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Harvesting in Pb, H’yana may get delayed due to untimely rains

Farmer drains out water from wheat field

Chandigarh: The current spell of untimely rains along with strong winds are “very harmful” for wheat crop as it could affect the yield adversely, besides delaying harvesting in Punjab and Haryana for a few days, say experts.

“Rains along with high velocity winds are very harmful for wheat crop at this stage because showers will impact the crop yield,” Indu Sharma, Director, Indian Institute of Wheat & Barley Research, told today.

Rains have lashed several parts of Punjab and Haryana during last 24 hours, including Ambala (2.1mm), Hisar (6.8 mm), Karnal (5.8 mm), Bhiwani (16 mm), Amritsar (3.6 mm), Ludhiana (7.1 mm), Patiala (6 mm), Gurdaspur (8.1 mm), Mansa (5.3 mm), among other places.

She further said that grain formation in wheat crop has already taken place and rains could cause discolouration in the crop which will ultimately affect quality of grains.

“Wherever the crop is already ripened, there may be chances of shattering which means grains will start falling on the ground,” she added.

Talking on the quantum of delay, she said, “We expect wheat harvesting to start after April 20 as against our initial expectations of commencing from April 15 in Punjab and Haryana.”

Punjab and Haryana expect wheat procurement of about 125 lakh tonnes and 65 lakh tonnes, respectively during the coming Rabi marketing season, starting next month.

With several spells of rains and hailstorm in March, Sharma said the overall yield loss in the country’s wheat crop could be about 7 per cent.

Punjab and Haryana — the major foodgrain growing states — had already sought financial assistance of Rs 717 crore and Rs 500 crore, respectively, from the Centre for farmers whose crop suffered damage because of untimely rains and hailstorms.

Punjab and Haryana had projected the loss caused to standing Rabi crops in 2,94,177 hectares and 18 lakh hectares because of rains and hailstorm in February and March.

Both states are estimating yield loss in wheat crop because of inclement weather conditions.

Punjab has projected wheat output of 168 lakh tonnes for the current season. Haryana is expecting wheat production of 113.9 lakh tonnes as against last season’s production of 118 lakh tonnes.

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