With the monsoon yet to intensify in the district, the rainfall recorded here till the end of June is the lowest in five years.

According to the Agriculture Department, the five taluks here recorded an average of 456.13 mm of rain through the month.

Less rainfall

This is 61 per cent lesser than the rainfall recorded last year, and less than half of the rainfall considered “normal” for the season.

For the first six months of the year, the district recorded 723.33mm of rain, or barely 60 per cent of the average rainfall.

In the past nine years, the district recorded less than 700mm of rain in June only once before, in 2009, when the district received an average of 408.9mm in the first month of the monsoon.

Among the taluks, Sullia recorded the least at 293.8mm (73 per cent lesser than last year), while Bantwal taluk recorded the most with 551.4mm (around 54 per cent lesser than last year).

After a lull of a few days with no rain and bright sunshine, the monsoon clouds were back over the city. For the 24-hour period ended 8.30 a.m. on July 2, the district received an average of 45.34mm of rain.

In this period, the Indian Meteorological Department said Kota (in Udupi district) received the highest rainfall of 80mm; Mulki and Belthangady received around 60mm each; the temple towns of Subramanya and Kollur received 50mm; Panambur, Mangalore Airport, Bantwal, Mani, Sullia and Udupi got 40mm; Mangalore, Moodbidri, Dharmasthala, Uppinangady and Karkala received 30mm of rain.

Till July 5, the IMD predicts “moderate to rather heavy rain at most places” over coastal Karnataka.

Agriculture

The lack of rain has a direct impact on sowing for the kharif season. In June, just 2,615 hectares have been sowed, compared to the more than 9,200 hectares sowed last year.

The Agriculture Department hopes if the 2009 pattern for rainfall follows, the district may see heavy rainfall in July (to the tune of 1,575mm in one month that year). That year saw 32,408 hectares of sowing.

However, even this would be lesser than the target set before the monsoon of 33,000 hectares, said the department.

Crop insurance

In order to safeguard the farmers against the failing monsoon, the deadline for obtaining crop insurance has been extended to July 31, said the department in a release.

Meanwhile, the Raitha Samparka Kendras were distributing seeds at a subsidy of 50 per cent (Rs. 1,000 per quintal) with a similar subsidy extending to agricultural tools, lime, nutrients, among others.

The Horticulture Department has asked farmers to use water “carefully” in anticipation of a weak monsoon. A release asked farmers to use techniques such as drip irrigation or sprinkler irrigation.

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