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Unseasonal rains raise drought fears: Scientists

Unseasonal rains raise drought fears: Scientists
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With the threat of El Nino already looming large over the monsoon schedule, the rains in March is set to further hit its timely arrival. According to the India Metrological Department’s (IMD) internal committee report, the downfall of temperature in the northern parts of the country will affect the monsoon by 42 per cent.

To analyse the impact of unseasonal rains, the IMD has prepared an internal report on the basis of data from 1980 to 2010. According to the report, in the years 1980-82, 83, 84, 85 and 2005-06 the country had witnessed irregular rain during the months of  March-April, which had decreased the temperature by 2 degree Celsius.

As per the findings of the report, the monsoons were delayed in all the seven years. On the basis of the data, weather scientists are predicting the similar kind of development this year too. Talking to Millennium Post, IMD Director BP Yadav said: “There are instances when monsoons were delayed due to unseasonal rains, but at the same time, there are other cases where monsoons were not delayed despite heavy unseasonal rainfall. Apart from this, there are other factors too, that influence the  timing of the monsoons.”

According to agriculture scientist Dr Dhruv Kumar, the delay in monsoon will hit the Kharif crops badly, which may create a drought-like situation. Months of June, July and August are the sowing period for Kharif crops and if there will be a delay in monsoons, it will badly affect the production of rice and other Kharif crops like maize, sorghum, pearl millet/bajra, finger millet/ragi (cereals), arhar (pulses), soyabean, groundnut (oilseeds), cotton, etc.

The Rabi crops such as wheat, barley, oats (cereals), chickpea/gram (pulses), linseed, mustard (oilseeds) etc, are also badly affected due to the unseasonal rains. The state governments have initiated moves to assess the loss of standing crops due to sudden rains that hit the
country recently.

The heavy rains and hailstorms have damaged wheat crops. Wheat needs high temperatures to ripen and be ready for reaping but rains have played spoilsport this year. As per rough estimation, the production of wheat could remain below 50 lakh tone in comparison to the last year’s production report. The experts are predicting a calculated loss of wheat by four to five per cent this year.
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