ROURKELA: Agriculture activities on paddy and non-paddy crops have started across the rain-fed Sundargarh district with improvement in rainfall. Till June 21, the district was facing 30 per cent deficit rainfall. It had received 145 mm rain against the normal 237.4 mm.
Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) R N Satpathy said in the third week of June, the district received good rainfall in almost all the 17 blocks and till June 29, the average was 228 mm.
Taking advantage of the conducive situation, paddy farmers have covered direct seed sowing under broadcasting method on 50 per cent of low and medium land. He said at sporadic locations, nursery raising under paddy transplantation method has also started. If good rainfall continues, then nursery raising across the district would gain full momentum in a few days. Seed sowing for non-paddy crops, including groundnut, maize and millets has also started on high land.
According to Odisha Rainfall Monitoring System (ORMS), till June 28, the district got an average rainfall of 205 mm with 10 of total 17 blocks receiving above 200 mm. Hemgir and Gurundia blocks got excess rainfall at 274 mm followed by Sundargarh block at 267 mm. Both Suddega and Lahunipara blocks received 231 mm, while Kutra, Kuanrmunda, Tangarpali and Lefripara received 207 mm to 223 mm rainfall. Bisra block got 190 mm, while Rajgangpur and Balishankara blocks got 174 mm and 175 mm respectively. Koira block received the lowest at 122 mm, while Bonai, Nuagaon and Bargaon receiving 142 mm to 166 mm rainfall were among the blocks hit by less than normal showers.
In June last year, the district was hit by 45 per cent deficit rainfall. Monsoon in 2016 had seen 23 per cent less rainfall leading to drop in paddy yield by 15 per cent in 13 blocks.
Paddy cultivation has been planned on 2.11 lakh hectares, including 55,000 ha low-land, 95,000 ha medium land and 61,000 ha high land, while rest 1.02 lakh ha of high land has been earmarked for non-paddy crops.