Dry spell worries farmers

Business as usual: Labourers returning from an agricultural field on Sunday, even as the dry spell continues.

Business as usual: Labourers returning from an agricultural field on Sunday, even as the dry spell continues.  

S. Harpal Singh

Only 75 mm rain received in district on an average till now

ADILABAD: It may not be long before the farmers in Adilabad district start worrying about the delay in monsoon activity. Once their attention is disengaged from the issue of short supply of fertilizers, they are bound to get anxious about the continuing dry spell.

Against a normal rainfall of 133 mm up to June 20 only 75 mm was received in the district on an average for this period. This makes the rainfall show a deficit of about 43 per cent.

Those of the farmers who have completed sowing operations will be worried about the loss of the seeds and others who have not initiated sowing are bound to be concerned over the delay in operations. In some areas like the cotton and soya intensive mandals of Adilabad, Tamsi, Talamadugu, Jainad and Bela, over 50 per cent of sowing has been completed because of the initial promise of a good monsoon. The Agriculture Department claims that sowing has been taken up only in about 40,000 hectares across the district.

This comes to about 11 per cent of the total farm potential area in the district.

For the farmers the dry spell means loss of seeds and for agriculture labourers it means loss of daily wages. The labourers are likely to be affected more because of the suspension of the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in view of the agriculture season.

The Agriculture Department however, dispels any grave situation even if the dry spell continues for some more days. “Our estimate shows cotton has been sown in 18,000 hectares, soyabean in 1,800 and maize, redgram and green gram in the remaining 20,000 hectares. In the larger context the loss of seed in such an extent may not amount to much,” observes C. Narsingu, Agriculture Officer at Adilabad.

“Some percentage of cotton seeds that I had sown following the rainfall on June 7 has shown germination. Because the Bt variety is sturdier, these plants may survive. I am worried about starting the sowing operations once again in the area where no germination has taken place,” says farmer Ch. Narsaiah of Jhari in Talamadugu mandal.

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