Present water levels in tanks enough to save crops, they say.
Rain in the last two days has brought smiles back on the faces of farmers, who till the other day are uncertain over the prospects of kharif crop following non-release of water to the Krishna delta.
The total irrigated area under kharif is 2.57 lakh hectares in Krishna district. Farmers began agricultural operations on a dull note in July, owing to scanty rainfall and non-availability of water in the Prakasam Barrage. They resorted to agitations, urging the government to release water from Nagarjuna Sagar to the Prakasam Barrage to save the crop. But their efforts did not fructify.
The sudden rain that filled the parched fields to the brim has raised the hopes of farmers.
With the neighbouring Khammam, Guntur, West, and East Godavari districts receiving heavy rain, there have been good inflows into the tanks in Krishna district.
At Prakasam Barrage too, the Irrigation Department has released 15,500 cusecs into the three canals — Krishna Eastern, Western Delta, and Guntur Channel.
The main crop is paddy, but farmers have taken up cotton, sugarcane, chilli, maize, groundnut, and other commercial crops in Krishna district. The rainfall has come as a big relief to farmers in Guntur, Prakasam, and West Godavari as they have mostly sown paddy, which needs intensive watering at this stage of the crop.
Joint Director (Agriculture) K.S.V. Prasad said the rainfall would benefit the delta and upland farmers, who were eagerly waiting for water for the last two months. “Farmers are happy with the monsoon, as it will save the crops,” he said.
“Paddy transplantation has so far been completed in 85 per cent of the normal area. We expect that sowing will be completed in the entire ayacut by September 10 in all the mandals. The water level in tanks is good and canals are flowing. The district has received excess rainfall (which was 66 mm on Monday),” said the official.
“Varuna Yagam and pujas performed in temples seem to have given good results. The present water levels in tanks will be sufficient to protect our crops, thanks to the rain god,” said a farmer Ramakrishna Reddy of Mylavaram.