SAMBALPUR: August showers brought some relief for the rain-starved farmers of the district, who were worried over their crop prospects. Farmers across the district worked overtime in August to take advantage of the rain after the district recorded below normal rainfall in June and July.
Sambalpur received 496.8 mm rain in August against the normal figure of 442.4 mm, which was 12.29 per cent above normal for the month.
Of the nine blocks in the district, Rairakhol received maximum rainfall at 710 mm while Bamra registered minimum rainfall at 231.2 mm.
The scene was not encouraging in July when the district received 45.43 per cent less rainfall delaying agricultural activities.
Rainfall of 234.34 mm was recorded against the normal figure of 429.5 mm. Farmers had a tough time in June as well with the district receiving just 86.98 mm rainfall against normal figure of 221 mm.
As per available data, the district has already achieved the target set for paddy transplantation as on August 31.
Transplantation has been undertaken on 61,535 hectares of land and intercultural operation has been completed on 40,980 hectares till August 31 against a target of 43,265 hectares.
The Agriculture department has set a target to cultivate paddy on 1,04,800 hectares with a production target of 3,66,340 mt paddy during the current kharif season.
Deputy Director, Agriculture, Sambalpur, Pradosh Kumar Samal said rainfall in August has immensely helped paddy cultivation in the district. He hoped for a normal rainfall in September which would help in completing intercultural operation on the remaining 2,285 hectares.