For the second consecutive year, Tiruchi district has ended up with deficit rainfall.
As against the average annual rainfall of 788 mm, the district received 669 mm in 2017, a deficit of 15%. It had received just 461 mm in 2016, less than 327 mm.
Out of 788 mm of average rainfall, the district generally receives 427 mm (54%) during the north- east monsoon. But it received just 236 mm, a deficit of 45 %.
In October and November, it recorded just 94.6 mm and 78 mm as against 170 mm and 187 mm respectively.
In December, it received 63 mm as against 70 mm. However, it recorded 346.7 mm as against the average rainfall of 221 during south-west monsoon. It was 156 mm more than average.
Out of 6 non-delta blocks, rain was good only in Uppilliyapuram block, say official sources.
Other blocks such as Thuraiyur, Thathaiyengarpettai, Manapparai, Marungapuri and Vaiyampatti received poor rainfall, much to the dismay of farmers in rain-fed areas and water managers.
North-east monsoon is considered as crucial as far as paddy raised in samba season is concerned. The rainfall in north-east monsoon caters to the need of paddy raised in delta and non-delta blocks in the district. The deficit rainfall has negatively impacted in reaching the target of paddy coverage.
The agricultural department had planned to bring 49,800 hectares under paddy cultivation this year but it could cover 41,347 hectares only.
“Farmers start paddy cultivation work at the fag end of south-west monsoon. Though the good rain in south-west monsoon had motivated the farmers to take up cultivation, we could not achieve paddy target due to the poor north-east monsoon.
Parts of the district hardly had rainy days in October, November and December,” said a senior agricultural official.
A close view of rainfall data shows that the district has witnessed deficit rainfall for 6 years out of 8 years since 2010. I
t recorded rainfall of 578 mm and 518 mm in 2012 and 2013 respectively. It was once again ended up deficit rainfall in 2014 with 559 mm.
It was in 2015, the district surpassed the normal rainfall. It received 857 mm then.