The monsoon season has arrived in India two weeks ahead of schedule.
Some two-thirds of the country is already being pounded by heavy rain – with consequences for agriculture.
Global climate change is being blamed on the early arrival of the monsoons and the speed at which it is moving to cover the country.
The Punjab, a farming-rich state, doesn’t normally get the rains until the end of this month but is already sodden.
According to weather experts, the rainfall in the Punjab is up 158 per cent in the first two weeks of June, with 38mm of rain against the normal average of 14.7mm.
By law, farmers in the Punjab and neighbouring Haryana, are prevented from preparing paddy fields too early in other to protect the over-use of groundwater.
The early arrival of the rains, however, has them now scrambling to prepare their fields – amid concerns the rain bearing winds will also disappear too early.
The governments in Punjab and Haryana release a schedule for the paddy farmers every year, with defaulters penalised.
Reports from Punjab said farmers had started transplantation of paddy from June 10 while Haryana was expected to see transplantation last week.
Paddy is the major kharif crop in north India. It requires more water than most food grain crops.