Cotton crop braves a dust storm in north

CHANDIGARH: Cotton plantations across Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab may see stunted growth due to dust storms that have raised pollution levels in the north-western region in the last fortnight. The dust has left a thick layer of sand on month-old cotton plants, restricting their vegetative growth.

“The effect of dust conditions is widely noticeable in the districts of Jind, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Bhiwani and Hisar,” Haryana’s additional director of agriculture Suresh Gahlawat told ET.

The winds have blown sand from Rajasthan and hit cotton plants in the districts that produce 80 per cent of the fibre crop in the state, he said.

Apart from dust, the hazy atmosphere due to suspended dust particles has also restricted the availability of sunlight for plants at this crucial period of growth, experts said.