After plenty of rains and favourable weather, the expectations are that the rabi crops will be sown in a total area of nearly 6.5 lakh acres in the Nellore district during this season.

After plenty of rains and favourable weather, the expectations are that the rabi crops will be sown in a total area of nearly 6.5 lakh acres in the Nellore district during this season.

Paddy remains the main crop during the rabi season, which usually witnesses sowings and transplantations in winter. The influence of depression and north-east monsoon have helped in bringing good rains in all parts of the district.

The favourable turn in weather has raised expectations among the farmers associations, as they pin hopes on covering more area than last year. The farmers are also eager to make up for the losses they have suffered on account of poor acreage during the kharif season.

Apart from the paddy, the other crops that are mostly grown in Nellore district are black gram, red gram, sunflower and maize. For various reasons, the farmers are not willing to go for black gram in a big way this year. One of the reasons is that this crop has given poor yields last season. The irrigation sources for the rabi season are showing lot of promise for the farmers. The Somasila reservoir has over 48 tmc water and the Kandaleru reservoir is likely to get supply in due course. Under these two reservoirs, there are nearly 5.1 lakh acres of cultivation in the district.

The district administration has cleared release of Somasila water to cover 4.16 lakh acres ayacut from November first week. A decision to this effect has been taken at the recent irrigation advisory board meeting held at the Collectorate recently.

As the farmers are likely to cultivate over 6.5 lakh acres, the officials have estimated that this will require more than 50 tmc water. With regard to the Kandaleru reservoir, it has been decided that no water will be released to lands under its ayacut as only 18 tmc water is available as of now in this reservoir. However, this is hope that sufficient water will be available from Somasila, which is expected to greater inflows in the next three months.