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CHENNAI: Prospects of kuruvai paddy crop in the State, particularly in the Cauvery delta districts, are extremely good.
Initial crop cutting experiment (to assess productivity) has shown that the average yield in the delta districts will be 6 tonnes a hectare as against the normal productivity of 5.6 tonnes. The average per hectare productivity is likely to cross 8.5 tonnes at the end of the current season, according to an Agriculture Department official here.
In terms of coverage, as against the normal area of 3.09 lakh hectares in the State, about 2.66 lakh hectares have been covered under kuruvai paddy. In the delta districts about 1.22 lakh hectares have been brought under cultivation as against the revised normal area of 1.41 lakh hectares.
The shortfall is due to the reluctance of a section of the farmers to take up kuruvai cultivation due to “unsatisfactory” storage position for some weeks in the Mettur reservoir. As the current storage position in a majority of the reservoirs in the State is comfortable, the shortfall in kuruvai will be compensated in samba.
The official say in summer, an average of 11.68 tonnes per hectare was realised by farmers. The maximum yield was 13.5 tonnes and the minimum, 8.2 tonnes. The increased productivity was possible due to adoption of system of rice intensification (SRI) technique by more farmers, timely supply of water from reservoirs and adequate availability of fertilisers. Absence of pests and disease attack on crop was another reason for increased productivity.
Long-term samba cultivation has commenced in the delta districts and more than normal coverage is expected in the current season. Farmers have started nursery operations.
Tuesday’s storage in the Mettur reservoir was 44.041 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) as against the capacity of 93.4 tmcft. About 10,000 cusecs of water is being realised and the demand for delta irrigation is 13,000 cusecs.
S. Ranganathan, general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers Association, says samba can be successfully managed by skilful water management. The current storage is sufficient for the next 30 days. The crucial period will be from September 15-October 15, when the crop needs additional water.
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