THANJAVUR: Results of crop cutting experiments carried out across the district forecast increase in the average yield of paddy this samba season. However, the final picture would emerge only when the tests are carried out at village-level, as farmers said there has been mixed results in various parts of the district.
According to official sources, a total of 1,23,368 hectare have been covered under samba and thalady paddy this year. Harvesting has been completed so far on over 1.08 lakh hectare in the district. The crop over 15,868 hectare is yet to be harvested.
“Out of the scheduled 92 crop cutting experiments, 82 have been completed in the district,” said an Agriculture department official. The experiments show an average yield of 6,224 kg per hectare compared to 3,620 kg per hectare without crop cutting. However, at the field level, farmers say there has been no significant increase in yield and in some cases, yield had dropped.
T Murugesan, a farmer from Maruthuvakudi near Kumbakonam, told Express he got only around 3,250 kg per hectare this year. He reasoned here has been comparatively more rain this samba season, compared to the previous year.Sundara Vimalnathan of Swamimalai, secretary, Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association, said though the yield is more compared to last year, the increase is moderate. However, the experience of R Sukumaran of Kakkarai, a progressive farmer of the Orathanadu area, is different. He said yield had come down. “The area covered is more this year but there is a dip in yield in Orathanadu,” he said. Even as there have been reports of uneven yields throughout the district, it is estimated the crop on 6,390 hectare in the district has completely dried out due to water scarcity. “Crops withered mostly in tail-end areas like Peravurani, Tiruvonam and Sethubavachathiram blocks,” officials said.
Besides the complete drying out of crops, on around 8,145 hectare, the crop has been declared water-stressed, meaning yield would be extremely low. Farmers said the final yield position in the district would be known only after collating data collected from crop cutting experiments done village-wise for the purpose of calculating claims to be allowed under the crop insurance scheme.