The recent rain has not only belied hopes of a good crop in kharif paddy hitting it when it was about to be harvested but also affected the prospects of pulses in the rabi as well.
The general practice of farmers here is to go in for green gram and black gram as the kharif paddy is about to be harvested using the moisture in the fields. But this time instead of the paucity of rain abundant rainfall had hit the crop. It is estimated that the pulses on about 12,000 to 15,000 ha will be affected.
Since water, not moisture, is present farmers might not prefer to go in for sowing pulses. Green gram particularly is not resistant to water. On the other hand, farmers may go in for ploughing the field and sow the crop.
But it is doubtful whether they would do it as the pulses crop is considered a bonus by farmers.
The farmer sows the crop and harvests it without much of an effort. On the other hand, ploughing will lead to erosion of top soil. Last year, first the price of red gram and then that of green gram skyrocketed selling at more than Rs.100 a kg. This year the surplus water in the kharif paddy appears to be hitting the farmers.
The recent rain had damaged paddy more than 50 per cent in 18,000 ha. The yield would be lower if it was harvested but not stacked in a dry place. The damage was mostly in Elamanchili, Payakaraopeta, Narsipatnam, Chodavaram and Anakpalle areas.
The rain at the time of harvesting had belied hopes of a good crop. This year owing to timely rain the crop area jumped to more than one lakh ha compared to 63,931 ha last kharif and the normal of 90,000 ha. While near drought conditions had hit the crop hard last year, favourable conditions raised hopes of getting about 4,100 kg (of paddy) a ha this year.
However, where the crop is not damaged, the yield is expected to be good.