28 seed drills available in Sivaganga district

In a bid to increase paddy production, the Agriculture Department in the district has decided to introduce seed drill sowing in 10,000 hectares in rainfed areas.

On the instructions of Collector V. Rajaraman, the department was making available 28 seed drills to the farmers and explaining to them the advantages of using the machine for sowing, S. Chelladorai, Joint Director of Agriculture, said. Paddy production was bound to increase as seed drill sowing helped raise optimum crop population, allot correct space between rows and provide much-needed aeration and sunlight to the crop.

Last year, seed drill sowing was taken up on an experimental basis in about 800 hectares. A farmer at Nagavayal in Kallal block harvested six tonnes of paddy using the new technology, and it was double the yield achieved in conventional broadcast sowing, he pointed out.

Mr.Chelladorai said in coordination with the Dry Land Research Station, Chettinad, the department had already completed seed drill sowing in 500 hectares.

When farmers used seed drill 20 kilogram of seeds would be enough for sowing in one acre of land, while double the quantity of seeds would be required in direct sowing.

Duration of the crops would also come down by 10 days, and the farmers could apply the first top pressing of fertilisers with ease when the crops were 10-15 days old, he said.

Farmers were being distributed seeds at subsidised rates, and they could use the seed drill by paying Rs.500 per hour. Sowing in one acre of land could be completed in one and a half hours, he said, adding that Aduthurai 36 and 39 and CO 43 varieties were recommended for seed drill sowing. Farmerswere showing interest in the cost-effective seed drill sowing, which would also address the labour problem, he noted. Paddy was cultivated in 83,928 hectares of land in the district, of which 16,388 hectares were purely rainfed.

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