Heavy rains threaten cotton crops in Karaikal, farmers urged to drain stagnant water

According to the Puducherry agriculture and farmers' welfare department, cotton has been cultivated on 1,060 hectares across Karaikal.
Cotton has been cultivated on 1,060 hectares across Karaikal
Cotton has been cultivated on 1,060 hectares across Karaikal(Photo | Express)

KARAIKAL: Cotton raised over a thousand hectares in Karaikal are under risk of damage due to the heavy rain spells that have been lashing the region in the past one week. With the downpour causing cotton bolls to shed in some places, the agriculture department has advised farmers for urgent steps like draining stagnant water in fields.

U Rajendiran, who has cultivated cotton over three acres at Athupadugai in Thirunallar commune, said, "I am facing boll shedding in large amounts in my field. I am concerned over loss of plants by wilting when rains persist. I was only about to pick the flowers. I request the department to undertake an inspection.”

According to the Puducherry agriculture and farmers' welfare department, cotton has been cultivated on 1,060 hectares across Karaikal. The acreage is around 300 hectares lesser than last year due to various factors, including lack of prices. Much of the cultivation has been taken on 'rice fallow lands' after the completion of samba cultivation earlier this year.

The crop is either in squaring stage (35 to 50 days), blooming stage (60 to 100 days) or in boll development stage (100 days to 140 days).

M Uthitapathy, a farmer who has taken up cultivation on seven acres at Kumarakudi in Thirunallar commune, said, “I have about a couple of weeks left for the first picking. The cotton bolls are, however, shedding in some areas and the squares are darkening in other areas after heavy rains.”

Meanwhile, R Ganesan, the additional director of agriculture department, told TNIE, "There are possibilities of increased water stagnation in the coming days if the rains persist. The bolls and squares may shed if stagnation continues and may lead to loss of yield. Hence, farmers should start draining stagnant waters immediately."

The officials warned that cotton flowers may shed in areas and could also face threats of root rotting in heavily stagnated areas. Department officials also advised the farmers to take organic preventive measures such as the application of Bacillus subtilis and Trichoderma viride with compost and control measures such as Naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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