Farmers confident of good yield

CHENNAI, AUG. 21. Delta farmers are confident of completing farm operations successfully this year unlike as in previous years when they suffered repeated failures.

Though the current storage of 54 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) in the Mettur reservoir is not sufficient to complete the farm operations, water managers and farmers hope that the inflow would be increased in the coming weeks as the Krishnaraja Sagar and the Kabini reservoirs in Karnataka have already reached their full capacities.

As meteorologists have forecast that the southwest monsoon would become active again in the last week of this month, there is a possibility of more rain in the catchment areas of the river. In such an eventuality, there would be copious inflow in the Mettur reservoir once again.

Normally, farmers go for samba crop during this period, which requires about 200 tmcft, as it is a long duration crop of 150 days. But water requirement would be slightly less this time as a majority of farmers are going in for medium varieties of 135-day duration. Besides, the northeast monsoon would set in by October.

The farmers are adopting the traditional method — nursery and transplantation — though it requires more water. They are not interested in direct sowing which requires less water. Direct sowing could be undertaken only when they were not sure of water. Moreover, in direct sowing the per hectare yield would be less and the farmers had to spend heavily for removal of weeds. As storage now was comfortable it was better to go for nurseries, they said.

Depots well-stocked

The Agriculture department has advised farmers to complete transplantation before October middle, when the northeast monsoon would set in. To ensure adequate supply of seeds and fertiliser to farmers, all agriculture depots have been adequately stocked. Cooperative banks in rural areas have been advised to give priority to farmers in extending loans, as they need money to start farming.

A congenial atmosphere prevails in the delta districts and the farmers hope that this would continue and help them to reap a good yield after three years of drought.

This evening, storage in the Mettur reservoir was 54.021 tmcft with an inflow of 10,263 cubic feet per second and the outflow 18,500 cusecs.