Cotton crop raised in Pullambadi block and surrounding areas has suffered severe damages due the incessant rainfall received during last week. The rainfall is said to have hit cotton crop raised in over 50 per cent of the total area of 7,542 hectares in the block

While the agriculture department officials have already commenced the work of assessing the crop damage, the farmers have appealed to the government to take steps for the sanction of adequate compensation for the crop loss suffered by them.

The cotton crop raised in Peruvalappur; Mangudi; Kanakkiniyanallur; Siruvayalur, Vandalai; Koodalur; Varakuppai and Peria Kurukkai Agaram has been badly hit by the rainfall. Even after a let up in the past two days, many fields remain damp, another concern for the cotton cultivators.

The cotton crops raised using RCH BG2 technology in the month of Aadi has a duration for 165 days. Intermittent showers had increased the boll size of the crop, making it totally unsuitable for harvest. The farmers had raised Rasi 2, Rasi 20 and Malligai variety.

A cross section of the farmers of Peruvalappur village say the prolonged humidity and dampness would further cause the fall of the square (sappai). The only solace for them however is that the chances of re-emergence of the square are bright in case of high breed variety. However, the strength and the weight of cotton would be far less, against an estimated 12 tonnes, only four to five tonnes could be harvested an acre.

According to an estimate about 1,000 small and marginal farmers had raised cotton crop in Pullambadi region. Of this, over 50 per cent of the crop had borne the brunt of the rain havoc.

According to S. Mohan of Peruvalapur, cotton crop was the last asylum for the farmers of this village. Till recent years, they were conventional maize cultivators or groundnut growers. But in the wake of the monkey menace, they shifted to this cash crop.

Unexpected rainfall had caused extensive damage. The irony is that the rain had played spoilsport just a fortnight before the commencement of harvest, Mr. Mohan says.

V. Nithyanandam, president of Iyarkai Velan Uzhavar Mandram, a farmers' club, says that the crop was raised during the Aadi pattam, an ideal season for cotton. A majority of the farmers of the above villages with little extent of land holdings have been badly hit and the state government should expeditiously sanction adequate relief to bring solace to the affected farmers, he said.

The withering away of the bolls would result in the incidence of pest attack and agriculture officials have been advising the farmers to take up remedial measures with immediate effect.

Collector, Mahesan Kasirajan accompanied by J. Sekar, joint director of agriculture, R. Chandrasekaran and S. Saba Natesan, both deputy directors of agriculture, visited various villages in the block on Tuesday to asses the crop damage.