The states of Punjab and Haryana have received heavy excess rainfall in early January this year, which has taken the farmers of the region by surprise. Agriculture experts said the fresh rains have acted as a tonic for rabi crops, mainly in the rain-fed Kandi areas (sub-hills) of Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Gurdaspur and Ropar districts.
However, he cautioned that low-lying areas should stand against the accumulation of excess water, which, if not stopped, could submerge their land.
Dr. Amrik Singh, Agriculture Officer, Pathankot said that there is a large part of the area under Kandi belt in his district. He said the January rains were a must for all winter crops including wheat, winter corn and vegetables. “Farmers who have land in low-lying areas should build a drain in their fields so that excess rain water can drain out and save their crops,” he said.
While some potato farmers said they were worried about January’s unseasonal rains, Dr Paramjit Singh of the Punjab Horticulture Department, who is also a potato expert, said the rains were too good for every crop, including potatoes. However, he warned farmers to beware of heavy rains, which could damage their potato crops, one of the main crops currently cultivated in the Doaba region. Dr. Paramjit Singh suggested to remove excess water from the fields by digging small pits in the lower part to protect the crops, where rain water can accumulate. He said that if the excess water is removed in time, then the crops which are being cultivated are not at risk.
According to the Chandigarh office of the Indian Metrological Department, Punjab received a total of 80.1 mm of rain till January 10, up from the normal 4.7 mm for this time of year, which translates into a 1604% surplus. Similarly, Haryana recorded 52.6 mm of rain till January 10 against the normal 4.0 mm, which translates to a surplus of 1215%.
Chandigarh – the combined capital of both Punjab and Haryana – had recorded 1424% surplus rainfall till January 10, or 121.9 mm of rain overall against the normal of 8.0 mm.
The data shows that in the 48 hours between January 8 and January 10, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh received 28 mm, 24 mm and 57 mm of rain, which were the heaviest for the period.
According to the Meteorological Department, Punjab normally receives 21 mm, Haryana 14.2 mm and Chandigarh 42.5 mm in the entire month of January. Between January 7 and 8, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh received much more than the normal monthly quota.
The data further states that in Punjab, Kapurthala received 5963% surplus rainfall (206.2 mm of rain as against the normal 3.4 mm recorded in the last 10 days) till January 10. Amritsar and recorded 3061 per cent and 2647 per cent surplus rainfall respectively.
Apart from this, 2635 percent, 2542 percent, 2357 percent were found in Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, Mansa, Nawanshahr, Bathinda, Mohali, Tarn Taran, Patiala, Moga, Mansa, Sangrur, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Muktsar, Jalandhar and Rupnagar. 2342%, 2100%, 1647%, 1605%, 1581%, 1431%, 1427%, 1426%, 1388%, 1337%, 1311%, 1170%, 1125%, and 1113% of surplus rainfall, respectively, the data showed. All the remaining districts of the state received surplus rainfall ranging from 817% to 989% till January 10.
In Haryana, Nuh topped the chart with 3135% surplus rainfall till January 10, followed by Palwal and Gurgaon recording 2555% and 2061% surplus rainfall. This was followed by Rewari, Jhajjar, Sonipat and Kaithal which received 1831%, 1825%, 1522% and 1482% additional rainfall respectively. Kurikshetra, Yamuna Nagar and Sirsa received 1391 per cent, 1369% and 1283% excess rainfall, respectively. The remaining 13 districts of Haryana witnessed surplus rainfall ranging from 784% to 1203%.