Mustard, wheat and gram damaged being in harvesting stage

After braving the harsh sun on Friday afternoon, Delhiites had a pleasant start to the weekend with a spell of rain in the evening. The showers, however, have given farmers a reason to worry as they are yet to recover from the crop damage due to the hailstorm and heavy rain last month.

Rajinder Singh, a farmer, said: “Since the harvesting season is on, the rain would adversely impact the crops. Be it mustard, wheat, grams, pulses like masoor or sugarcane, they are all in the ripe stage and are being harvested.”

Mustard, he said, has suffered the most because the pods crack due to rain. “About 20-25 per cent mustard crop has been damaged. In wheat and gram (chana), the loss is between 5-10 per cent. Wheat suffers when the stalk falls to the ground and gram and pulses are not tolerant to water. Sugarcane does not suffer because the sticks are strong and covered with leaves.”

But for the rains, Mr. Singh said the crop this year would have been better than last due to the longer winter. “The grains would have been thicker as the harvest period has increased by about a week. Despite the loss, the crop is likely to be as much as last year.”

Another farmer Kishan Bir said: “Last month’s heavy rain and hailstorm had caused heavy damage to wheat, soya-bean and potato crops. Mango crops were also heavily damaged. Today’s rain is not likely to cause as much damage but we are praying it does not rain more otherwise more crops will be damaged.”

According to the Meteorological Department, the Capital received 1 mm rainfall for around 45 minutes. “The rain is a result of the western disturbances.”

The weatherman has predicted light showers in some parts of the Capital on Saturday as well. The maximum temperature is expected to be 33 degrees Celsius while the minimum is expected to be 18 degrees Celsius.

However, heavy rain is not expected till April 2, when the western disturbance is expected to show its effect again.

The maximum temperature on Sunday remained at 33.1 degrees Celsius, which is 1 notch above normal, while the minimum was recorded at 18.6 degrees Celsius, again a degree above normal.

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