Untimely rain may rob granary Punjab of bumper wheat crop
Punjab, the food bowl of the country, may not achieve bumper wheat output this season, with several growing areas facing "massive" crop loss due to untimely rains accompanied by hailstorm and high velocity winds during February and this month.
"We may not have bumper wheat production this season as rains along with hailstorm have damaged wheat crop in several parts of Punjab," Punjab Agriculture Director, Mangal Singh Sandhu said.
He said heavy rains that lashed during February 16 to 19 and a few spells of showers in the month of March have caused damage to wheat and vegetable crops in the state. Punjab has been eyeing bumper production this season on account of prolonged cold conditions and the absence of any widespread attack of crop disease.
It has targeted wheat output of 168 lakh tonnes for current 2014-15 season.
The state had logged all-time high wheat production of about 180 lakh tonnes in 2011-12 and then 176 lakh tonnes in 2013-14 helped by favourable weather conditions.
Sandhu said Moga, Kapurthala, Gurdaspur, Mansa and Fazilka districts are among wheat growing areas which are worst affected because of rains.