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Punjab Panic: Torrential Rain Causes Wheat Lodging, Farmers Devastated

Punjab is facing another spell of rain and strong winds that have caused panic among farmers due to severe damage to the wheat harvest caused by two previous heavy rain spells. Almost 10% of the overall wheat crop, or about 4 lakh hectares, is under heavy lodging, reducing nutrient density and resulting in decreased yields.

Eashani Chettri
Five districts reported damage to the wheat crop of more than 40%, and the remaining districts recorded lodging of 15% to 25%
Five districts reported damage to the wheat crop of more than 40%, and the remaining districts recorded lodging of 15% to 25%

On Friday evening, reports of yet another fresh spell of rain and strong winds spread throughout Punjab, causing farmers in about a dozen districts to panic because the wheat harvest had already been severely damaged by two previous heavy rain spells in the previous ten days.

The IMD reported that numerous locations in Punjab have seen rain and high winds with a speed of 40 to 50 mph. The rain and winds are expected to last through March 25.

Wheat crops had been devastated by earlier torrential rain, hail, and cyclonic winds on March 20. Almost 10% of the overall wheat crop, or about 4 lakh hectares, is under heavy lodging (flattening of the crop).

Lodging is the movement of stems or roots away from their upright and ideal position. It can reduce nutrient density and result in decreased yields. Primary causes are often attributed to wet soil; the case can be seen in Punjab.

Five districts reported damage to the wheat crop of more than 40%, and the remaining districts recorded lodging of 15% to 25% in various locations.

Wheat is grown on 34.89 lakh hectares in Punjab, with an average yield of 48 quintals per hectare. According to IMD officials, strong hailstorms in Patiala, Sangrur, Ludhiana, and Moga caused 40% damage to the crop.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday ordered a "special girdawri" to assess the damage that the state's unexpected rainfall has caused to crops and orchards.

He gave explicit directions to the concerned deputy commissioners to carry out "girdawari" right away to the finance commissioner (Revenue). In order to ensure that the affected persons receive proper compensation in accordance with government standards, he instructed the officers to make sure that the report is submitted as soon as possible.

According to Punjab Agricultural Department Director Gurvinder Singh, they are still determining the precise amount of crop damage.

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