A dry spell for the last 10 days has upset paddy farming schedule in Sundargarh district. Even as a few blocks received moderate rainfall on Wednesday and Thursday, there has been no rain in majority of areas for the last 10 days.
As a result, farmers are forced to defer paddy transplantation. Officials said deviation in rainfall during this period of the kharif season has been recorded at 56 per cent against the permissible deviation of 26 per cent.
Despite adverse weather condition, paddy has been transplanted in around 68,950 hectares (ha) of land against 38,560 ha covered last year around this time. Now, heavy rain is required for a good yield.
Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) Narendra Behera admitted to delay in transplantation activities due to inadequate rainfall. He, however, exuded confidence that heavy rainfall in a week would improve the situation.
The DDA claimed that once the transplantation work is over, there would not be much trouble later as saplings would be able to survive from soil moisture.
Around 2.14 lakh ha across the district has been brought under paddy cultivation with majority of farmers preferring transplanting route while the rest has opted for paddy broadcasting.
Farmer Jatia Munda said farmers at Tangarpali, Sadar and Lefirpada blocks had to sit idle for nine days and after moderate rain on Wednesday they started transplantation. He said with no irrigation facilities and erratic monsoon, they are worried of the yield.
Farmer leader Dileswar Majhi of Lathikata block said all 17 blocks have been hit by scanty rainfall.
“After release of water from Pitamahal dam for a limited period, the farmers of Balanda, Kalunga, Chikatmati and Jhartarang areas managed to grow saplings and are now waiting for rain for transplantation,” he said.
Majhi claimed that delay in transplantation would lead to pest attacks.