Widespread rain coupled with strong winds lashed Punjab on last Friday affecting around 10 to 15 percent wheat crop in around half dozen districts mainly in the Malwa region. The crop suffered heavy lodging (falling flat) almost a month before the harvesting season.
Director, Punjab Agriculture Department, Dr. Sutantra Kumar Airy, said that at the moment they have not received any report of loss from the districts. “Rain is good at this stage and the weather department has predicted that it would subside by last Saturday,” he said.
However, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh said, “Rains are not good when the crop is at the graining stage. It will certainly affect the yield of wheat”
BKU (Dakaunda) general secretary Jagmohan Singh, added, “Due to heavy hail storm in Patiala, Sangrur, Mansa, Fazilka, Ferozpur, and Faridkot districts, the crop has fallen flat”.
In view of the untimely rains and hailstorm, the Punjab government ordered an assessment of crop loss and all deputy commissioners have been asked to submit their preliminary report on Monday.
Expressing concern over the losses, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered urgent steps to ascertain the extent of the damage to ensure that due compensation can be awarded to the affected farmers at the earliest. He directed the financial commissioner revenue to issue detailed instructions to all deputy commissioners to conduct a special assessment of crop loss, a statement said.
Amarinder also asked the revenue minister and other senior officers to tour the rain and hailstorm affected areas extensively and conduct an on-ground assessment.
In Punjab, more than 35 lakh hectare area is under wheat crop and the state is expecting more than 175 lakh tonne of output.
Heavy rain was recorded across Punjab beginning last Thursday night while parts of around half a dozen districts including Patiala, Mansa, Sangrur, Fazilka are more affected due to strong winds.
Farmer Bhupinder Singh of Badanpur village in Mohali district said that his crop on several acres has fallen flat. “Even sunny days in the coming days would not help much as the grain development in the flattened crop will be affected,” he said.
According to Indian Met Department, Gurdaspur recorded 30 mm rain while Tarn Taran, Kapurthala, Fazilka, Amritsar, Faridkot, Zira, and Pathankot received 20 mm each rain.
Apart from this, the remaining districts received 10 mm each of the rain on last Friday morning.
Faridkot, Bathinda, Tarn Taran, and Gurdaspur districts have recorded 664 percent, 621 percent, 409 percent, and 310 percent surplus rain, respectively. Punjab has received overall 13.5 mm rainfall against normal 5.6 mm in the first six days of March month.