BENGALURU: Rainfall during harvest season may prove detrimental to the farming community this year. Farmers in state have already suffered successive droughts since 2015, and more rains could result in huge losses for them. Experts feel there will be a surge in post-harvest diseases if such moist conditions persist throughout October. Dr N Nagaraj, Professor of Plant Pathology, University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) told Express that if it rains heavily during October, farmers tend to harvest their crops early.
“Due to such showers, it becomes a problem for farmers to dry and store the produce. As a result, post-harvest diseases such as formation of moulds will increase and hurt revenues of the farmer,” he said. Quoting the example of an experimental plot of UAS, he said that the plot of land that used to give 200 kg of harvest might provide a maximum harvest of 140 kg of vegetables this year. “Perishable crops like tomato are affected by diseases such as Phytophthora Late Blight. Other crops such as papaya, chillies and vegetables will be affected due to spell of rains,” he said.
Crops such as moong bean, maize, jowar and ragi too are not exempt from the consequences of such weather. “Paddy is among the few crops that will not be affected much,” he said. However, rains effect ragi, when earheads are growing in the plants. If water stands in the ragi form, the earheads will sprout, leading to loss for farmers,” he said. Shivkumar Naiklal, scientist at Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Cell said that overcast conditions also effect crops which are about to flower. He said that 99% of the State had adequate moisture in soil, after two years of moisture stress due to drought.