Overcast conditions delay harvesting in Punjab

April 17th, 2011 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, April 17 (IANS) Overcast skies accompanied by light to moderate rainfall and thunderstorms have delayed the harvesting of the wheat crop in various parts of Punjab, officials said.

This has automatically resulted in a substantial dip in the quantity of wheat reaching the grain markets of the state.

Such conditions have been prevailing in Punjab for the last four days and there have been spells of rain and thunderstorms at regular intervals. Due to this harsh weather, many of the region’s farmers have deliberately postponed the harvesting process.

According to official figures, over 2.05 lakh tonnes of wheat had arrived in the grain markets of Punjab till Saturday, while over 40 lakh tonnes wheat had arrived by this time last year.

“Our department has predicted light to moderate rainfall, especially during late hours, in this region in the next two-three days. We also had thunderstorms last night and heavy spell of rain at various places this morning,” a Met official told IANS.

“The mercury has also dipped, by one to two degrees Celsius, in Punjab due to this rainfall. This dip causes delay in the ripening of the crop. Besides, thunderstorms are very detrimental for the standing crop at this time of the year,” he added.

In Punjab, the procurement season started April 1 and will continue till June.

In 2010, Punjab procured nearly 105 lakh tonnes of wheat and this is expected to touch 110 lakh tonnes this year.

“There is nothing to worry about. Wheat procurement is gradually picking up all across the state,” said Punjab food and civil supplies secretary D.S. Grewal here.

The Haryana government had also issued an advisory for the farmers to take preventive measures to avoid damage to wheat crop due to the impending rains. Last year, Haryana procured around 60 lakh tonnes of wheat.

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