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India - Rain, hail damage nearly 50% mustard crop in Pilibhit district

Heavy rain accompanied by hail on Wednesday flattened nearly 50% of the standing mustard crop in 300 villages of Pilibhit district. Besides, standing wheat crop in several parts of the district was also damaged.

Agricultural experts and revenue officials, who made separate assessments of the damage on Thursday, said it would take a few more days to precisely calculate the quantum of actual loss on individual basis.

District agriculture officer Vinod Yadav said, “Although crop damage varies in accordance with the amount and intensity of hailing, according to our assessment, the average damage to the mustard crop is not less than 35 to 50%.”

“Mustard crop in the district has been spread over 30,509 hectares, while wheat is sown in 1,34,229 hectares. The district has a total of 2,19,592 farmers engaged in farming, but the compensation for the crop damage will be provided only to 24,985 farmers covered under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

Plant physiologist at Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Pilibhit Shailendra Singh Dhaka told TOI the mustard crop were full of oilseed spikes when rain accompanied by hailstorm flattened it and broke the spikes to a large extent.

“On the other hand, as the wheat crop was in its early stage of head flowering, the damage could be assessed below 10%,” Dhaka added.

Sub divisional magistrates of Kalinagar and Puranpur, Ram Das and Chandra Bhan Singh respectively, who inspected many villages under their jurisdiction, said their circles were the worst hit.

Teams of revenue department had been deployed to conduct survey and to make actual assessment of the damage at individual level in all affected villages, they added.

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