Kalahandi district is facing a drought-like situation and farmers are alarmed over the failure of monsoon and the continuing moisture stress condition in the soil.
Paddy and non paddy plants in non irrigated pockets in all the 13 blocks of the district have been reportedly affected by the long dry phase and moisture stress.
Agriculture field staffs have been directed by district administration to conduct field assessments in all blocks to ascertain the situation and to take curative measures in every way possible.
Farmers hoped for a good khariff crop in June when it rained ( 300 mm average across the district as against 240 mm normal rainfall). They took to preparing the land, broadcasting of paddy and sowing of non paddy crops like cotton and maize.
But to their dismay July and the first two weeks of August have turned out to be dry. The dry spell disturbed all calculations.
In July, except Thuamul Rampur and Junagarh blocks, the other 11 blocks had poor rainfall, which is 264 mm against the normal rain fall of 327 mm for the month. The little rain that occurred was erratic.
August showed no improvement, till 11 August the district has received only 27 mm rain fall.
For the current Kharif it is targeted to cover 185005 hectors under paddy and 198716 hectares under non paddy crops. In the month of June and July paddy broadcasting area was covered in 89738 hectares but operation of the broadcasted paddy was possible only in 20790 hectares. Paddy nursery raised in 9527 hectares for transplanting. So far transplanting of paddy has been done in 41946 mostly in irrigated pockets as against the target of transplantation in 95267 hectares due to long dry phase and moisture stress. This is based on the latest field assessment report of Agriculture department. Besides paddy there is also apprehension that non paddy crops like cotton and Maize may also be affected due to this dry phase and moisture stress. Yellowing of paddy seedlings in nursery bed has been reported.