Paddy farmers apprehensive as monsoon plays truant
With monsoon playing truant, a sizeable chunk of paddy farmers across the rain-fed Sundargarh district are apprehensive of low crop yield. Standing crops on upland and medium land are facing maximum risk of moisture stress condition due to dry spell.
ROURKELA:With monsoon playing truant, a sizeable chunk of paddy farmers across the rain-fed Sundargarh district are apprehensive of low crop yield. Standing crops on upland and medium land are facing maximum risk of moisture stress condition due to dry spell.
Sources informed that monsoon in Sundargarh had started on a weak note in June, but the district received 29 per cent surplus rainfall in July. When paddy farmers were hoping for robust monsoon, the month of August witnessed a whopping 34 per cent deficit rainfall. Only Rajgangpur and Kuanrmunda blocks got surplus rainfall between 419 mm and 422 mm against normal average of 393.9 mm in August.
Till September 12, Hemgir block has received good rainfall at 198 mm, while Kuanrmunda and Nuagaon blocks received 105 mm to 114 mm respectively. So far, the rest 14 blocks have received below 100 mm against the normal rainfall of 211.5 for September. Tangarpali block has received 84 mm while Koida, Gurundia, Rajgangpur, Lahunipara and Bisra blocks have got 43 mm to 62 mm. Kutra, Lathikata and Sundargarh blocks have received a paltry rainfall between 23 mm and 38 mm. Bonai block got the lowest at 11 mm while Bargaon, Balishankara and Subdega with 13 mm to 15 mm are also worst-hit.
Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) RN Satpathy said there is no information of moisture stress condition and added that good rainfall is required within a week to improve the situation. With good rainfall, standing paddy crops on high land, now in fruiting stage, would reach harvesting stage. But paddy crops in panicle initiation stage now on medium land would survive the scare of low crop yields, he said.
Satpathy said 98.6 per cent areas of 1.02 lakh hectares (ha) have been covered for non-paddy crops which are in good shape. Paddy cultivation has been taken up on 2.11 lakh ha comprising 55,000 ha of low land, 95,000 ha of medium land and 61,000 ha of high land, he added.
Bonai Krushak Sangh president Dambrudhar Kishan said after a prolonged dry spell, sizeable paddy farm fields of Bonai sub-division have developed cracks, but good rainfall for the past couple of days improved the situation. He said release of water from Rukuda irrigation project for the last four days also helped the farmers.In 2015, the district was declared drought-hit. With 23 per cent deficit monsoon rainfall in 2016, at least 13 of the 17 blocks had reported 15 per cent less paddy yield.