Current rainy spell raises hopes of bumper paddy crop in Punjab

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: The current period of rainfall across Punjab, due to weather disturbances, has proved to be a boon for farmers during the ongoing paddy planting season, raising hopes for a bumper rice harvest.

Precipitation that began in the night interval of Wednesday and Thursday, according to forecasts by the meteorological service, will continue until June 21-22. According to a bulletin issued by the Department of Meteorology, the light to heavy rainfall (between 10mm and 40mm) hit the whole state including Majha, Doaba and East and West Malwa regions.

Temperatures also dropped by five to eight degrees Celsius, leading to a drop in power consumption of about 1,500 megawatts, which peaked at 12,500 megawatts three days ago.

“The fear of a bad harvest due to a severe heat wave has passed for now and we are hoping for a good start and a bumper harvest,” said agriculture director Gurvinder Singh.

A state agriculture department official said that rice farmers in the state should make the best use of the wet period to sow paddy with the conventional method of transplanting into pond fields or with the non-potential method. conventional direct seeded rice (DSR).

“The period will prove beneficial for the paddy crop because due to rainfall and falling temperatures, there will be less evaporation and it will take less time to irrigate the fields. Now, due to rainfall, it will take about two hours to form one-acre puddles, which during peak temperatures would have taken at least four hours,” said Makhan Singh Bhullar, head of the department of agronomy at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in Ludhiana.

In marshy fields, transplanting is done in a layer of 4-5 centimeters of water. In fact, it requires 19 to 20 centimeters of water because in the process a lot of water seeps into the soil and also evaporates.

According to calculations by Prof. Ajmer Singh Brar of the UPA Department of Agronomy, one acre of paddy field requires 600 to 750 cubic meters of water, depending on weather, soil and geographic conditions.

“Due to persistent rains, water needs have definitely decreased,” he added.

According to figures from the ‘commission des frais et prix agricole’ (CACP), which sets the minimum crop support prices each season, the production of one kilogram of rice requires 3,367 liters of water.

In Punjab, paddy is sown on 72 lakh acres. Of the total area, 17 lakh acres are expected under basmati and so far one lakh acre has been sown under the DSR variety.

Bhullar added that the ideal time for transplanting paddy is after June 20 for medium duration varieties and from July 1 for short duration varieties and premium aromatic Basmati.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gurpreet Singh Nibber is a special correspondent in the Punjab office. It covers agriculture, the energy sector, Sikh religious affairs and the Punjabi diaspora.
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