BHAWANIPATNA: Paddy saplings that were transplanted in non-irrigated pockets of all the 13 blocks of the district a month back have turned yellow due to long spell of dry weather and moisture stress condition. Agriculture department’s field staff have been directed by district administration to assess the crop situation in all the blocks.
Though the district experienced good rainfall in June (300 mm average rainfall against 240 mm of normal rain), the amount of rain gradually declined in July and August. Hoping a good rainy season ahead, the farmers took up land preparation, nursery raising, broadcasting of paddy and sowing of non-paddy crops like cotton and maize. However, the dry phase of July and August has resulted in moisture stress condition.
In the current kharif season, paddy crop was targeted to be cultivated in 1,85,005 hectares and non-paddy crops in 1,98,716 hectares. In June and July, paddy broadcasting was done in 89,738 hectares but beausaning could be done only in 20,790 hectares.
In July, except Thuamul Rampur and Junagarh blocks, 11 other blocks had poor rainfall of 264 mm against the normal 327 mm. This month, there has only been 27 mm rainfall in the district so far whereas the normal rainfall is 355.4 mm.
According to Agriculture department reports, paddy saplings were raised in 9527 hectares but the saplings could be transplanted in 41,946 hectares of irrigated pockets against the target of 95,267 hectares.
Deputy Director of Agriculture Laxman Kumar Palatasingh said the district is facing severe moisture stress condition in non-irrigated pockets. Paddy saplings have turned yellow and as far as other crops are concerned, they are not growing properly in absence of rain. Crops in sandy soil have also been critically affected. He said cotton was grown on 46,162 hectares and all of it has wilted. Similar is the plight of maize crop.