Excess heat in April and May good for farmers, say weather analysts

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New Delhi : The pre-monsoon rains will be negligible this season leading to excessive heat in April and May, but this is a good sign for farmers, weather analysts said on Tuesday.

The India Meteorological Department has already declared heatwave condition in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. On Monday, Barmer in Rajasthan sizzled at 44 degrees Celsius.

The excessive heat is being attributed to low weather activity. However, this is good for farmers.

According to private weather forecaster Skymet, unlike the 2013 and 2014 crises, this year's Rabi crop is safe as the current weather pattern shows deficient pre-monsoon rain which would lead to excessive heat.

"The current pattern shows the summer would be harsh and the pre-monsoon rain would be low... the western disturbance could lead to drizzle in the beginning of April, but overall effect would be low over the major agricultural belt," Skymet Director Mahesh Palawat told IANS.

Heavy pre-monsoon rains in April and May result in loss to Rabi crop such as wheat, chana and arhar dal. The huge loss to arhar dal production in 2014 was said to be a major reason behind the surge in price of tur dal in 2015.

The pre-monsoon rain with winds and occasional hail in April and May in 2014 caused loss to the wheat and arhar crop production that year.

The mango production was also hit in Uttar Pradesh due to the loss of early fruiting due to heavy winds in May.

"In 2014, entire arhar and wheat crop was damaged due to heavy rains and hail... Most of it occurred at the time of harvest. If rains are light, then its not a problem, but heavy rains cause a lot of issues," Umesh Chandra Pandey, a progressive farmer based in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh, told IANS.

The harvest period of the Rabi crop is April last week to May first week.