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Haryana

Posted at: Jun 16, 2019, 6:07 AM; last updated: Jun 16, 2019, 6:07 AM (IST)

Prolonged heat wave bad for cotton crop: Farmers

Forced to spend Rs 5,000 per hectare on irrigating fields from tubewells
Prolonged heat wave bad for cotton crop: Farmers

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15

A prolonged spell of heat wave is damaging cotton crop in the state, as the crop which is still at a tender stage is dithering away due to burning in excessive heat and inadequate irrigation.

While the condition of early sown crops doesn’t have much adverse effect of the weather conditions, except for the fact that they need more frequent irrigation, but those sown late are withering away due to extreme heat.

Cotton producing farmers allege that they were forced to spend more than Rs 5,000 per hectare on irrigating their fields from tubewells in the absence of rains. Cotton crop has been sown on 6.62 lakh hectares in Haryana so far this time, according to figures of the Haryana Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department.

This is 0.09 lakh hectares more than the last year’s acreage of 6.53 lakh hectares, but only slightly above this year’s target of 6.61 lakh hectare. Sirsa district is the biggest producer of cotton, followed by Fatehabad and Hisar.

Others districts with semi-arid land like Jind, Bhiwani, Mahendragarh, Rewari and Charkhi Dadri also produce cotton.

Surja Ram, a farmer from Bhattu village of Fatehabad, said he had sown his crop late this year on two acres because of some unavoidable reasons, but the tender saplings were dithering away due to extreme heat. “For the other acres where the crop was sown in time, I am spending extra money to keep the crop alive. It is after long that we are witnessing such a long dry spell in June. If things continue like this, this will affect the overall production of cotton in the state, because rain irrigation is much better than canal irrigation or irrigation through tubewells,” he added.

Gurdial Mehta, a farmer from Panjuana village of Sirsa, however, said though his crop has passed the stage where it could have suffered damage by burning due to heat, he had to cough up over Rs 5,000 per hectare on his fields for irrigation.

Dr Dilip Monga, Head of Central Institute for Cotton Research working under the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, however, admitted that a prolonged spell of heat wave was not good for cotton, but at the same time he said that the percentage of late sown crops was very less.

  • 6.62 lakh hectares Cotton crop sown
  • 6.53 lakh hectares Crop sown in 2018
  • Sirsa district Biggest producer, followed by Fatehabad and Hisar

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