Cold weather damages sugarcane, vegetables in Punjab

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Ludhiana, Feb 1 (UNI) The cold weather conditions in Punjab in the month of January has adversely effected the sugarcane crop, winter maize and vegetables, but it has been benefical for the wheat crop.

The border state which has been reeling under a cold wave had sixteen frosty days as against five considered to be normal for the month of January.

Giving details of the prevailing weather conditions, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Head, Deptartment of Agricultural Meteorology, Dr G S Bains said that a mean minimum temperature of 1.4 degrees celsius and maximum of 15 degree celsius was recorded in certain parts of the state during the last month. This was less by 4 and 5 degrees, respectively than the normal for the month.

Dr Bains said that the ground minimum temperature on the soil surface remained as low as minus 2.4 degree celsius in parts of the state that was responsible for the incidence of ground frost.

He added further that this dip in mercury was due to the snow fall received in the upper ranges of Himachal Pradesh coupled with north-westerly winds in the region.

Regarding the effect of the cold on crops, he said that winter maize, sugarcane, potato, peas, citrus and delicate nurseries of horticultural crops had been adversely affected. The weather, however, is expected to the beneficial for the oil-seed crops and wheat, barring the early sown wheat (at earring stage) which may be adversely affected as the cold weather will hamper pollen germination.

The development of biotic stress of insect pests and diseases will be suppressed in the prevailing cold weather. The weather is expected to be progressing towards normalcy in the coming 48 hours, due to development of western disturbance, according to the PAU experts.

The experts have suggested to the farmers to generate smoke in the orchards and apply light irrigation in the evening to protect the crops against frost.


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