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Inclement weather adds to farmers’ worries in Punjab and Haryana

Wheat, ready for harvest, requires bright sunshine at this stage, say farmers

As the wheat crop is all set for harvest in most parts of Punjab and Haryana, the forecast of rain with gusty winds during the next 48 hours has raised farmers’ anxiety as the inclement weather could adversely impact the yield, agri-experts and farmers said on Tuesday.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), thunderstorms and light rainfall accompanied with lightning and gusty winds are expected in some parts of south-west and north-western parts of Punjab and north-western parts of Haryana between March 31 and April 1. The farmers are worried that the standing crop, all set for harvesting in the next few days, could be damaged.

“A feeble western disturbance in the region..is expected to be a little windy with light showers during the next two days. Isolated parts of Punjab could also witness hailstorms,” Surinder Pal, director at the IMD, Chandigarh, told The Hindu.

Gurbakhsish Singh, a farmer in the Bhawanigarh district Sangrur, said the wheat at this stage requires bright sunshine as it has to be harvested in the next few days. “Rain along with winds will flatten the standing crop, resulting in lower quality and reduced yield..the grain looses its shine once the crop is flattened,” said Mr. Singh, who has sown wheat in nearly 14 acres.

“There had already been several spells of untimely rains this season that have damaged the crop. Besides, I am worried about the shortage of labour on account of the ongoing lockdown and the combine harvesters too.”

Punjab is expecting a bumper wheat production that could cross 182 lakh tonnes this year. Last year, the State had witnessed an output at 182 lakh tonnes, according to the data from the Agriculture department.

Anand Sharma, Deputy Director General of the Agromet Advisory Service Division at the IMD, said: “The disturbance is not very strong and widespread. But yes, where ever there are rains along with winds it is likely to impact the yield,” said Mr. Sharma. Both Punjab and Haryana are major contributors of wheat to the Central pool.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 8:54:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/inclement-weather-adds-to-farmers-worries-in-punjab-and-haryana/article31220428.ece

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