Farmers say hailstorm damaged mango orchards

The unexpected rains accompanied by gales which lashed several places in Krishna District on Saturday, damaged mango, paddy and other crops in the upland mandals. In some areas, there was a heavy rain causing huge loss to paddy farmers. The standing paddy crop, which was ready for harvest, fell to ground due to the gales. Rainfall occurred due to sudden formation of cumulonimbus clouds in Tiruvuru, A. Konduru, Mylavaram, Gampalagudem, Jaggaiahpet, Chandralapadu and other mandals.

Farmers said that the hailstorm occurred in some places damaging mango crop in the upland areas in Nuzvid mandal.

In many mandals, mango crop is ready for harvest and the sudden rains damaged the fruit, they said.

Speaking to The Hindu, Horticulture Assistant Director P.M. Subhani said that rainfall occurred in Jaggaiahpet, Nandigama, Tiruvuru and other mandals in the district on Saturday. The horticulture officials at mandal-level were instructed to visit the mango orchards.

Report on loss

“In many villages, Banginapally, Totapuri and Rasalu varieties are ready for harvest. We cannot estimate the crop loss immediately. Our teams will visit villages and submit a report on mango crop loss, if any, in a couple of days," said Mr. Subhani, who visited the orchards on Saturday.

Rainfall prediction

Meteorological Department, Visakhapatnam office on Saturday predicted untimely rainfall coupled with heavy winds is likely to continue in the next 48 hours across coastal Andhra Pradesh due to formation of trough over the Bay of Bengal. Crops such as maize and mango were largely damaged due to heavy winds with rainfall in many parts of Krishna District on Saturday.

Heavy rainfall was reported in Machilipatnam, Nuzvid divisions of Krishna district and parts of Guntur district in the evening as cumulonimbus clouds were moving towards North Andhra region. A few parts in West Godavari received 2 cm rainfall while many parts in Krishna received low rainfall (less than one cm).

Agriculture Department in-charge Joint Director Balu Naik said that there were no standing crops under their department limits.

Two per cent of mango crop was reportedly damaged. The mango crop, which will be harvested in a couple of days, was damaged and remaining standing crops were not hit.

The government will not promise any compensation for the damaged mango crop, cultivated in 67,115 hectares in Krishna district till final enumeration on loss is made by Sunday evening.

The predicted rainfall poses a threat to the maize farmer as he is now left with no option as most of the maize has been harvested and remaining left to dry up on the fields itself.