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Heatwave likely to delay in planting of summer crops

Farmers in Punjab, Haryana & Rajasthan will start planting of cotton by May and paddy by June

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Apr 2 2016 3:06PM | Updated Date: Apr 2 2016 3:06PM

Heatwave likely to delay in planting of summer crops

 This time in summer planting of crops may be delayed due to above normal heatwave conditions expected to prevail over central and northwest India from April to June. 

As forecast by the weather office above normal temperatures can also have devastating effects on human health, water resources and power generation. 
However, with El Nino conditions expected to weaken by June, the monsoon rains could be widespread and normal. 
Higher temperatures could also affect livestock, he said. Heatwave is said to be in effect if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C in plains and at least 30°C in hilly regions. 
The weather conditions could, however, change in the coming months since El Nino conditions over the Pacific Ocean are likely to weaken further and reach weaker El Nino conditions during April-June, Singh said. 
Farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan will start planting of cotton by May and paddy nursery by June. In Madhya Pradesh, soybean cultivation will begin after the monsoon sets in. 
Similarly, in Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, planting of paddy, cotton, pulses and millets begins once the monsoon sets in. Even in irrigated regions the germinated crop could die due to heatwave and stress on plants, said Vikas Rai, a cotton farmer from Fazilka district in Punjab. 
"Farmers should be advised not to burn the wheat stubble after harvest and to cultivate land, thereby ensuring moisture is retained. 
This will protect newly germinated crop," he said. Ajay Vir Jakhar, chairman of farmers' association Bharat Krishak Samaj said extreme heatwave will be bad for rural population and farming considering scarce water resources. He said vegetable prices could increase further. The water situation in parts of the country has worsened after an extended period of deficit rainfall, including two consecutive monsoon failures.