With the water from the Mettur dam reaching here, farmers in the Cauvery delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam are gearing up for the samba (long-term) paddy cultivation.
While transplantation will take some time under the conventional method of cultivation, many farmers in Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts have gone for direct sowing, which can help to reduce water use.
Samba paddy is expected to be raised on 1,13,000 hectares in Thanjavur district, 1,46,000 hectares in Tiruvarur and 1,08,500 hectares in Nagapattinam district, according to official sources. Of this, direct sowing is likely to be taken up on 75,000 hectares in Tiruvarur and 48,000 hectares in Nagapattinam.
Officials say seed distribution is under way in all the three districts.
S. Ranganathan, secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, expressed the hope that the samba yield would be good this year.
Though it rained in the past few days, the Vennar division that caters for Tiruvarur district has not received sufficient rains. Farmers who have gone for direct sowing in this division expect rains to help them as they are now using canal water.
V. Jeevakumar, a farmer of Budalur, says the PWD should keep the water release at least 3,000 cusecs into the Vennar and the Cauvery. The turn system should not be introduced till farmers get sufficient water for transplantation. Nationalised and co-operative banks should sanction crop loans liberally.
The level in the Mettur dam stood at 112.51 feet on Wednesday. Inflow was 8,758 cusecs.
Discharge was 12,002 cusecs. Discharge into the Cauvery from the Grand Anicut is 3,501 cusecs, the Vennar 3,000 cusecs, the Grand Anicut Canal 2,306 cusecs and the Kollidam 1,002 cusecs.