Mansa farmers stare at major crop loss due to heavy rain
The district agriculture department said nearly 7,000 acres of cotton crop has been damaged due to waterlogging that occurred due to last month’s 20 mm rainfall.punjab Updated: Jul 10, 2017 09:03 IST
With their paddy and cotton fields submerged after heavy rain and the threat of whitefly looming large on the cotton crop yet again, farmers in the district are staring at a major crop loss this time.
The district agriculture department said nearly 7,000 acres of cotton crop has been damaged due to waterlogging that occurred due to last month’s 20 mm rainfall.
The farmers are struggling to drain water from their fields a week after heavy rain submerged almost half the district. Fields in Ramdittewala, Nangal Kalan and Gehle villages among others are waterlogged and the farmers are finding it difficult to save their paddy crop.
“Though water is essential for the paddy crop, the rain submerged our fields for almost a week, thus damaging the crop. We never know how and when will the water drain from our fields,” said Iqbal Singh of Phaphre Bhai Ke village.
Farmers from Ramdittewala village blamed the district administration for not cleaning canals and distributaries which overflew after the first rainfall of the season. “We have drained some of the water but had the district administration been alert there would have been no waterlogging in our fields,” said another farmer.
Whitefly presence scares farmer
Cotton farmers in the district a situation similar to the one they faced in 2015 when their crop was damaged.
They say the agriculture department has failed to create proper awareness to tackle the menace. “Half of the cotton crop has been damaged due to inundation for a week. Now, whitefly has started affecting the remaining crop,” said Gurmail Singh of Sahnewali village.
‘Whitefly can damage only 10% crop’
District agriculture officer Gurdita Singh said whitefly can only inflict 10 per cent damage to the crop and as per their assessment its presence is still below the economic threshold level. “The whitefly threat is not that serious and we are holding training camps for farmers to make them aware about the use of spray and pesticide to avoid any crop loss,” he said.