Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, May 13
Rain, hails and thunderstorms in the past one month have left farmers worried, especially in areas where the harvesting of wheat and barley is on.
However, the rain has paved the way for early sowing of maize and are also considered conducive for potato, ginger, garlic and onion.
Reports of capsicum crop damage in Solan and Una have poured in, while a blight attack on tomato crop was reported in the Balh area of Mandi district, following which the teams of the Krishi Vikas Kendra visited the affected areas.
However, growers can now sow maize early in several districts, including Solan, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Una, for kharif season. The target area to be covered under maize cultivation is 2,07,000 hectares. The weather is best for sowing of ginger and turmeric and good for potato, garlic and onion, say sources in agriculture department.
Yellow alert for today
- Local Met office issues a yellow alert of thunderstorm and lightning at isolated places in Kangra, Mandi, Shimla and Solan on May 14
- Predicts wet spell till May 16
- Minimum temperature decreases by 1 to 2 degrees C
- Keylong was coldest with a low of 3.5 degrees C and Una was hottest with a high of 28.2 degrees C
Earlier, scanty rain in Himachal caused losses worth Rs 133.5 crore to foodgrain and commercial crops during Rabi season as Himachal received 69 per cent deficit rains during winter season (January 1 to February 28, 2021) and deficit of 62 per cent in March 2021.
The deficit, which had increased to 60 per cent in the first week of April, narrowed down due to heavy rains, thunderstorm, hailstorm and snowfall during April, which further worsened the farmers’ plight.
Himachal received 35.5 mm rains against normal 29.8 mm of rains from May 1 to 12, an increase of 19 per cent, Director, Meteorological Department, Manmohan Singh said, adding that the rains would be above normal in the coming week.
Unseasonal snowfall and hailstorm caused heavy damage to standing Rabi crops ready for harvesting and even the crops which had been harvested. The wheat crop withered during January and February.
Moderate to heavy rains lashed several parts of the state and Dharamsala with 65 mm of rains was wettest in the region, followed by Rohru 42 mm, Mandi 36 mm, Narkanda 34 mm, Palampur 33 mm, Sundernagar 31 mm, Solan 29 mm Kumarsen 27 mm, Kasauli 26 mm, Baldwara 25 mm, Rampur 23 mm, Bhuntar and Gaggal 21 mm each, Keylong 20 mm, Gohar and Kothi 18 mm each, Bajura and Rajgarh 17 mm each, Shimla, Manali and Seobagh 16 mm each, Wangtoo and Pandoh 15 mm each, Kotkhai and Karsog 14 mm each, Jogindernagar 13 mm each, Manikaran and Baijnath 12 mm, Kufri 11 mm and Tissa, Dalhousie and Bajura Bijahi 10 mm each.
The local Met office issued a yellow alert of thunderstorm and lightning at isolated places in Kangra, Mandi, Shimla and Solan districts on May 14 and predicted a wet spell till May 16. Minimum temperatures decreased by 1 to 2 degrees and Keylong was coldest at night with a low of 3.5 degrees C. Maximum temperatures dropped by 7 to 8 degrees and Una was hottest in day with a high of 28.2 degrees C.