Srinagar: Unseasonal rains have taken farmers by surprise in the Kashmir Valley as paddy harvesting activities are at their peak. The weather office, however, has good news: fair weather from Saturday.
"Most of our paddy has been reaped, but is lying unattended in the fields which have gathered water. If the weather does not improve immediately, the grains will get soaked and damaged," said a highly worried Zahoor Ahmad, 34, a farmer in north Kashmir`s Ganderbal district.
"The paddy grass which we use as fodder for our cattle during the harsh winter months would also become unfit for cattle consumption."
In south Kashmir areas, untimely rains have flattened the paddy crop which makes harvesting very difficult.
"When rain-soaked paddy plants bend down on the muddy fields, the grains are severely damaged," said another farmer belonging to Anantnag district.
But the weather office has good news as fair weather has been forecast in the valley from Saturday.
"Our forecast valid up to Friday afternoon was rain/thundershowers at many places in J&K with isolated heavy rainfall in the Jammu region. From evening onwards, the weather will show signs of improvement.
"Although it will continue to remain cloudy, the rains will stop by Friday evening. Our farmers need not worry on account of the temporary halting of their harvesting operations. We are expecting fair weather in the Valley from tomorrow," Sonum Lotus, director of the local weather office said.
The meteorologist said the minimum temperature in summer capital Srinagar Friday was 14.8 degrees Celsius which is two degrees above normal.
From Thursday morning till 11.30 a.m., there has been 22 mm of rainfall in Srinagar, 75.8 mm in Bannihal, 74.8 mm in Qazigund, 50.4 mm in Pahalgam, 32.5 mm in Kupwara and 67.8 mm in Kokarnag towns of the valley.