Bad weather befalls Haryana, Punjab farmers again

By Times Of India on 12 Apr 2018 | read
Bathinda/Chandigarh: High-velocity winds followed by hail and rain damaged the wheat crop, and foodgrains kept at mandis, in most of Punjab and parts of Haryana on Wednesday.
At many places, ripe wheat crop was first flattened by strong winds and then damaged by rain and hail, following which farmers demanded compensation for the losses. The inclement weather is expected to delay harvesting. According to the Chandigarh centre of India Meteorological Department (IMD), Punjab had widespread rains which covered almost the entire state, while it rained in Faridabad, Kurukshetra, Palwal, Kaithal, Jind, Ambala, Panchkula, Yamunanagar and Hisar districts in Haryana.

IMD has forecast weather to be clear from Thursday and temperatures, which had fallen by 2-4°C, to start rising from Friday. Some damage to crop has been reported from Hakuwala, Singhewala and Lambi villages in Muktsar; Raunta and Nihal Singh Wala in Moga; Handiaya and Rureke in Barnala; Jai Pau Wali and Sangat in Bathinda; and some other places.

In the past 24 hours, 7.2mm rainfall was recorded in Bathinda district. Some wheat grains that were taken to the markets after harvest also were affected due to the showers.

Even as farmers sought government help for the damaged caused by rain, Punjab agriculture director J S Bains said they had noticed that untimely rains and waterlogging caused less than 1% loss of production in the fields at some places. “It may lead to delaying in harvesting, but the loss will be negligible if weather conditions improve,” he said.

A farmer from Raunta village in Moga, Gurinder Singh, said combine harvesters would take longer to harvest the crop, as it now had been flattened and had higher moisture. “Also, people operating harvesters would now demand more money,” said Gurinder.

Mohinder Singh of Hakuwala said there was heavy rainfall on Tuesday night and in the wee hours of Wednesday. “We have suffered extensive damage. We may have to wait for a couple of days to harvest the crop now,” he said.

A farmer from Kurukshetra said some agriculture experts had suggested that they should not harvest their crop for a week, so that the moisture content subsides. “Rains are unusual for this time of the year. In the past three days, weather has been either rainy or overcast; this will delay harvesting,” said Santokh Singh, a farmer from Jalandhar.

The rains were caused by western disturbances.