Area under paddy down by 4,660 ha in Dakshina Kannada this kharif

Lack of timely rains force farmers to adopt cautious approach; nursery saplings couldn’t be planted

The area under paddy cultivation has decreased by 4,660 hectares in Dakshina Kannada district this kharif season. According to the Agriculture Department, this is because of a lack of sufficient and timely rainfall in June and July.

H. Kempe Gowda, Joint Director of Agriculture, Dakshina Kannada, told The Hindu that the area under paddy has decreased from 28,000 to 23,340 hectares.

He said as there was not enough timely rainfall, paddy growers could not plant their nursery saplings. There should have been continuous rainfall to plant one-month-old nursery saplings. Intermittent rain forced the farmers to put off planting and finally discard the nursery saplings.

Mr. Gowda said the fall in coverage did not mean that the other lands came under commercial crops.

Prabhakara Mayya, a progressive farmer and paddy grower from Nada village near Ujire, said many upland farmers who entirely depended on rain did not take up paddy cultivation this kharif. This was because their crops failed last kharif when the rains stopped after the planting of nursery saplings. Scarred by that experience, this year they stayed away from sowing, he said.

Mr. Mayya said lowland farmers did take up paddy cultivation with the available rain and other water sources. “Whatever area is under paddy this year is because of lowland farmers,” Mr. Mayya said.

On the other hand, Mr. Gowda said intermittent rain would help in increasing the yield by at least a quintal an acre. “Farmers in Dakshina Kannada usually harvest 18 to 19 quintals of paddy an acre. With intermittent rain, the yield can go up by at least a quintal,” he said. He added that as there was no continuity in rains, last kharif season too there was a rise in yield.

Rainfall data

The rainfall data available with the office of Deputy Commissioner shows that the district recorded an average of 1,883.8 mm of rain from January to August 2 this year, as against 2,048.5 mm during the corresponding period in 2016. The normal rainfall from January to August is 3,249 mm.

According to the office, the district recorded 2,944.2 mm of rain from this January to September 23, as against 2,785.6 mm in that period last year. The normal rainfall for the first nine months is 3,573 mm.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 5:05:37 PM |

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