Agriculture Dept. to suggest alternative cropping if situation does not improve

Standing crops in over 2.13 lakh hectares sown during the Kharif season in Mysore district may wither if there is insufficient rain in the next 15 days. Except for Nanjangud taluk, which received normal rainfall, all six other taluks in the district have received less rainfall. Owing to failure of monsoons, there is a chance that farmers may lose standing crops.

Mr. Shivakumar, Deputy Director of Agriculture, told The Hindu that the department would wait another week and if there was no rain by then, the department would take up a drive to motivate farmers to go in for alternative cropping system.

Horse gram, ragi

It will educate farmers about the pros in taking up alternative crops such as horse gram, beans and ragi and making good on losses incurred, he said and added that the department had ensured that seeds and fertilizers would be available to the farmers if they go in for alternate crops.

The total targeted sowing area in the district is 4.19 lakh hectares, of which sowing has been completed in over 2.13 lakh hectares. Standing crops require good rainfall and at least two or three showers may rejuvenate the standing crops, according to the agriculture officer.

The Deputy Director said that the annual normal rainfall of Mysore district was 801.4 mm and average expected rainfall till July 1 was 319.1 mm.

This year, only 281.1 mm rain has occurred so far. According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, Mysore may get rains by July 10. Average rain fall in H.D. Kote taluk till July 4 is 395.1 mm, whereas only 326 mm has occurred. Other taluks have also received less than expected rainfall.

Mr. Shivakumar said agricultural operations in the district had come to a halt owing to lack of rain in the past one and a half months. He noted that noted that agricultural operations in most parts of the district which are rain fed might be thrown out of gear if the dry spell continued for one more week.

Date extended

The last date for insuring crops had been extended till July end, Dr. Shivakumar said, calling upon farmers to insure their crops immediately.

He directed the farmers to contact their nearest Raitha Samparaka Kendras and banks to get their crops insured so that even if they incur crop losses, a major portion may get reimbursed.

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