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Wheat harvesting: More rain can cause damage, say experts

Untimely rainfall consecutively from April 9 to April 11 across the state had dampened the festive spirit among farmers, who couldn’t perform the age-old ritual of harvesting wheat crop on Baisakhi.

punjab Updated: Apr 17, 2018 10:31 IST
Parampreet Singh Narula
Parampreet Singh Narula
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
Wheat harvesting,Wheat crop in Punjab,Punjab agriculture
As the recent rains led to increase in moisture content of the wheat crop, Jalandhar grain markets have witnessed less arrival of crop even after three days of Baisakhi.(Pardeep Pandit/HT)

Amid uncertainty among farmers about recent rains in the state that could have damaged the standing wheat crop, agriculture experts say the weather so far has remained favourable to the crops except delaying the harvest for few days. Rains have done no damage to the crops.

As per information, untimely rainfall coupled with high-velocity winds consecutively for three days —April 9 to April 11— across the state, had dampened the festive spirit among farmers, who couldn’t perform the age-old ritual of harvesting wheat crop on Baisakhi.

Agriculture experts says the rains ranging from 8mm to 15mm didn’t cause much damage to the wheat crop, which was either fine or had recovered itself.

“If the weather continued to remain favourable, it will enhance productivity by one-two percent with expectation of record yield,” said Hari Ram, a wheat agronomist .

Ram, however, said as the weather forecast has warned that rain was expected on Monday and Tuesday as well, the standing wheat could be at risk if it continues to pour in coming days also.

“If rain continues, it can cause physical damage to the biologically perfect crop, especially to the late sown crop, as it will cause lodging and blackening to the grains, thereby spoiling it,” he said.

Harjinder Singh, a farmer from Kahlwan village, who had cultivated wheat in six acres said the quality of crop was fine but yield was less as compared to last season. “We used to harvest 25-26 quintals yield from one acre, while this season we have procured only 20 quintals from the same area,” he said.

Less arrival in grain markets

As the recent rains led to increase in moisture content of the wheat crop, Jalandhar grain markets have witnessed less arrival of crop even after three days of Baisakhi.

As per guidelines prescribed by the government for procurement, the moisture content should be less than 12%, proper lustre and boldness. Also, grains should be wrinkle-free and not be discoloured.

In Jalandhar, which comprises 78-grain markets in the district, has only received about 18,000 metric tons wheat, against the expectation of 5 lakh tons this season.

“Of total 18,000 tons arrival, over 10,000 tons crop have been purchased by procurement agencies. While 39-tons crop was purchased by private agencies,” said Varinder Kumar Khehra, district mandi officer (DMO) Jalandhar.

Khehra said so far, the wheat crop procured by them was of fine quality but now, better quality is expected in coming days.

Meanwhile, Varinder Kumar Sharma, deputy commissioner, who visited the new grain market on Monday, to inaugurate procurement of wheat, said the state government will lift every grain of wheat in a smooth and hassle-free manner.

First Published: Apr 17, 2018 10:31 IST