IMD advises farmers to begin early harvest, warns of bad weather
City: 

The India Metrological Department (IMD) has warned farmers about bad weather and advised them to start harvesting early.

The department forecast thunderstorm accompanied with hailstorm over Jharkhand and interior Odisha on February 13.However, it predicts rainfall activity to decrease remarkably on February 14 and fresh western disturbances to affect the north India region from February 15, the IMD said. Weather is likely to be dry over remaining parts of the country. With forecast of unfavourable weather for harvest of rabi crop, the department advised farmers to avoid irrigation, intercultural operation and application of plant protection measures and fertilisers to the standing crops.

The IMD has also advised them to keep harvested produce at safe places, since rain or thundershower is likely to occur at many places over Uttar Pradesh and Vidarbha on Febriary 12 and over east Madhya Pradesh on February 12 and 13.

Since thunderstorm coupled with hailstorm may occur over west Uttar Pradesh on February 11 and 12, over east Rajasthan on February 11, over east Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Marathwada and Madhya Maharashtra on February 12, over Vidarbha on February 11 and 12, the IMD also advised the use of hail net for orchard crops as a protection against mechanical damage.

It also suggested arranging mechanical support for young fruit plants, banana and vegetables and propping up sugarcane to prevent crops from lodging on strong winds.

In madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha, the farmers have been asked to complete harvesting of matured rabi crops at the earliest. 

The department has also asked farmers to collect and cover harvested produce by plastic sheet, store threshed crops in warehouse, complete harvesting of matured fruits and vegetables at the earliest and cover orchard with hail net in Madhya Maharashtra and Marathwada.