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Gusty winds damage wheat crop in Punjab and Haryana just before harvest

March 17, 2023 04:13 PM

New Delhi: With unusually high temperatures in the month of February and hailstorms coupled with gusty winds now, the wheat farmers in the key growing states — including Punjab and Haryana — are facing a double whammy.


Hailstorm and strong winds have already started to damage the standing wheat crop, which is near maturity stage.


It has been learned that the strong winds flattened the standing wheat crop in a few districts of Punjab and Haryana on Thursday night. 


The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), on Thursday, said, “Fairly widespread rainfall with the thunderstorm, lightning, gusty winds and hailstorm is very likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for the next few days.”


Agriculture experts said that as wheat was near the maturity stage, the damage would be very high. 


Devinder Sharma, an agriculture expert, said extreme weather condition over the northwest had become a cause of worry as it would most likely flatten the crop. “Though the impact of the damage will be assessed afterwards, the wheat production in the country obviously is likely to be affected, this year. And this will put farmers in further distress,” said Sharma.


Meanwhile, wheat experts said the brown rust disease, which causes a reduction in the weight of grain and also shrivels it, was reported in several districts of Punjab and Haryana.


OP Bishnoi, a wheat specialist at Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, said, “Farmers should stop irrigation to the wheat as it will lead to lodging. No need to spray fungicide to control brown rust as it will be washed out by rain. No need to spray potassium chloride as well.”



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