Smog ef­fect: De­lay in sow­ing of wheat may hit crop yield, only 40% of tar­get met so far

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - HINDUSTANTIMES HTPUNJAB - Anil Sharma

TARN TARAN: The de­lay in sow­ing of wheat in Pun­jab, caused by smoggy weather and a dip in tem­per­a­ture, may hit the crop’s yield this sea­son.

So far, only 40% of the to­tal area ex­pected to be un­der wheat has been sown.

Talk­ing to HT, agri­cul­ture di­rec­tor JS Bains said, “We ex­pect a to­tal of 34.90 lakh hectares un­der wheat cul­ti­va­tion by Novem­ber 14, but the crop has been sown over only 14 lakh hectares yet.”

He said the pe­riod from Novem­ber 10 to 15 is the ideal time for the cul­ti­va­tion of wheat as it en­sures op­ti­mum pro­duc­tion.

“Any de­lay be­yond this im­plies a loss of 1.5 quin­tal of pro­duc­tion for a week’s de­lay. The de­lay was due to lack of sun­light as smog has en­gulfed most parts of the state. How­ever, de­layed win­ters con­di­tions in March-april can com­pen­sate for the loss,” he added.

Pun­jab Agri­cul­tural Univer­sity (PAU) vice-chan­cel­lor BS Dhillon also said that the de­lay in wheat sow­ing be­yond Novem­ber 15 means loss of pro­duc­tiv­ity.

He sug­gested farm­ers to avoid burn­ing paddy stub­ble as it leads to de­lay in wheat sow­ing.

Tarn Taran district chief agri­cul­ture of­fi­cer (CAO) Par­tap Singh said, “Only around 30% farm­ers have so far sowed wheat in the district. The story is sim­i­lar in other dis­tricts also. Though farm­ers can sow the crop till De­cem­ber 10, it will af­fect the pro­duce.”

He added, “Af­ter the paddy sea­son is over, fields are wet with wa­ter. Ide­ally, there should be am­ple sun­light to dry fields, which is not hap­pen­ing. Till the weather is cleared, farm­ers have the rea­son to be wor­ried.”

He said with late sow­ing and less yield, in­come of farm­ers will also take a hit.

Sur­jit Singh, a farmer of Bhura Kohna vil­lage in Tarn Taran, said, “PAU sug­gests PBW625, HD2967 and HD3080 seeds for sow­ing wheat, but these va­ri­eties were good only till Novem­ber 15 and the agri­cul­ture depart­ment has not yet re­ceived PBW550 seeds, which can be used for late sow­ing.”

“The change in weather has farm­ers wor­ried as the pre­vail­ing low tem­per­a­ture has not al­lowed enough sun­shine to make fields suit­able for sow­ing wheat,” he added.

“Last year, I sowed wheat in the sec­ond week of De­cem­ber. This led to low yield. On other hand, my neigh­bours sowed the crop in the first week of Novem­ber and got com­par­a­tively higher yield,” Mukhtar Singh, an­other farmer said.

“The first week of Novem­ber is most favourable to sow wheat. With each pass­ing day, we are los­ing on pre­cious time,” said Av­tar Singh, a farmer of Bhikhi­wind.

The district CAO, mean­while, claimed residue burn­ing is not the rea­son be­hind smog in Pun­jab and Haryana. He said, “Cli­mate has been chang­ing in western coun­tries and we can­not cite stub­ble burn­ing as the rea­son be­hind the change in weather this year.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.