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Wheat crop yield likely to fall in Punjab

Written by: Staff

Ludhiana, Mar (UNI) Scantry rain coupled by temperature fluctuations during the winters this year are likely to effect the yield of the rabi crop particularly wheat, a report on the impact of weather on wheat crop said.

The report prepared by P S Sehra and Ms K K Gill of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) said that the below normal and freezing temperatures and ground frost in the first half of January damaged some rabi crops and vegetables, like potato,tomato and brinjal, while above normal temperatures from end of January onwards to an extent adversely affected wheat.

''The frequency of western disturbances in winter has not been satisfactory, particularly over Punjab and adjoining areas. It is these disturbances which bring rain and control day and night time temperatures. However, some western disturbances did bring above normal rainfall and snow over Jammu and Kashmir, where actual rain fall in January-February was 251 mm against normal of 201 mm, which means 24 percent above normal,'' the report said.

However, due to un-satisfactory frequency of wheather disturbances over Punjab, the actual rainfall fell short by 79 percent. The state received only 10 mm rain against a normal 47 mm.

Since temperatures are also controlled by these disturbances, this year average maximum temperature during January remained 0.3 degrees celsius above normal. But in February, maximum and minimum temperatures were 4.5 degrees and 4.1 degrees, respectively.

Both Mr Sehra and Ms Gill have maintained that it is difficult to predict the exact loss of the yield of wheat. However, certainly quantity and quality will be somewhat adversely affected due to scanty rainfall and temperature fluctuations in January-February.

The above normal rain and snow over Jammu and Kashmir in January-February had helped to keep temperatures down over Punjab and adjoining areas due to the prevailing cold winds.This gives ray of hope that loss of yield of wheat will to some extent be compensated, they said.

At present, Punjab and adjoining areas are under the influence of western disturbances with an intensive low pressure area over Rajasthan, which is causing scattered rain and thunder showers in the region. Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Utranchcal are also receiving scattered to fairly wide spread rain and snow during these days.

The PAU scientists advised the farmers that irrigation of the wheat crop should be avoided during the next two days to avoid possible damage (lodging) due to winds.


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