In winters, the farmers of the district cultivate wheat in over 98,000 hectares of land. Extremely dry weather along with extremely low temperatures is raising concern for the wheat crops. "The winter-kill (exposure to frost and cold) is a cause of worry right now. It's been so dry that the topsoil has become arid without moisture. When the soil is dry and temperatures drop, the soil is going to cool down faster and increases the chances of winter-kill," said agri-scientist Dr Anil Hafeez.
"The lack of rain has already done the damage, and if it stays dry for this month, then the wheat yield will be reduced," said Jasvinder Singh Kharbanda, a farmer from Rudrapur. "To combat the effect of scanty rains, we need to irrigate the land for more than four times and water from tube well is the last hope. But its expenditure is beyond most of the farmers' strength," he added.
Chief agriculture officer of US Nagar, Abhay Saxena said, "So far we have a fear that there is a loss of 7% in the crops as the number of tillars in the plants have reduced due to no rains this season. But further loss may be avoided if there is rainfall in the month of January. We have good irrigation facilities in the region and per acre yield, from 20 to 22 quintals, is among the highest in the country."
Meanwhile Dr RK singh, the metorologist at the GB Pant university in Pantnagar has said that there is no chance of rain for at least one more week. He said that farmers should water the crops by their own means and not settle to waiting for rains to avoid losses.