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IMD Issues Advisory as Harvesting of Crops Delayed & Rain and Wind Flatten Crop

Isolated thunderstorms, lightning, squalls, and hailstorms were predicted by the IMD over Uttarakhand today. Read the whole advisory here.

Shivangi Rai
Rain, winds flatten wheat crop, may delay harvesting
Rain, winds flatten wheat crop, may delay harvesting

Due to western disturbances over the next few days, unseasonal rains and hailstorms are expected across the country. In the past few days too, light or moderate rainfall and thundershowers were observed over most parts of India and due to this the farmers have suffered a loss of 10% of their yield.

IMD advisory to farmers in different states

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has advised farmers in Haryana, Punjab, and Madhya Pradesh to delay the harvesting of wheat and other rabi crops. Farmers have also been asked to withhold irrigation of the wheat crop.

IMD also said the likely strong winds or hailstorms might damage standing crops, injure people and cattle in open places, and may partially damage vulnerable structures due to strong winds.

In Maharashtra, an official on March 19 said, six districts of Marathwada reported crop losses on more than 62,000 hectares of land due to the untimely rainfall in this season.

In Gujarat, a fresh spell of unseasonal rains lashed various parts of the state on the weekend. On March 19, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel held a review meeting to evaluate the situation.

As per IMD’s daily forecast, isolated thunderstorms, lightening, squalls, and hailstorms are expected on March 20 over west Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and East Rajasthan; and over Uttarakhand on March 21.

While the IMD has advised postponing the harvesting of wheat and other rabi crops, they've also said that in the case of mature crops like mustard, it can be harvested sooner.

In Rajasthan, farmers have been advised to carry out the harvesting of matured chickpeas and mustard at the earliest and store them in a safer place.

In Madhya Pradesh also, farmers have been asked to harvest chickpeas and mustard immediately and store the yield in a safer place.

And, In Maharashtra, farmers have been asked to harvest wheat, pulses, and grapes immediately.

In Assam, farmers have been asked to postpone the harvesting of fruits and vegetables and move the already harvested yield to safer places immediately.

Farmers have been told to postpone the sowing of maize in Sikkim and the sowing of jute in Sub-Himalayan West Bengal.

Farmers should drain out extra water from crop fields, provide mechanical support to horticultural crops and staking to vegetables, use hail nets to protect apple, plum, pear, and peach orchards in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and orchards in Haryana, Punjab, East Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.

Centre says yet to receive the states’ report

On March 20, the central government said there has been "some damage" to standing wheat crops in key growing states, but that it is "yet to receive a ground report from the states".

Kailash Choudhary, Minister of State for Agriculture told PTI, "There has been some damage. We have not received an assessment report on the extent of damage from the state governments". Also, the statement added that there is "no concern about mustard and chickpeas (chana) crops as most of it has been harvested" and that in the case of horticultural crops, "localized hailstorms might have affected some crops like potato and banana".

He also said states are using State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) funds and the Centre will provide compensation under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) after reports come in.

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