A good harvest is not only dependent on the effort and enterprise of the farmer, but crucially on weather, which can bless or blow it. In early 2015 farmers suffered extensive crop damage particularly to the wheat crop in North India because of hailstorms and untimely rain. Elsewhere potato farmers were put to loss because of a price slump caused by excess production and lack of cold storage space. Insurance can protect farmers but has not caught on.
With a heavy spell of shower lashing the region throughout the day, the woes of the farming community are set to multiply as their standing basmati and paddy crop, which is ready for harvesting, may get severely damaged. The early varieties of basmati which were about to mature were particularly hit as there were reports of lodging of crop from different pockets of Amritsar. Besides, the farmers who were already been complaining about basmati low prices have been further hit as almost their entire produce has got drenched in rain.
The Maharashtra Rajya Draksha Bagayatdar Sangh (MRDBS) has asked the state government to extend insurance coverage period for orchards at least up to April 30. Following pressure from the grape-growers, the state government had recently extended the insurance coverage period from January 30, 2016, to March 31. This will come into effect from November 1, 2015.
Strawberry production in the province this season will be complicated because autumn and winter were too rainy, humid and had many cloudy days. The rains in early fall saturated the soil and prevented producers from preparing them properly, which delayed plantings up to a month. A specialist in strawberries from the Fruit-horticulture Division of the INTA Famaillá, said the economic success of strawberry crops in the province depended mainly on the early production.
The President of the Agricultural Council Poblano (Ceagro), stated that, so far this year, a total of 10,000 hectares of apple trees, peach, plums and pears were affected by hail and delayed heavy rains; a situation that will result in problems for producers. The President emphasized that the low production will affect cider producers, suppliers of companies engaged in the production of juices, and small producers who won't achieve the harvest they expected next year.
Deputy Director of the Horticulture told The Hindu that the affected crops including fruit bearing trees planted in the previous years and the one which were planted this year. The coverage of horticulture crops this year was less than 50 per cent of the targeted area and the yield from the planted crops would be drastically reduced due to the moisture stress and stunted growth.
In yet another bout of unexplained weather conditions, rain and hailstorms over the past two days across rural Maharashtra have left the farm sector dreading a bitter summer ahead. Maharashtra government officials pointed out that the state is spending about Rs 10,000 crore on a slew of schemes for the crisis-ridden farm sector — Rs 4,200 crore on a drought relief package.
South Africa’s table grape crop is set to fall by around 3% due to recent rain in the Hex River Valley, while on the eastern side of the country citrus growers expect very little damage from a recent cyclone and wet weather. A South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) release said at least five producers in the valley were significantly affected by severe thunderstorms on Jan. 18 and more rain on Jan. 19, with high winds causing some vineyard trellis systems to collapse.
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