Consecutive spells of torrential rains, hailstorms, and stormy winds have taken a huge toll on the wheat crop in Punjab. The adverse weather conditions have damaged 150,000 tons of the crop, according to an official estimate.
Heavy rain and hailstorms engulfed the province on April 16 and the Met department has forecast another spell with similar intensity on April 17 (today).
The Punjab Agriculture Department has prepared an initial assessment of the damage to the wheat crop resulting from the lodging of plants over a vast area.
During Rabi 2018-19, wheat’s cultivation was spread over 16.165 million acres in Punjab with a production target of 19.5 million tons. However, with the severe weather conditions, the mature crop of wheat will be reduced by 150,000 tons.
Southern and Central Punjab have been facing severe weather for a past few days. The most affected districts include Rajanpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalnagar, Khanewal, Multan, Faisalabad, Vehari, Jhang, Chiniot, Toba Tek Singh, and Chakwal.
However, the losses to harvested or standing wheat crop from the hailstorms do not exceed one percent of the total production in the respective districts.
According to an assessment, the hill torrents (rodh kohis) have damaged over 8000 acres of the wheat crop, which is 15 percent of the region.
During the last 24 hours, thunderstorms, hail, dust storms, and torrential rains have caused immense damage in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Balochistan, resulting in several casualties as well.
Similar reports have been received from Gilgit Baltistan, Islamabad, and Kashmir as well.