Farmers in Maharashtra's Gondia and Bhandara districts who have grown early maturing varieties of paddy are worried as the retreating monsoon rains pose a threat to their standing crops.
Agriculture officials in the two districts told PTI that irregular drizzle will not affect the crops, but if rains continue, then it will cause damage to the standing crops.
Gondia and Bhandara fall under the paddy cultivation belt of the state and nearly 60 per cent farmers there prefer growing early maturing paddy varieties, which are ready for harvest in 90 to 120 days, officials said on Wednesday.
Farmers have cultivated paddy on about 1.91 lakh hectare land in eight tehsils of Gondia and on 1.78 lakh hectare in seven tehsils of Bhandara, they said.
With good rains in the last four months of the monsoon season, farming are hopeful of a good harvest.
Some farmers have already started cutting their crops, but spells of showers in the last few days have worried them.
Some farmers said their paddy fields in Lakhni tehsil of Bhandara have got water-logged following the downpour.
Gondia district agriculture superintendent Ganesh Ghorpade and his Bhandara counterpart Hindurao Chavan told PTI that farmers need not worry as of now, but if rains continue for some more time, then "things would get tougher".
They have asked cultivators to delay the crop cutting work by five to six days and also keep a tab on rain prediction before harvesting the crop.
"Once the standing crop is cut, it is required to be dried in the open before thrashing, and if it rains in between, then it will cause losses to farmers. Hence, they should wait for some time before cutting the crop," Ghorpade said.