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Rains to delay Punjab & Haryana wheat harvest

Wheat harvesting in Punjab and Haryana is likely to get delayed by at least 10 days due to untimely rains lashing several parts of the northern region. ‘Wheat harvesting will get delayed by at least 10 days because of rains,’ Punjab Agriculture, Director, M S Sandhu said here on Monday.

Wheat harvesting normally starts by March end or first week of April month. Because of delay in harvesting, wheat arrivals in grain markets of Punjab are likely to pick up only after the second week of April.

‘The crop arrivals will also be delayed due to delay in harvesting because of inclement weather conditions prevailing at this stage,’ said an official of Food Corporation of India (FCI). Last season, wheat arrivals picked up from April 10.

Punjab is expecting wheat procurement of 115 lakh tonnes for Rabi marketing season 2014-15 as against 110 lakh tonne procured in 2013-14 season. Rains today lashed several parts of Punjab and Haryana including Faridkot, Ferozepur, Mohali, Bathinda, Amritsar, Rajpura and Hissar.

The meteorological department has predicted rains accompanied by hailstorms in the next 24 hours. Agriculture experts fear possible adverse impact on crop yield if showers continue for some more days.

‘At this stage, wheat requires sunshine for ripening. But rains at this stage can hurt prospects of bumper crop,’ a farm expert said.

Notably, rains, which lashed earlier this month, had flattened crops at several places including Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Nawanshahar, Mohali, Tarn Taran in Punjab and a few districts including Palwal and Yamunanagar in Haryana.
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