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Hailstorms and unseasonal rains to cause more crop losses to farmers

After a record early supply of mangoes in February and March, Rohan Ursal, a farmer and wholesaler, fears that continuing rains that are out of season could hurt both the quantity and quality of Indian crops in April. Overall, the calendar is changing, with heat waves in February already having hit the fruits he grows. Weeks after early heat waves, hailstorms, thunderstorms, and unseasonal rains have damaged crops and led to losses for farmers in several parts of India.

The ongoing harvest window for rabi crops has been lashed by an untimely torrent, causing damage to rabi crops — some already harvested, some ready to be harvested, and some still in the development stage, according to Crisil in its March 22 note. Between March 1 and 21, cumulative rains have been 20% more than normal and, in the past four days, three to four times the normal.

Farmers are already facing losses. Hailstorms and unseasonal rains in Punjab have already impacted about 400,000 hectares of land under cultivation, he said. Apart from wheat, which is a rabi crop, scores of other crops, including fruits such as grapes and mangoes; vegetables such as cabbage, capsicum, and lady's fingers.


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