The latest rainfall on Sunday night and Monday, coupled with strong winds, has flattened the standing wheat crop at some places in Faridkot, Muktsar and Bathinda district. But, so far, there have been no official reports of any big loss to farmers.
However, uncertain weather is still a cause of concern for farmers because, in case there is more rainfall and winds on Monday night and afterwards, it could lead to waterlogging for more time and it could be a greater cause of worry to farmers.
“I visited some parts of the district and found that the wheat crop, which was irrigated recently, had fallen flat at some places, but it would not lead to any considerable loss. Rather, the fall in temperature will delay the ripening of the crop that can result in increase in the yield,” said Jagjeet Singh Sekhon, district chief agriculture officer.
The sudden rise in temperature in March often leads to the shrinking of grains, when they are at the final stage of formation, and causes decrease in the yield. “The rain is also good as it would wash off the sucking insects and spores of yellow rust fungus from the crop if there were any, but if there are strong winds and hailstorm, that might affect the crop yield,” added Jagjeet Singh.
The rain is also good for the wheat sown after cotton and basmati. In Bathinda, more area is under late-sown wheat. “We have about 1.5 lakh hectares under wheat, which was sown after the harvest of cotton; while wheat sown after paddy is over about 1 lakh hectares. The rainfall can be very beneficial for the late-sown wheat crop because it would help prolong the winter and farmers can expect a higher yield, said Rajinder Singh, chief agriculture officer of Bathinda.
“By 9 am on Monday, Bathinda received about 13 mm of rainfall and some crop, which was irrigated recently, has fallen flat, but it would not have much impact on the crop which is near maturity,” said Rajinder Singh.
Like Bathinda, Muktsar has also a considerable area under the late-sown wheat crop.
Beant Singh, chief agriculture officer of Muktsar, also expressed the view that flattening of the crop would not cause much damage as the early-sown wheat crop is near maturity.
In Muktsar, there were about 90,000 hectares under cotton and Basmati. These crops lead to late sowing of wheat.
But, the farmers whose crop has fallen flat claimed it would lead to decrease in yield and e labour expenses. “Labour expenses on harvesting the flattened crop increase. Even, pests attack the fallen crop more than the standing one,” said Chamkaur Singh, a farmer from village Bir sikhan wala.
Harvesting may be delayed
Pataiala/Sangrur: Inclement weather conditions may delay the harvesting process. If agriculture experts are to be believed, because of untimely and intermittent rain coupled with strong winds the harvesting of crops will be delayed by 15 days. Usually, the crop gets completely mature by the end of March, followed by harvesting in the second week of April.
The overnight rain and storm like conditions on Monday morning has not only left farmers’ community across the region worried but has put the agriculture department authorities on tenterhooks.
The flattening of standing wheat crop, which is presently in its maturing stage, has been reported in different parts of the district.
As per the available information, in Patiala district, around 2.31 lakh hectares of area is under wheat cultivation.The ag riculture department is expecting to have around 14 lakh metric tonnes of production.
Officials of the agriculture department immediately swung into action and carried out random surveys in different parts of the district to examine any damage to the crop.
Patiala district chief agriculture officer Balwinder Singh Sohal said besides reports of flattening of crop at some areas, no major threat has been recorded so far.