With the met department predicting more rainfall along with thunderstorms over key wheat-growing areas in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh during March 30-31, the agriculture ministry has urged farmers against harvesting of crops prior to reaching maturity stage and initiate measures against water stagnation in the field.
Source said the harvesting of crops which were reaching the maturity stage has been delayed because of recent un-seasonal rains. Officials told FE that the farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have delayed harvesting by a fortnight till the middle of April.
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“We have advised wheat farmers in northern India against harvesting the crop prior to reaching the maturity stage,” an agriculture ministry official said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday has predicted thunderstorms and hailstorms over Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh during March 30 – 31.
According to the IMD, the key wheat-growing states – Punjab (151%), Haryana (136%), Uttar Pradesh (177%), Rajasthan (285%) and Madhya Pradesh (204%) – have received more rainfall during March 1–28 against the normal benchmark. So far, the March rainfall has been 27% above the normal level so far with 22 states and unio territories receiving above normal rainfall.
While urging farmers to drain out excess water from the crop fields, the met department has recommended completion of harvesting of matured crops in Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan during clear weather and keeping the harvest at safe place.
Following the recent rains, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar have ordered surveys to ascertain the loss of crops due to untimely rainfall. While surveys on crop losses are being undertaken by Madhya Pradesh too, the state government has announced a compensation of Rs 32,000 per hectare in case of crop losses of 50% in an area.
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According to a state government official, in anticipation of rains during March 30 and 31, farmers in Madhya Pradesh have been harvesting wheat crop since the last few days. Harvesting in Madhya Pradesh is likely to be completed in the next couple of days.
The agriculture ministry has estimated a record wheat output of 112.2 million tonne (MT) for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June). “Wheat production will not be affected due to recent rains, confident of achieving the output target,” Ashok Meena, Chairman and Managing Director, Food Corporation of India said on Tuesday.