Rain to hit North India soon, to help wheat, mustard crops
Rains are expected in the northern plains in the coming days which will help the standing rabi crop as a continued warm spell would have damaged the crops. Traders and analysts had been concerned about the rising temperatures as major winter crops such as wheat, mustard and gram require lower temperature for growth. However, for vegetable crops like potato and tomato, the high temperature ensured that there was no pest infestation. Temperatures will play a critical role over the next two months before harvesting begins.
"We are expecting rain and snow to cover the Himalayan hills in the coming week. This will bring a respite to the north western plains which can expect a spell of rain. This will lead to a drop in night temperature and help the standing wheat crop," said Gyanendra Pratap Singh, an official at the Directorate of Wheat Research in Karnal, Haryana.
Singh said the rains will save farmers the cost of irrigating their land. "The rains will be beneficial as the crops are in the vegetative stage, not in the flowering stage," he said. There have been no incidence of yellow rust on wheat crop in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh this season, he added.
The weather office has said that day temperatures have been above normal -- 3.1°C to 5.0°C -- in most places in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Between January 26-28, it has forecast rain/snow at a few places over the Western Himalayan region.
The continued dry weather conditions and maximum temperatures being above normal over parts of north-west and central India were a concern for traders as it could impact yield and the quality of crop, said Prerana Desai, vice-president at Edelweiss Agri Research. "News of expected rains in the coming days over the northern region is good for agriculture crops Wheat planting fell by 4.02% to 298.67 lakh hectare, largely in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, but increased in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, the ministry said. Mustard, the key oilseed crop in the season, saw planting at less than 5.01% at 66.60 lakh hectare. Other crops like groundnut, sunflower and linseed saw an increase. However, farmers increased planting of pulses by 4.72% to 163.11 lakh hectare compared with the previous year.
By BOA Bureau