MULTAN           -       Rain received in the city and suburbs on Monday would be beneficial for crops including maize, fodder, vegetables and rice but experts fear it would damage cotton crop.

Assistant director agriculture information Naveed Asmat Kahlon advised cotton farmers to immediately drain out water from their fields stating that keeping water stagnant in a field for 48 hours would cause plant wilting. The plant would dry up in case water remained there for 72 hours.

He asked farmers to drain out water in nearby rice or sugarcane fields, or dump it in some ditches, or if no field nearby was available then dump water in one cotton field to save their other fields.

He told media that rain would accelerate growth and production of rice, sugarcane, fodder and vegetables but leave cotton at a disadvantageous position for the crop witnessed downpour at a time when it was in full swing. He explained that rain would provoke Jassid, pink bollworm and armyworm, would cause the open bolls to fall down and turn the colour of fibre yellow. 

Moreover, he added, rain would also affect the pollination process stating that the flowers at the pollination stage would not pollinate as the rain would wash out the male pollen.

He, however, admitted rain would benefit cotton with regard to white fly and thrips attack. Kahlon advised farmers to consult agriculture officials to get advice to contain the bad impacts of rain on crops.