lahore - The recent rain spell will have positive impact on production of major Rabi crops including wheat, grams, mustard and barley, which were cultivated in different parts of the country. However, the agriculture experts have advised the farmers to control the weeds excess in their fields to protect crops.

Punjab faced light to moderate rainfall and isolated heavy rainfall/light snowfall over the hills in upper and central parts of the province from March 21 to March 24. Another rain spell is expected from March 27 to March 29 in the province. Met office forecasted dry weather in Sindh.

“The government had set 25 million tonnes of wheat target for Rabi season 2013-14 with Punjab forecast to produce nine million tonnes, Sindh 3.80 million tonnes, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1.35 million tonnes and 0.85 million tonnes target is set for Balochistan,” said an official of the Agriculture department, adding if the weather supported in coming days the overall good production could be expected.

“Farmers should ensure field sanitation and spray prophylactic fungicidal sprays to prevent spread of diseases on vegetables after rains,” said the officials, adding the wheat crop was growing at very crucial development stages of maturity in Punjab and Sindh and farmers of these areas should irrigate the crops as per requirement keeping expected rains in mind.  Agri Forum Chairman Ibrahim Mughal said rain in southern Punjab would be beneficial for standing crops and hoped that it would result in increasing the per acre yield.  “At present wheat crop is standing over 20 million acres of land in the country, channa at 2.5 million acres, mustard and canola at 800,000 acres and fodder and other crops over one million acres of land in all the four provinces. These crops were deprived of irrigation due to closure of canals and loadshedding of electricity. But rains would benefit these crops and their yield could increase by 4 to five 5 per cent,” he expected.

The Irsa, meanwhile, estimated 10 per cent water shortage for early Kharif season 2014 (1st April to 10th June).

An official of the Wapda said that after three good spells of spring rains in March, the water regulatory body had started filling the Tarbela dam on River Indus and Mangla dam on River Jhelum. The water level in the Mangla reservoir is up by 23ft since 10th March with storage of 0.8 MAF water. He said that the water level in Tarbela dam was raised by 7ft during past seven days.

On Tuesday, Terbella’s live storage was 0.308MAF, Mangla’s 0.801MAF and Chashma’s 0.180MAF while the total storage is touching 1.29MAF. Last year, the total storage on same day was 1.24MAF, informed official sources.