Days hot, dry spell hits crops

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 10, 2016-

After experiencing one of the driest winters this year, many parts of the country, particularly Tarai districts, are getting warmer, according to the Met department.

Day temperatures have risen steadily in recent days. With no rainfall expected soon, the country is likely to see warmer days ahead, said Barun Poudel, a senior meteorologist at the Meteorological Forecasting Division.

Many places in the plains have recorded day temperatures hovering above 30 degree Celsius of late, while that in the mid-Hills ranges from 20 to 30 degrees.

Biratnagar recorded the highest day temperature at 34 degrees on Wednesday, followed by Bhairahawa, Janakpur, Dharan, Simara and Nepalgunj reporting 33.6, 33.6, 33, 33, 32.5 degree Celsius respectively. Mercury in Kathmandu jumped to 27.7 degrees on the same day.

“Except for a couple of brief instances, winter rains were sparse and inadequate throughout the country this year,” Poudel said.

The country remained dry throughout the year as the four-month long summer monsoon that brings almost 80 percent of the annual rains and boosts agricultural productivity remained far below normal, later followed by a dry winter that ended last month.

“The dry weather conditions throughout the year affected major summer and winter crops, including paddy and wheat respectively,” said Yubak Dhoj GC, director general at the Department of Agriculture.

The department has projected wheat output to drop by at least 6 percent as per the estimate based as of January-end. It has further warned that if the dry spell continued, crop yield could drop by double-digit figures this year. Poor monsoon last year affected major summer crops.

Published: 10-03-2016 07:58

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