Weather forecast saves Pakistani wheat farmers Feb 09, 2018 0 48 12345 REUTERSISLAMABADIn early November last year, Muhammad Islam was surprised by news from the Pakistan Meteorological Department.The 40-year-old farmer learned that good rains were forecast for the crucial wheat growing months of November and December.That was important information, as farmers in the northeastern districts of Pakistan's Potohar region had turned away from wheat - a favoured and high-earning crop - as unpredictable rains over the last decade led to repeated crop failures.This year, however, they expect their income to increase as they return to wheat production, after years spent planting some of their land with less lucrative vegetables and tending poultry.Well-timed seasonal rain forecasts from Pakistan's weather service - something new in the country - are making that possible."I would have been, for sure, at a loss and missed the timely wheat plantation, had I ignored the rain forecast ... on a local news TV channel," said Islam, who farms 4 acres (1.6 hectares) of land in Bhata, a village about 50 km (30 miles) from Pakistan's capital.Winter rains that traditionally fell in mid-November came as late as the end of December in 2016, part of a trend of erratic rains that has confounded farmers who are entirely reliant on rainfall because they lack irrigation systems.But last November the meteorological department correctly forecast rain for early November, giving Islam and farmers like him the opportunity to plough their land and be ready to sow.Islam planted wheat on half his land in the third week of November, leaving the rest for vegetables. By Jan. 17, he says, the wheat plants had grown to a height of 70 cm, whereas in the past eight years they never grew to more than 10 cm over the same period. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES Pakistani top commanders signal cooperation with US Feb 09, 2018 0 58 Council of Islamic Ideology debates public hangings in wake of Zainab Ansari case Feb 09, 2018 0 51 Trump's New Year's tweet 'deeply hurtful' to Pakistanis, says Bilawal Feb 09, 2018 0 50 Bangladesh ex-PM Khaleda gets 5-year jail term for graft REUTERS DHAKA Bangladesh opposition leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia was jailed on Thursday for corruption, but plans to appeal against her five-year term, her lawyer said, as thousands of supporters took .. Maldives' president sends envoys to Pakistan, China and Saudi for support REUTERS MALE The embattled president of the Maldives has sent envoys to friendly nations such as China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to brief them on a political crisis in the Indian Ocean nation that spurred the imposition .. US, UK, France among 8 countries urge UN to take up Rohingya crisis AFP United Nations Britain, France, the United States and five other countries asked the UN Security Council on Wednesday to discuss the fate of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees driven from Myanmar, diplomats .. Nepal Communist parties get majority in upper house AFP Kathmandu Nepal's Communist parties have secured a majority of seats in the upper house of parliament, the election commission said Thursday, paving the way for the leftist alliance to form the next government .. Pakistan bans V-Day events REUTERS ISLAMABAD Pakistan has banned events promoting Valentine's Day, and media coverage of any such events, for the second year in a row after a court ruled the holiday un-Islamic. The Pakistan Electronic Media ..