Farmers in Punjab have yet to harvest nearly 45 per cent paddy crop even as the wheat sowing season gets underway Thursday, November 1. According to experts, the best period for wheat sowing in Punjab is from November 1 to November 15 and sowing after this period affects the yield. Wheat is sown after paddy harvesting in the state and nearly 35 lakh hectares area is dedicated under it here. The reason for the delay of paddy harvesting was late sowing of paddy and then late monsoon rains in the last week of September month which delayed ripening of the crop.
“Iss vaari aje khet vicho chona hi ni katya gaya tan kanak kithon lag jaugi (how wheat sowing will take place timely when paddy is yet to be harvested),”said farmer Harjit Singh of village Randhawa Masanda in Jalandhar, adding that all his five acres paddy crop had got inundated in knee deep water during September month due to which his harvesting got delayed by three weeks.
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana guidelines says that wheat sowing after November 15 means that one has to compromise with the yield because late sowing leads to decrease in yield by two quintal per acre and timely sowing can give 22 to 24 quintal wheat per acre, said farmer Satnam Singh of Rajjian village in Amritsar.
According to Punjab Mandi Board (PMB), till October 30 only 101.40 lakh tonnes paddy could be procured out of expected 190 lakh tonnes which is around 55 per cent of the total expected production. While on the same corresponding date last year Punjab had already procured 137.22 lakh tonnes out of the total 190 lakh tonnes which was 72 per cent of the total production.
Arhtiya Association of Punjab President, Vijay Kalra, while talking to The Indian Express said that wheat sowing would get delayed due to late harvesting of paddy as large number of farmers have yet to harvest paddy crop.
Director Punjab Agriculture Department, Dr Jasbir Singh Bains, said that over 55 per cent paddy harvesting is completed and it will be over in another 10 days. He said that farmers would start the wheat sowing just after harvesting of paddy to save time.
Sukhdev Singh, General Secretary of Bhartiya Kissan Union (Ugrahan) said: “The farmer is always at the receiving end, as first authorities did not allow to sow paddy before June 20, a delay of 10 days as compared to previous years, and then rain played truiant.”