Punjab and Haryana likely to reap a bumper crop of wheat

first_imgWith an extended winter and spell of rain at regular intervals during the ongoing Rabi season, the key grain growing States of Punjab and Haryana are expected to reap a bumper harvest of wheat at nearly 300 lakh tonnes. However, harvesting of the crop may be delayed by at least a week as more showers and gusty winds are expected in the region during the next 2-3 days, experts and officials told The Hindu on Sunday. Wheat, the main rabi (winter) crop is sown between late October till December while the harvesting of the crop starts from April onwards. Meteorological Department’s forecast of a fresh western disturbance, likely to affect the region from March 25, could bring more rain. This, experts say, could delay the harvesting of crop due to increased moisture content. Western disturbance“We are expecting a fresh western disturbance to affect the region between March 25 and 27. This could bring more rain accompanied by winds in some parts of Punjab and Haryana,” said Surinder Pal, director at the IMD, Chandigarh. P.S. Rangi, an agriculture expert and former Punjab State Farmers Commission adviser, said while the crop condition currently looks good but if overcast condition prevail and it rains in coming days then the wheat crop will absorb moisture, which will delay harvesting and would be a cause of worry for farmers. “If the weather prediction stands true then the harvesting of wheat could be delayed by 7-10 days,” he said. Punjab is expecting about 180 lakh tonnes of wheat production this season against 175 lakh tonnes in 2018. In neighbouring Haryana the agriculture department is expecting to reap 120 lakh tonnes of wheat, close to what the State produced last year. Punjab Agricultural University’s director of research Navtej Singh Bains said that impact of western disturbances so far has fortunately been mild with partially cloudy skies and isolated light showers. “The temperature conditions in last one month have been favourable and the rain by and large beneficial. Early sown wheat is expected to escape terminal heat stress. The productivity of late sown wheat can be impacted by sudden rise in temperature. Overall, if turbulent weather conditions leading to lodging of wheat crop do not occur in the coming 3 to 4 weeks, bumper harvest can be expected,” he said.last_img

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