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Commodity Tips >> Unseasonal rain, hailstorm batter standing rabi crops in Maharashtra and M.P.

The unseasonal rain and hailstorm over the past couple of days have impacted standing rabi crops across parts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
The rain has affected standing crops such as wheat, corn, onion, jowar (sorghum) and green gram on about 1.24 lakh hectares in Maharashtra. Orange and banana plantations to have suffered extensive damage.
Pandurang Phundkar, Agriculture Minister of Maharashtra, in a statement, said that rain and hailstorms over Saturday and Sunday have affected 1,086 villages in 11 districts of the State. Buldhana, Amravati and Jalna are the districts that have suffered maximum damage. The officials of the Revenue and Agriculture Department have been ordered to survey the damage and file Panchnama immediately. The officials have been asked to provide village-level information to the insurance companies for faster claims, the statement said.
Oranges turn sour
Amol Totey, working President of Orange Growers Association of India (OGAI), told BusinessLine that since January 14, the trees were in full bloom and farmers were busy plucking the fruits. The hailstorms have led to fruit dropping on a massive scale. Such damaged produce cannot be transported over large distances as they develop black spots, which are not preferred by customers. But the bigger tragedy is the damage to the trees and the likely fungal growth due to moisture in the environment.
Madhya Pradesh too hit
The rains have also affected standing crops in nine districts of central and northern Madhya Pradesh. According to the State government, districts that suffered large-scale damage to its wheat and pulses crops include Sehore, Raisen, Bhopal, and Dewas.
According to Prakash Vora, a local pulse trader, the hailstorm may not have any large bearing on the output, but will certainly change the color of crops like dollar chana, chana, and wheat, thereby causing an impact on its pricing.
Vora said standing crops of Masur, which are grown extensively in these regions, is likely to suffer from the hailstorm.