Deficient rainfall hits paddy cultivation in Udupi district

Farmers can grow short-duration paddy varieties and make up for loss of time in the coming weeks, says the Agriculture Department.  

Below-normal rainfall in June and in the first week of July has affected cultivation of paddy, the chief crop, in Udupi district even as farmers keep hoping that the monsoon will pick up in the coming weeks.

According to the figures provided by the Department of Agriculture here, the area where sowing of paddy has taken place in the district is just 17,390 hectares against a target of 45,000 hectares (ha).

The 17,390 ha in the district is spread over 5,440 ha in Udupi taluk, 8,050 ha in Kundapur taluk and 3,900 ha in Karkala taluk. Normally, by this period, sowing should have been completed in 24,000 ha in the district.

B. Satish, Technical Officer in the Department of Agriculture, said that there had been a shift in rainfall pattern since 2010. “Hence, farmers, who were earlier doing sowing/planting of paddy in the first and second weeks of June, are now doing it in the third and fourth weeks,” he said.

Rainfall is deficient by 26.35 per cent in the district since January. This year, the district received 1,117 mm of rainfall from January 1 to July 4, whereas, normally, it should have received 1,517 mm rainfall during the period.

But the dip in rainfall in the first week of July has been quite sharp. Normally, the district gets 371 mm of rainfall from July 1 to 7. But this year, it has got just 93.6 mm, while last year, the rainfall received was 126.7 mm.

According to Bantakal Ramakrishna Sharma, president of the Zilla Krishik Sangha, the deficient rainfall made it difficult for farmers to take up sowing operations for paddy, especially in the uplands of the district. “Rainwater should remain stagnant in the fields as this helps in paddy cultivation. So far, it is only farmers in the lowlands who have taken up sowing operations,” he said.

“Rainfall was deficient in June; it has been lesser still in the first week of July. We are praying that there will be rain in the weeks to follow,” he added.

“Farmers can grow short-duration paddy varieties and make up for the loss of time in the coming weeks,” said Anthony Maria Immanuel, Joint Director of Agriculture.

B.V. Poojary, a farmer from Perdoor village, said that the deficient rainfall in the district would not affect farmers much. “Most of the farmers follow a mixed crop pattern. They grow arecanut, coconut, black pepper and other crops and are not dependent on paddy alone,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 12:20:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/deficient-rainfall-hits-paddy-cultivation-in-udupi-district/article7397737.ece

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