Hailstorm, rain affect crops in MP

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Bhopal, Mar 24 (UNI) After bearing the brunt of drought and frost, peasants in Madhya Pradesh again received battering at the hands of nature with hailstorm and unseasonal rains inflicting damage to wheat crops.

Unseasonal rains and hailstorm in Bundelkhand, Baghelkhand, Mahakaushal and Malwa regions have increased the worries of farmers.

Strong winds could also adversely impact mango flowers.

At several places, wheat crop has been reaped while reaping is about to begin at other places. However, wheat crop has been damaged in both cases.

Meanwhile, sunshine came out this morning reducing moistness of 'rabi' crop and raising hopes of minimum damage to crops.

Agriculture Production Commissioner Ranjana Choudhary told UNI here that he has asked the Principal Secretary (Agriculture) to provide him detailed information about hailstorm and rains as soon as possible.

A revenue department team has begun the task of estimating loss due to hails and rainfall at war footing. Relief work would start following this.

According to the Regional Meteorological Department, the state capital recorded most rainfall at 11.6 mm, followed by Shajapur 8.0 mm, Rajgarh 5.0 mm, Neemuch 3.2 mm, Guna 3.2 mm and Sagar 1.1 mm.

An upper air cycer built over western Madhya Pradesh caused rainfall and hailstorm at several places. However, its impact is expected to last 24 hours.

The state capital witnessed sudden change of weather last evening with strong winds and dust storm followed by drizzle for about two hours. Hailstorm was reported in nearby rural areas.

Deputy Director (Agriculture) K P Pandey said hailstorm can affect standing wheat crop, while water can affect the colour of pulses -- arhar, masoor and chana -- kept in granary after reaping.

However, not much damage was done to pulses with water not accumulating in granaries.

Heavy rainfall was recorded in Jabalpur, Mandla, Seoni, Umaria and Narsinghpur. Strong winds accompanied with rains was reported in Shajapur. Agriculture scientists said rainfall would prove beneficial for empty fields and would increase its fertility.

UNI SD-PS SG RS1655

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