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India: 7,000+ha of horti crops lost to hailstorm, in Karnataka

The unseasonal showers that occurred last week ruined the plans of many farmers. Initial estimation by the Horticulture Department has shown that crops on approximately 7,741 hectares, valued over ₹20 crore, were lost. Kolar, where unusually-sized hailstones hit the ground, was the worst-affected district, followed by Bidar and Bagalkot. 

In Srinivasapur taluk of Kolar district, where reportedly 100-gram hailstones fell for over an hour, department officials said that approximately 4,500 hectares of mango, 1,000 hectares of vegetables and fruits, and 30 to 40 hectares of flower crops were damaged.  

“We had not heard of such hailstorms here in 70 to 80 years. While mango is our major crop, tomato comes next. Both of them were badly affected by the rains. Other vegetables like brinjal, capsicum, and cabbage also had to bear the brunt of the hailstorm and heavy winds,” said M. Srinivasan, Senior Assistant Director, Horticulture Department, Srinivasapur.  

The farmers in the region were also baffled by the hailstorms. “It started suddenly, and we did not know what to do. The size of those stones was so big that they actually broke open bigger fruits like watermelons. It looked like sheets of hailstones had covered our fields after the showers halted,” said Shankar Reddy, a watermelon grower, when The Hindu visited the district. 


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