The failure of post-monsoon rain spelt doom for farmers, especially those in the rain-fed areas of Ballari district, during the rabi cultivation season.
Rabi crops, especially jowar, maize, Bengal gram, cowpea and sunflower in about 36,769 hectares of land have completely failed. The approximate loss has been put around Rs. 50 crore.
Sources in the Agriculture Department told The Hindu that as against a rabi sowing target of 2.04 lakh hectares, sowing was completed in 1.71 lakh hectares, of which a major portion of 1.18 lakh hectares fell in the rain-fed area.
Contrary to expectations of a good post-monsoon rain, the district recorded an average deficient rainfall of minus 13 per cent in October, an average deficient rainfall of minus 66 per cent in November and an average deficient rainfall of minus 73 per cent in December.
As against a normal average rainfall of 106.8 mm in October, the actual average rainfall recorded was 93.2 mm.
In November, as against an average normal of 31.7 mm, the district recorded 10.7 mm and in December, the actual rainfall received was 2.7 mm against a normal average of 10.0 mm.
Ballari, Sirguppa, Hagari Bommanahalli and Hadagali are the taluks where crops have been damaged.
The highest crop loss was recorded in Hadagali (20,500 hectares) followed by Ballari (12,650 hectares), Sirguppa (2,000 hectares) and Hagari Bommanahalli (1,619 hectares). Rabi jowar was sown in 33,530 hectares while the loss of crop was in 10,083 hectares, Bengal gram was sown in a little over one lakh hectares and the crop had failed in 23,005 hectares. Similarly, sunflower was sown in 19,940 hectares, whereas the loss was in 3,250 hectares.
Sources said that the department has submitted a detailed report in this connection to the government.