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Updated: November 23, 2013 11:13 IST

Foggy days dash hopes of normal rainfall

L. Renganathan
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Karur district has received 434.18 mm of rainfall this year

The hopes of Karur district farmers for a normal rainfall have been smothered by the thick fog that descends on the district these days.

With conventional wisdom signalling the end of monsoon with the arrival of fog, farmers are keeping their fingers crossed over saving the standing crops.

The district’s normal average annual rainfall is 652.20 mm but this year, the district has received an average 434.18 mm so far. Northeast monsoon that brings on an average 287.5 mm rainfall every season is crucial for the region. But so far Karur has received only 160.77 mm rainfall.

Western, south-western, and central areas of the district have especially received poor rainfall.

Against the target of 16,000 hectares of land, samba paddy has been raised only on 10,026 hectares so far. At least half of the area has been brought under the system of rice intensification that could help sustain a lean monsoon.

Sorghum has been raised on 14,048 hectares while the other rain-fed crops such as pearl millet and maize have been cultivated on a paltry 476 and 825 hectares respectively.

“I had raised horse gram on 2.5 acres of land in the hope that I would use that crop as a green manure for my paddy field . I also had the field ploughed a couple of weeks ago to allow the crop to mulch. The rains have failed and now I could not go in for paddy and trying my luck with sorghum,” said S. Rangasamy of Thulasikodumbur village reflecting the trouble of farmers in the district.

The pulses scene is no better either with groundnut raised on 517 hectares.

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