Within two weeks of the Centre announcing a pro-farmer budget, an untimely downpour and hail on Saturday night may have caused heavy damage to the rabi (winter) crop in Gautam Budh Nagar farms. Farmers are claiming that almost half of the wheat crop planted in November could be destroyed by the showers. The farmers of Greater Noida apprehend a hard season in the months ahead. While many have complained that they are yet to be compensated for last year's crop damage, the farmers hope that the State government and the Centre will take notice of this crop damage and help them tide over the loss.
In a report the DA released yesterday, a total of 134,321 metric tons (MT) of crops have been affected as of Mar. 7 by the dry spell. The El Niño has damaged a total area of 91,027 hectares tilled by some 62,267 farmers. The El Niño is a phenomenon triggered by the unusual warming of the Pacific Ocean. Rice crop areas were hit the hardest, with total production loss valued at P1.191 billion. Damage to corn and high-value crops was valued at P700.944 million and P8.092 million, respectively.
One week after eight confirmed tornadoes touched down in Southwest, Central and eastern Virginia, more than 126 farmowner storm claims had been received by the Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. To date they total $1.6 million in damages, according to VFBMIC vice president of claims. They expect that number to increase, perhaps to almost $2.5 million, as claims continue to come in.
Current spell of rain and hailstorm in parts of Rajasthan raised the fears of kharif crop loss among farmers. Crops of mustard, cumin and isabgol (psyllium husk) in Jaislamer, Jodhpur, Sikar and Jhunjhunu, have witnessed significant damages. With sudden change in weather, crops in Pokhran sub-division of Jaisalmer faced massive damages. Adding to the woes of farmers, the turnaround in weather came when the crops were ripe and ready for harvest. To assess the situation, MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat along with MLA Chotu Singh Bhati and district collector visited the affected places.
The unseasonal rains and hailstorms in certain parts of Marathwada, Vidarbha and northern Maharashtra during the past week did not result in extensive damage to crops, as farmers had already moved into newer modes of cultivation. Last year, heavy rains and inclement weather destroyed 76,000 hectares of crop mainly grapes and onion across these regions. This year, many farmers moved away from older cultivation methods of using canopies for grapes, while many others switched to trellising style that does not let rain water accumulate on the vines.
While the 700,000 migratory birds that descend upon east China's Poyang Lake every winter are a sight for bird watchers, local farmers are not as enthusiastic about the feathered visitors. Farmer was granted 1,200 yuan (183 U.S. dollars) last month for his 20 mu (1.33 hectares) of rice crops destroyed by migratory birds. He was among 10,000 farmers living near Poyang Lake to be compensated. It was the first time farmers at the lake have been compensated.
The state government has announced a compensation package for farmers who suffered losses due to the unseasonal rain and hailstorms that lashed parts of Maharashtra last month. The rainfall in parts of Aurangabad, Jalna, Amaravti, Akola from February 27 has killed six people across the state. Farmers have also lost their cattle due to the freak showers and hail. State revenue Minister Eknath Khadse said that the government will compensate the farmers for the loss of crops and cattle. Farmers will be paid Rs 6,800 per hectare for crop damage, Rs 13,500 per hectare for damage of orchards.
The Philippines has already lost more than P4.7 billion worth of crops due to the El Niño phenomenon since February last year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced on Wednesday. Department data showed that the prolonged dry spell affected 222, 781 hectares across the country, causing damage to 349,620 metric tons of crops or P4.77 billion in losses from February 2015 to February 2016. For 2016, the damage was registered at P1.343 billion, covering a total of 76,593 hectares in eight regions.
Unseasonal rains and hailstorm struck parts of Nashik and Jalgaon districts on Monday. While the weather had become humid since Sunday evening, the unseasonal showers and hailstorm have left farmers worried. Parts of Nashik Road and Deolali saw hailstorm and rain for about 40 to 45 minutes. Regions of Chandwad, Sinnar, Malegaon and Manmad too saw the unseasonal activity. The director of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) at Manmad, Subhadrabai Ugale was reportedly injured after being struck by lightening.
On Thursday, the Secretary of Fruit Culture, visited the farms affected by the hailstorm that fell on Tuesday night in Chichinales. Producers seized the opportunity to reiterate that the sector's situation was critical. Even though authorities have not finished surveying the total damage, local fruit growers estimated that the storm damaged some one thousand hectares in production, especially to both pears and apples. The damages were located on 500 hectares of the Moño Azul company located in the vicinity of the bridge over Rio Negro that leads to Valle Azul, and in a significant number of farms in the Namuncurá colony, located east of street No.6.
The Society of Quinteros stated that the storm on Friday in Santa Fe's Fruit and Vegetable Belt caused major losses in production and affected the infrastructure used by producers. The Board of Directors of the organization is working and evaluating the consequences left by the storm, but estimates are the storm affected more than 90% of the hectares in production in the towns of Santa Fe, Recreo, Monte Vera and Arroyo Aguiar. Additionally, the storm damaged working capital, such as partial shades, greenhouses, etc.
Hoedspruit and Letsitele, where about 60% of South Africa's grapefruit is grown, is in a serious drought situation, to add to the woes of the growers the area was also hit by hail last November which has made predictions for the coming season even lower. Some growers will see a total loss but the average will be around a 30-50% drop in volumes from the area. The situation here is very serious, some growers have more water than others but in general water restrictions are at 30% in Letsitele and 60% in Hoedspruit. The lack of water had a negative impact on fruit set and size.
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