakh hectares is under wheat cultivation, whereas mustard is sown on 1,000 hectares in Assandh and Gharaunda blocks of Karnal.

Sharma said Nilokheri was the worst-hit block where up to 30% of the standing wheat crop was affected due to the hailstorm and strong winds in March.

Field data prepared by the agriculture department mentioned that wheat crop in Indri, Gharaunda, Assandh, Karnal and Nissing blocks was hit due to winds and hailstorm.

He said mustard-sowing belts in the district were also feared to have suffered heavy damage due to bad weather.

Reports of damage to horticulture crops, including tomato, potato, bitter gourd and peas, due the bad weather have also been received from Kaithal, Karnal, Kurukshetra and Panipat districts.

Head of Kurukshetra district's agriculture department Surinder Yadav said it was observed that in certain cases, farmers suffered up to 35% losses.

"Inclement weather has affected various crops, but the exact losses would be determined through the ongoing girdawari. It is important to understand that the percentage of crop damage is not calculated as loss of wheat production," said Yadav.

Wheat experts at the Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) here said inclement climatic conditions would impact overall wheat production.

"It will be too early to calculate estimated affect of unfavourable weather conditions on wheat production as it all depends on whether the fields witness showers or high-velocity winds in the days to come," said institute director Indu Sharma.

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