SRIKAKULAM:Considering the torrential rains during the cyclone season of November-December, which cause extensive loss to paddy farmers in the district, agricultural scientists have recommended new varieties of short duration paddy seeds for cultivation during the ensuing Kharif season.
Even as paddy cultivation is taken up in huge extent in the district during Kharif, farmers suffered extensive losses during the last four years in November-December due to cyclones and unseasonal rains.
Against this backdrop, after conducting soil test and keeping the average rainfall and availability of water from Godavari and Nagavali rivers in mind, the agricultural scientists have recommended cultivation of new variety of seeds namely MTU-1075 (pushyami), MTU-1061 (indra) NLR-34449, RGL-1880 and RGL-11414 for the ensuing Kharif season. Of these varieties, the MTU-1075 is more suitable for Srikakulam district, they opined.
Earlier, a majority of farmers were cultivating the ‘1001’ variety of paddy, which was sourced from Karimnagar district. The huge demand for ‘1001’ variety had led to shortage of seeds. Meanwhile, during the Kharif season 2014, Andhra Pradesh faced huge shortage of seeds, as Karimnagar couldn’t supply adequate quantity of seeds. The farmers of East and West Godavari districts also struggled to source the seeds in the last Kharif season.
“The southwest monsoon usually sets on June 2, but recently, the onset of monsoon has been delayed. The farmers in the coastal Andhra Pradesh are habituated to cultivate only a few varieties of paddy seeds. According to the IMD predictions, the southwest monsoon would set in by June 2 in Nellore and cover the entire coastal region of Srikakulam by June 7 or 8. But, for the past three years, the monsoon rains were delayed by more than two months. The Kharif crop gets matured by October/November months. However, coastal Andhra witnessed a series of cyclones like Neelam, Phylin and Hudhud during November-December recently,” said J Krishna Rao, farmer of Narasannapeta mandal.
When contacted, joint director KCh Appala Swami said that the new MTU-1075 seed will be ready for harvesting in just 135 days, with an assured yield of 2,500 kg per acre. The seed is resistant of various pests like ‘Aggitegulu’ and ‘Sudidoma’. The new variety is an alternative for the ‘1001’ seed. “The MTU-1061 (Indra) is very strong and the paddy stalks will not yield to the winds. The paddy stalks will sustain even if it lays inundated for 10 days. The duration of NLR-34449 variety is 125 days and its quality is very good as well. The RGL-1880 will be ready for harvest in 120 days and much suitable for the agency areas and areas with scanty rainfall. All these varieties can be cultivated as an alternative for the ‘1001’ variety,” he explained.