BHAWANIPATNA : Adverse weather condition is likely to hit cotton production in Kalahandi district. Being the major cash crop in the district, continuous spell of bad climatic condition has cast doubts over the crop forecast.
Sources said cotton crop has been affected due to dry condition in June and the incessant rain since July till date.
As against the target of Agriculture Department to cover 45,850 hectares (ha) in the district, cotton crop has been cultivated in 44,677 ha. Sowing of the seed has been delayed by 20 days. Plants are mostly in staggered condition and the growth is stunted. Moreover, plant density has not been uniform.
As per the periodical crop assessment of the Department, of the total 44,677 ha, cotton crop in 14,998 ha has been affected. Upto 25 per cent of crop have been badly affected in 9531 ha, 25 to 50 per cent in 4302 ha and above 50 per cent in 1163 ha.
Cotton crop specialist Narayan Upadhyaya said going by the field scenario, there may be 30 to 40 per cent production loss. Fertilizer and crop nutrients have been washed away from the fields due to heavy rain. As against initial expectation of production of more than six lakh quintals of cotton seeds, the production may come down to four to 4.5 lakh quintals, he said.
Upadhyaya further said the intercropping pulse crop Arhargrown in lines with cotton has also been affected by bad weather. If there is relief from incessant rain, there may be some improvement in crop yield, he added.