MULTAN - The Multan city and its suburbs received 9.9mm rain during the last 24 hours turning weather cold and forcing people to check closets or shopping malls for warmer accessories besides compelling farmers to delay cotton picking and wheat sowing.

The city received 7.8mm rain last Wednesday while 2.1mm on Thursday marking arrival of the winter season leaving people looking for warmer clothes, jackets, blankets and quilts. According to the Met office, the city will also receive rain on Friday.

Spokesman for Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Sajid Mahmood said the CCRI weather observatory also forecast more rain on Nov 15, adding they would suggest farmers to halt cotton picking for a week or at least till the time the standing cotton crop got sufficient the sunshine to dry cotton flower enough to facilitate picking.

Sajid said that 20 per cent cotton was still on the fields awaiting picking (harvest). He said that rain-hit cotton leaves excess moisture and change the cotton colour to pale yellow after dryness, compromising its quality.

Multan city receives 7.8mm rain last Wednesday 2.1mm yesterday

Agriculture department spokesman Naveed Asmat Kahlon said that rain was beneficial for crops, including fodder, vegetables, and sugarcane. He, however, added that it delayed cotton picking and wheat sowing by a day or two explaining that usually wheat is sown on fields vacated by cotton.

He said that November was the best time to sow wheat and could yield 40-50 Maunds of production per acre with good crop care.

However, wheat sowing after Nov 30 would be considered late and could reduce production at the rate of 20 kilogram per each day delayed.

He advised farmers to complete cotton picking at remaining standing crops at the first instance after the crop gets enough sunlight that can dry the wet cotton flower. It would enable them prepare their field and complete wheat sowing within November 2019 for good profit margins.

92 power pilferers caught

The Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) caught 92 pilferers throughout South Punjab on Thursday.

MEPCO teams raided different places in Multan, Vehari, Sahiwal, Rahimyar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalnagar, Khanewal, and Dera Ghazi Khan and detected theft of 100,000 units, said a spokesman of the company.