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Truant monsoon plays spoilsport

Truant monsoon plays spoilsport
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With early monsoon playing truant, farmers, especially cotton growers, seems to be jittery this year. In stark contrast to last year’s phenomenon where excessive rainfall caused a huge dent in the yield of cotton, this year farmers who completed sowing waiting for skies to open up as early as possible.

Cotton farmers have gone in for early sowing despite the advice to wait till third week of June

Khammam: With early monsoon playing truant, farmers, especially cotton growers, seems to be jittery this year. In stark contrast to last year’s phenomenon where excessive rainfall caused a huge dent in the yield of cotton, this year farmers who completed sowing waiting for skies to open up as early as possible. It likely to hurt the farmers’ enthusiasm generated by the Rythu Bandhu scheme through which they got Rs 4,000 assistance per acre. With monsoon showers staying away for the last few days, mercury levels have gone up in all 21 mandals of the district. However, the cumulative rainfall data of the district (from June 1 to June 21) shows the actual precipitation excessive than the normal rainfall, the number of rainy days the district witnessed was just six days.

Following first showers in the second week, at least 30 per cent of the cotton growers who predicted a good monsoon season completed sowing operations, this despite the agricultural scientists’ advice not to go for sowing until June 20. Those sceptical about the forecast desisted from taking up seed plantation appear to be lucky.

It has been over a week now since the farmers completed sowing operations; however, there was no sign of rain thereafter. According to agriculture department, cotton cultivation is expected to be over one lakh acres in the district. With the white gold prices hovering above Rs 5,000 per quintal currently, majority of farmers are expected to take up its cultivation.

Speaking to The Hans India, Eruvaka Kendra Khammam coordinator R Srinivasa Rao said: “Although we have been advising to go for cotton sowing only after the third week of June, some farmers seem to be in a hurry. As a result, the seed that sowed early is withering under prevailing intense heat conditions.” At least 60 mm rainfall is required before the sowing operations, he added.

Paddy farmer Kanakabandi Kanakaraju of Bhairavunipadu village under Nelakondapally mandal said the cultivators who sowed cotton and those who are waiting for sowing operations also dearly need rains urgently. Meanwhile, some farmers are making hectic effort to protect their crop by engaging water tankers. Farmers in Kusumanchi, Thirumalayapalem, Chintakani, Madhira, Wyra, Khammam Rural, Kamepally, Karepally and Konijerla mandals who already completed cotton sowing are expected to bear the brunt of the delayed rains, it is learnt.

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