Inclement weather delays plantation of paddy, could ‘adversely affect’ ripening

Inclement weather delays plantation of paddy, could ‘adversely affect’ ripening

SHOPIAN: Last year, drought was declared in many parts of Kashmir valley and farmers advised not to sow paddy due to insufficient water in streams and canals. The lack of water was due to less snowfall in the winter.
The condition is almost opposite this year, with abundant snowfall in winter leading up to plenty of rain in spring and summer. So much so, that the inclement weather has delayed the sowing of paddy in many south Kashmir areas.
This delay, according to experts, would adversely affect the ripening process as it is better to sow the crop before mid-June.
“The heavy rains and decline in temperature last month reduced the growth of paddy nurseries, resulting in delay in the plantation,” said Javid Ahmad, a farmer from Pulwama’s Murran area.
Local farmers say that they have not been able to prepare their fields on time due to the low temperatures. “One is not able to stay in water for long, as we used to do in this season. But I think the delay in plantation wouldn’t affect the crop if the weather ahead remains pleasant,” said an optimistic Bashir Ahmad Sheikh, a farmer in Litter area.
There are many areas in Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam districts where farmers are yet to plant paddy. In these areas, farmers are still busy in preparing the land by ploughing it.
“The wet land due to rains was not in a condition to be ploughed. It is another reason why the plantation has been delayed,” said Arif Ahmad from Kulgam.
He added that there are some areas in the district where farms are filled with water from the heavy rains last month.
Ghulam Muhammad, an agriculture expert who is serving as chief horticulture officer, said that till June 21 there is no issue in planting paddy, but after that there may be adverse consequences.
“The climatic conditions have heavily affected the agricultural cycle, as last year there were drought-like conditions and this year the planting season is running late. We have to pray for the good,” he said.