King of fruits-mango, staple crop of North India-wheat and highly valued condiment- mustard have been severely affected due to untimely rain in last few days. The widespread rain at an inappropriate time has also impacted the production of cauliflower, onion and tomato besides affecting the fruit basket including grapes.
In Punjab, the worst affected areas are Ludhiana and Jalandhar where heavy rain waterlogged the fields and damaged the wheat crop that was ready for harvest. Almost 40-50% of early sown wheat (sown in November) has been affected due to rain in last two days of March, while 10-15% of late sown wheat (sown in December) has been impacted. Besides Punjab, heavy rain crippled the farmers and affected the wheat production in parts of Uttar Pradesh that includes Banda, Kanpur, Lucknow and Meerut as each place witnessed heavy rain of more than 40 mm in last 24 hours.
Maharashtra and Gujarat have also seen damage to mango. Almost 25% of mango production has been impacted due to unseasonal, heavy rain in first two days of month. The worse affected were Amravati, Varda, Yeotmal and Bhira. This is the flowering season for mango and heavy loss is likely due to untimely rain.
“Rain did not even spare Rajasthan where 40% of mustard production has been damaged. This damage includes harvested crop and crop that is in process of harvesting. Around 60% crop that is lying in the fields for drying is also likely to suffer loss,” explained Nalin Rawal, Chief Agri Research Analyst, Skymet weather Services.
Pulses, one of the other rabi crop, have been also affected as almost 25% of production has been impacted.
Rabi crops are the agriculture crops sown in winter and harvested in the spring.
With more rain likely on 7th-10th March, followed by rain on 21st -25th March, the crop damage is estimated to increase further during the spring month of March.