Inclement weather hits paddy arrivals, harvest in Punjab - Hindustan Times
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Inclement weather hits paddy arrivals, harvest in Punjab

ByVishal Joshi, Bathinda
Oct 17, 2023 08:46 AM IST

Experts say the harvest pushed back at least by 10 days as slushy fields will hamper the combine harvester’s movement

The impact of rain accompanied by high-velocity wind and hailstorm in some parts of Punjab was felt on the paddy procurement on Monday as purchase and arrival decreased by almost 36%.

Farmers cover paddy grains with tarpaulins at the Bhagtanwala Grain Market in Amritsar on Monday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
Farmers cover paddy grains with tarpaulins at the Bhagtanwala Grain Market in Amritsar on Monday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

As per Punjab Mandi Board data, on October 16, a total of 1.32 lakh tonne paddy arrived at the purchase centres across the state. It was 36% less than yesterday when 2.06 lakh tonnes reached mandis.

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Purchase of paddy also had a tapered trend on Monday when 1.28 lakh tonne of non-basmati rice varieties were purchased. Today, the government agencies procured 1.27 lakh tonnes, and the farmers sold 678 tonnes to private buyers. Data shows that only three districts — Kapurthala, Jalandhar and Patiala — registered an arrival of more than 10,000 tonnes today.

Tarn Taran, which is leading in paddy arrivals, on Monday, saw 3,800 tonnes of grains arriving.

Indian Metrological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert for the state and has said more rains are likely on Tuesday as well.

Rain lashed many places, including Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Patiala, Moga and Mohali in Punjab.

Agriculture director Jaswant Singh said that paddy harvest will be pushed by almost 10 days as slushy fields will hamper the work of harvest combines in most parts of the state.

“Field staff has been entrusted to submit a preliminary status report by Tuesday noon on the impact of inclement weather on the kharif crop. The rain has also impacted the standing cotton crop,” the director said.

He said nearly 40% area under basmati has been harvested and the harvest is yet to gain momentum.

“To date about 7% of paddy has arrived, and the southwest Punjab district where heavy arrival was expected from October 12-15. Now we may see peak harvest from October 22 onwards,” added the director.

Information says at several places in the state, where paddy had arrived in grain markets, workers struggled to cover the crop to avoid it from getting soaked in the rain.

Cotton growers in Malwa concerned

An agriculture official in Bathinda said that apart from the delay in paddy harvest, the real concern is cotton, as the weather conditions are not conducive for the cash crop.

A cotton grower from Abohar, Arvind Setia, said the second picking of cotton bolls was at the initial stage, and the rains have dashed hopes of a good yield. “Rains will hit the quality of bolls, and the traders will pay less for low-quality cotton. Showers at this juncture have hit cotton growers worse,” said Setia.

However, kinnow growers in Fazilka and Muktsar districts are elated as the rains will improve the quality of fruits.

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