The recent dry spell followed by rains forecast from Tuesday (yesterday) onwards will have some positive impact on all major Rabi crops, including wheat and gram already negatively affected by prolonged dry spell in the country. “Currently wheat crop in the country is at the booting stage and requires a rain shower, therefore the current weather system will have a positive impact on the wheat crop,” said an official of Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
He said that expected rain for the next few days would also meet the water requirements of minor corps including gram pulses, barley and mustard. “The dry spell has badly affected wheat sowing especially in rain-fed areas which produce 10 percent of total wheat production but rains would benefit the crop”, he said. Another official said that the prolonged dry spell has badly affected wheat sowing in rain-fed areas and additionally the crop is not in a better position in irrigated areas due to lack of moisture therefore country may miss wheat production target by up to three to four million tons.
He said that the government had set wheat production target at 26.01 million tons for Rabi sowing season 2016-17 from an area of 9.12 million hectares. Out of 26.01 million tons, Punjab is projected to produce 19.51 million tons, Sindh 4.2 million tons, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa 1.4 million tons and Balochistan 0.9 million tons, he revealed.
According to Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) statement, a westerly wave is likely to approach upper parts of the country from Tuesday. Under the influence of this weather system, intermittent rain/thunderstorm and snowfall is expected in upper parts of the country from Tuesday to Saturday.
Scattered rain is expected in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), FATA, Upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Lahore divisions), Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. Isolated light rain and snowfall over the hills is expected in Quetta and Zhob divisions. Light to moderate snowfall is also expected over the hills of Malakand, Hazara divisions, Galliyat, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.
Intermittent rain may trigger landslides in the mountainous areas of KP, GB and Kashmir. According to weather advisory issued for farmers those farmers obtaining crop water through tube wells are advised to schedule irrigation as per crop requirement. Farmers of irrigated areas should irrigate the crop as per requirement in accordance with the prevailing weather conditions. Normally first irrigation is given 20-25 days after sowing.
In areas like Potohar Region and adjoining areas of KP where rain water storages are available farmers are advised to irrigate crops by using available irrigation methods like sprinkler irrigation etc. Removing weeds from the standing crops is very important as weeds utilize moisture and food which must be utilised by the crop. As a result considerable loss in yield occurs every year. Due to further drop in temperature farmers of particular areas in the northern half of the country are advised to take precautionary measures to protect their crops from the expected frost.
Citation: Sher,Fazl. Current weather system to have positive impact on crops. Business Recorder, January 4, 2017.