Officials advising farmers to spray pesticide to prevent pest attack

Cloudy weather and fog are giving Krishna delta farmers the jitters. In the absence of a second crop farmers have sown blackgram in nearly 4 lakh acres, in Krishna district alone. And the paddy harvested after the kharif is still left stacked up in the fields waiting to be threshed.

The three to four days continuous rain caused by Thane cyclone has resulted in the blackgram crop getting affected in nearly one lakh acres in the district. Agriculture Department Joint Director K S V Prasad told The Hindu that blackgram has been badly affected in Challapalli, Movva, Ghantasala, and Mopidevi mandals. Blackgram fields in Nagayalanka, Koduru, Avanigadda, and Gudlavaleru are also partially water logged.

Mr Prasad said according to a very conservative estimate blackgram was affected in 90,000 acres. But according to a more realistic estimate more than a fourth of the blackgram sown was likely to be damaged with the wet crop being more susceptible for pest attacks. Mr Prasad said farmers were being told the amount of pesticide they should spray to prevent pest from causing damage.

Andhra Pradesh Kisan Organisation Krishna district general secretary P.S.R. Das said blackgram was a leguminous crop that did not require any watering. It could grow from the moisture available in the soil and from the dew in winter.

He urged farmers whose fields are still waterlogged to try to drain out the water, even pump it out if necessary. He said the paddy in the stacks would also be affected and get discoloured if it was not dried and threshed at the earliest.

But unfortunately for the farmers the weather is playing truant even after the passing of Thane with clouds hovering threatening over the district almost all the days.

The bright sun needed to dry out the stacks and the fields was not available. The mornings are foggy and thick clouds are entering the scenario in the afternoons.