With drought-like conditions prevailing this July, the wait finally ended for farmers as the district recorded 101.4 mm rainfall on Monday morning.
Heavy rain lashed the outer and inner parts of Ludhiana, bringing relief to the paddy farmers. The drought-like conditions and absence of irrigation water had even convinced the Punjab Agricultural University to draw up a contingency plan for farmers to fight the situation.
With normal rainfall being 232 mm for the month of July, the monsoon deficit was covered by 50% in a single day.
“More rainfall is expected in the coming 24 hours. Till now it has rained 120 mm approximately in Ludhiana this July,” said Dr L K Dhaliwal, director, school of climate change and agricultural meteorology, PAU.
According to experts, while rain has come as a boon for paddy farmers, the maize growers need to stay alert as maize is an ‘extra sensitive’ crop and standing water is injurious to it.
Talking to Newsline, Dr S S Gosal, director (research), PAU, said, “Rain has come as a relief for paddy growers. Paddy will be safe now but almost 2.5 lakh hectares of land in Punjab is covered under maize cultivation as part of crop diversification. It is an erect crop and waterlogging is injurious to crop. Farmers should flush out standing water from maize fields.”
As per Gosal, similar advice goes for pulses, vegetables growing on creepers: not to allow water in fields.
‘Monsoon distribution erratic’
The heavy downpour in a single day has brought out a pattern of non-uniform monsoon distribution, pointing towards signs of climate change and environmental degradation.
“We are harming nature and it is giving us back. Monsoon is not uniformly distributed leading to 100 mm rainfall in a day and dry spell throughout the month which is not a good sign. Earlier, it rained throughout July,” said Dr J S Dhiman, additional director research, PAU.
In 2013, Ludhiana witnessed 179mm rainfall on June 13.