VELLORE: A joint meeting of farmers, elected representatives and agricultural scientists at the Agricultural Research Station and Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Virinjipuram was held on Sunday with issues such as the optimal use of water by farmers, the kind of crops necessary to optimise yield and the latest farm technologies for the crops were discussed.
Dr M Pandian, head of the Station, explained how various services could be availed by farmers free of cost. He told the farmers to try new varieties of rice, groundnut gingelly, greengram and blackgram for this season. He also adviced them to spray 2 percent DAP at the time of first appearance of flowers in pulses and a second spray 15 days later for enhanced seed set.
Anaikatttu MLA, M Kalaiarasu, pointed out that it was a blessing for farmers to have received good rainfall after a gap of one decade. He said that out of the 5.9 lakh hectares of lands in the district, around 1.7 lakh ha were available for farming operations, of which the majority of the lands were under dry-land cultivation due to water scarcity.
“This monsoon has helped fill up most of the tanks in the district and the predicted rains in the next few weeks are likely to fill up the balance,” he said.
The tributaries of Palar are flowing and this will be sustained for the next couple of months raising optimism for farming operations. Kalaiarasu said this should recharge groundwater levels and he appealed to farmers to use only the well water for irrigation and keep water tanks in tact so that they could continue to recharge the groundwater table. He also asked them to opt for less water intensive crops such as millets, pulses and cereals and make use of the farm technologies offered by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University centre in the district to reap a bountiful harvest this season. By optimising crop cultivation, we can conserve water for a longer period and benefit economically, he added.
Around 250 farmers attended the session.