Rains delay wheat harvest
01 May, 2012: Heavy rains throughout April in Punjab have
prevented farmers from harvesting wheat and have damaged the
standing crop in some parts, sparking fears of heavy losses.
If the crop, which is ready for harvest, is not picked from
the fields by next week, its quality will be affected and
per-acre yield may also drop, say agricultural experts.
“If bad weather persists for another week, the quality of
grain will suffer badly, leading to a price fall,” said
Yasir Mahmood, an agricultural expert while talking to Our
“Wheat harvesting, which usually starts in early April, is
almost at a standstill due to rains and strong winds,
causing heavy losses to the farmers,” said Khalid Ali, a
Farmers voiced fears that the
rains followed by strong winds could uproot the crop and
damage the yield. Wheat with high moisture could not be
stored and millers would also not buy it for grinding, they
“The private sector could be persuaded to purchase this
low-quality wheat, which may not fetch the support price of
Rs1,050 per 40 kilogramme,” Ali said.
How to protect the crop
In an attempt to save the commodity from the rains, the
Punjab Agricultural Department has asked farmers to use
plastic sheets to cover the harvested crop.
“The department is running a campaign, advising farmers that
bundles of harvested wheat should be small in size, which
can be covered and moved easily from one place to another,”
said Hameed Ahmad, District Officer of the Punjab
He said the farmers were getting weather updates from radio
and television, adding they should not start harvesting in
cloudy weather. “Farmers have been advised to suspend
harvesting by the time weather gets better,” said Ahmad.
He cautioned the farmers to take care of broken grain at the
time of threshing as insects would mostly attack such grain.
Courtesy: Pak Tribune