The Bengal gram crop, which is the mainstay of agriculture in Kurnool district is under severe stress due to lack of moisture. Bengal gram has been sown on more than two lakh hectare in the district this season.
As the early khariff crops such as groundnut and jowar failed, most farmers had shifted to Bengal gram which has been causing concern to cultivators.
According to farmers, if there is no moderate rainfall within a week, the yield will go down by 50 per cent. Plants may survive even though there is no precipitation, but the yield would decline.
Black cotton soils in Aluru, Koilkuntla and Nandikotkur areas are suitable for Bengalgram crop.
Majority farmers have shifted to this crop due to convenience in cultivating this crop. The duration of the crops is three months and majority of the operations right from sowing to harvesting are mechanised.
On the other hand, it could withstand the moisture stress and give some average yields in the worst year too.
Usually, the productivity is around six to eight quintal per acre while the best soils gave yields upto 12 quintals.