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Rabi Crops Hampered By Unseasonal Rains & Hailstorms In Northern India

Hailstorms this month have been particularly damaging to mustard and gram crops in Rajasthan, particularly in areas such as Bharatpur, Dholpur, and Kota, causing substantial damage to the standing crop.

Chintu Das
Damaged crop due to rainfall
Damaged crop due to rainfall

Rabi crops such as mustard, wheat, gram, and potato have been harmed by unseasonal rainfall and hailstorms in northern India during the last few days. The mustard crop, which was supposed to be ready in the first week of February, will now be three weeks late since harvesting will not begin until the fields dry up.

Because the delivery of the crop is expected to be delayed, mustard oil wholesale prices have risen by Rs 5 per litre in the previous week.

The unseasonal rain that began in the second week has aided the growth of some crops while hindering the growth of others.

Hailstorms this month have been particularly damaging to mustard and gram crops in Rajasthan, particularly in areas like Bharatpur, Dholpur, and Kota, causing severe damage to the standing crop, according to Hetal Gandhi, director of Crisil Research.

Rainfall, on the other hand, is regarded as good for the growth of gram and mustard at this stage of the crop. However, persistent rains during the mustard and gram harvesting stages may have an influence on the oil content and crop quality, respectively.

"This year's mustard crop area increased to 90 lakh hectares, up from 72.5 lakh hectares last year." This year's harvest is expected to be 106 lakh tonnes, according to B.V. Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors Association of India.

Excessive rains have caused water logging around root zones in wheat in eastern and western UP and Punjab, causing yellowing of the crop, which is currently in the tillering stage in these regions. When the rain stops, the impact of the waterlogging on yield will be minimal. "Cold circumstances at this stage of wheat, on the other hand, are helpful to general health," Gandhi added.

The potato crop is projected to suffer the most damage as a result of the severe rain, particularly in regions like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Punjab. Diseases like late blight, which has already been recorded in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, are caused by excessive rainfall and waterlogged conditions in potato fields. The late blight disease has a big influence on crop productivity.

"Excessive rains in the potato region in Punjab are projected to damage up to 10-15 percent of sowed acreage," the Crisil executive added.

Mustard seed prices are at about Rs 8200 per quintal. "Because the arrival of the bumper crop has already been anticipated in the market, the delay in arrival is unlikely to have a significant influence on pricing of oilseeds and mustard oil." According to market projections, the price in February would be about Rs 6600 per quintal," Mehta added.

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