Intense cold wave may damage vegetables: Experts

Chandigarh: With intense cold wave sweeping the northern region, farm experts today warned of damaging impact on vegetables if biting cold wave prolongs.

Experts further said the extreme cold conditions have caused adverse impact on fodder which is required for feeding cattle.

"Definitely, there will be an adverse impact on vegetables like potato, tomatoes and peas as extreme cold conditions impact growth of these crops," Haryana Horticulture Director Satyabir Singh told PTI on Monday.

"If prevailing cold conditions continue for some more days, they can damage the crop," he said.

Experts also said frost conditions, which are predicted by meteorological department, would cause severe damage to crop like tomatoes, potatoes and peas.

Farm experts further said because of dense fog enveloping the region, the photosynthesis activity of the plant suffered, resulting into lower growth of crop.

However, Haryana horticultural officials said there was no report of any damage to vegetables crop reported from across the state so far.

Haryana Horticulture department today sought field report from its local officers to find out any damage to crop in any pocket, caused by severe cold conditions.

Haryana has 3.50 lakh hectares of area under vegetables including 27,000 hectares of area under potatoes.

In Punjab, potato growers have already complained that the crop had not been growing over the past several days due to current cold conditions.

Punjab and Haryana are reeling under severe cold conditions as mercury has been hovering around 12-13 degrees below normal. Chandigarh today recorded the lowest day temperature in city's history.

Farm experts advised farmers to go for light irrigation of field to protect crop from damaging impact of frost.

However, experts ruled out any harmful impact on wheat crop-a major Rabi crop- due to cold wave.

"Winter conditions will not impact wheat crop, though the plant will not grow during foggy weather. Winter promotes tillering of crop and helps in achieving higher yield," Punjab Agricultural University, Director Extension M S Gill said.