Winter crops affected by cold wave in TaraiThe intense cold wave currently sweeping the southern Tarai region has affected winter crops like maize, mustard, lentils and vegetables, but experts said that the chilly weather was good for wheat as it helps to boost yield.
The intense cold wave currently sweeping the southern Tarai region has affected winter crops like maize, mustard, lentils and vegetables, but experts said that the chilly weather was good for wheat as it helps to boost yield.
Farmers said that cash crops were being hit by disease. Sachindra Yadav, a farmer of Brindaban Municipality, said that his maize crop was being increasingly infested by pests following the plunge in temperature.
“Before the onset of winter, such problems hardly existed. However, harmful effects of pests are now becoming visible.” He said that maize leaves had turned yellow and become brittle. Insects can easily attack the plants.
Such problems are rampant in many parts of the district. Farmer Ram Chandra Chaudhary of Chandrapur Municipality said that he could lose his investment as the maize plants were drying up. He has planted maize on 7 kattha of land. He has sprayed a mixture of pesticides and vitamins to protect his crops from pests as suggested by vets.
“People wear warm clothes to protect themselves from the cold, but how can the crops be saved?” he asked. He said that spraying pesticides had also not worked.
District agriculture officers are hesitant to visit the farms, he complained. The junior technical assistant (JTA) assigned to this area has not arrived yet. “We have been treating plants using pesticides as suggested by pesticide sellers.”
Some farmers said that they had to rely on pesticide sellers rather than agro technicians to protect their crops.
Agricultural technicians claim that they have been assisting farmers by providing proper suggestions on measures to protect their crops. A technician even claimed that he had recommended relevant pesticides to farmers.
The District Agricultural Development Office said that technicians had been assigned to all 18 local units in the district.
Raj Narayan Yadav, chief of the office, said the cold wave had affected a variety of crops in the district.
“We have urged the affected farmers to consult with the technicians who have been assigned to their area.” According to him, timely and proper care can protect crops from the cold.