Heavy rains, hailstorm damage rabi crops over 250,000 ha in Haryana

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020


By Sampad Nandy


NEW DELHI – Heavy showers, hailstorm, and lightning during the weekend have damaged major standing rabi crops, including wheat, spread over 250,000 ha in Haryana, a senior official with the state's farm department said.


"A basic report has shown that wheat, mustard, chana, and barley have been damaged. Most of these crops were ready to be harvested," the official said. 


Of the total 2.49 mln ha under wheat in the 2019-20 (Jul-Jun) rabi season, standing crop on 200,000 ha has been affected due to untimely rains, he said, adding, at many places, crop lodging in wheat has also been reported.


In the state, around 55-60% of the total sown wheat has been harvested, according to the farm ministry. 


Mustard over 10,000-12,000 ha has been damaged, he said. Mustard was sown across 562,000 ha in the state, adding, chana sown over 6,000-7,000 ha has also been affected due to the untimely rains. Chana was planted over 46,000 ha in the state during the rabi season. 


Other smaller crops like barley, smaller pulses and vegetables have also been damaged, he said.  


"Heavy rains at this time will delay the harvest of wheat in the state for few more days. Farmers need to wait for the grains to dry before the standing crop can be harvested," Karnal-based wheat farmer Alok Verma said.


Usually, the entire wheat crop is harvested by the end of April in Haryana but this year it had been delayed due to labour scarcity amid the nationwide lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus, traders said. Apart from the standing crop, harvested crops were also damaged by the rains, the official said.


Slower pace of procurement in the state this year has forced wheat farmers to keep the crop in open fields, and the harvested crop has also been damaged, he said. 


Procurement of wheat this year has been delayed by over a fortnight in the state. Other measures to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19 has also slowed the pace of procurement this year, the official said.   End


Edited by Aditya Sakorkar


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