With sufficient storage in Periyar dam and discharge of 400 cusecs of water from it, district administration and department of agriculture has started encouraging farmers in Cumbum valley to raise second crop during Samba/Thaladi season in the double cropping areas of Cumbum valley spreading over 14,500 acres in the district.
To begin with, it has advised farmers to advance cultivation of second crop in the first or second week of October. They could use paddy varieties like CO-43, ADT-39, ADT-45 and other hybrid varieties.
They may raise nurseries of these varieties in their farms using the water discharged from Periyar dam.
These decisions were taken at a special meeting with farmers, public works engineers, agriculture and horticulture officials and leaders of various farmers associations at Uthamapalayam here on Tuesday evening.
With commencement of Samba/Thaladi seasons, farmers could start preparing the field for raising nurseries, said farmers.
The agriculture department officials informed that they have 25.500 tonnes of CO43 seeds, 18.400 tonnes of ADT variety and 11.900 tonnes of ADT 45 variety of paddy seeds with agriculture extension centres. Besides, sufficient stock of hybrid seeds was also available with private seeds sellers.
Farmers could raise nurseries adopting System of Rice Intensification method to scale down production costs and get better yield in the second season.
The farmers, who had already raised first crop in Kuruvai season in the double cropping area were advised to use water judiciously to protect the first crop till harvesting.
It was a blessing to the farmers, who were highly disgusted over abandoning of first crop, said farmers’ representatives.
With abject failure of south west monsoon and poor storage in Periyar dam, paddy cultivation in Cumbum valley had shrunk to 5,150 acres during the ‘kuruvai’ season. Normally, short term paddy was cultivated on 15,000 acres. The district had received 299.26 mm of rain so far whereas rainfall during the same time last year was 513.73 mm.
Unfortunately, the district had registered 70 per cent shortfall of rainfall when compared to the previous year. The Public Works Department engineers had already discharged 400 cusecs of water from Periyar dam as the storage level crossed 120 feet mark on Monday. Water has been released through 17 irrigation channels in Cumbum, Theni, Chinnamanur, Uthamapalayam and PC Patty.
Expecting such an announcement, farmers in many areas had already started preparing the land for raising nurseries. The agriculture department officials advised farmers to use latest technologies like tray system in raising nurseries to save time and scale down use of seeds and production costs.