'Timely rain helps paddy farmers'

'Timely rain helps paddy farmers'

Widespread rains that lashed the northern region on Thursday will help kharif crops like paddy, sugarcane, maize and cotton in Punjab and Haryana.

“Rain at this stage is beneficial for kharif crops, especially paddy, as it will bring saving in water requirements for transplantation and help in timely sowing,” agriculture commissioner, Punjab, B S Sidhu said here on Thursday. Paddy requires water in the field during transplantation.

Farm experts said paddy transplantation would pick up because of pre-monsoon showers.

Adverse effect

Last year, because of “deficient monsoon” sowing of kharif crops especially paddy and guar was adversely affected in Punjab and Haryana.

Moreover, farmers had to spend more on diesel to extract water for transplanting paddy and sowing other crops.

Rain will also reduce pressure on the underground water table as farmers will not need to extract water for transplanting paddy crops, experts pointed out.

To prevent depletion of underground water table, it has been been mandatory by Punjab and Haryana governments under Preservation of Subsoil water Act not to sow paddy before a recommended period.

Paddy sowing in Punjab started on June 10 and in Haryana.

Punjab and Haryana are eyeing to bring 27.50 lakh hectares and 11.50 lakh hectares respectively under paddy during the current kharif season.

Good for other crops

Punjab Agricultural University director research S S Gosal said besides paddy, rain will also be good for sugarcane and cotton crop as both crops require water at this stage.

However, he said rain is not good for summer moong crop as showers will cause discolouration and pose problems for harvesting.

“There can be problems for summer moong crop which is at harvesting stage at this moment and rain can discolour the crop,” he said.

Punjab grows summer moong on 50,000 hectares of area.