Buoyed by the recent spell of pre-monsoon rain in the district that has remained wide-spread, the farmers have commenced the agricultural activities.
Joint Director, Department of Agriculture, Madhusudan K. told The Hindu that in Talaguppa and Anavatti hoblis — where paddy is cultivated using the seed drill sowing method — sowing operations have already commenced. In semi-arid regions of Shivamogga, Shikaripur, Sorab, and Bhadravati taluks, farmers have commenced the work of levelling and tilling the land for sowing maize and pulses.
The district received 56 mm of rain from January 1 to May 20 this year as against the average rain of 89.2 mm during the same period. However, the actual rainfall in the district in the month of May was 42.5 mm as against the average of 42.3 mm.
The taluk-wise distribution of rainfall in May (figures on average rainfall in brackets) is as follows: Shivamogga 56.7 mm(40.7 mm), Bhadravati 41.1 mm (36.9 mm), Tirthahalli 44.3 mm (43.7 mm), Sagar 33 mm (43.4 mm), Hosanagar 48.9 mm(46.3 mm), Shikaripur 32 mm (43.5 mm), and Sorab 43.3 mm(38 mm).
Rainfall is on expected levels for May — the month during which tilling of land and sowing takes place— bringing cheer to the farmers, he said. The department has set a target of cultivating on 1.69 lakh hectares of land during the kharif season in the district this year that includes paddy on 1.07 lakh hectares and maize on 55,000 hectares. It has been planned to take up sowing of pulses, oil seeds, cotton, and sugarcane on the remaining 7,000 hectares.
He said that ample stock of fertilizer and sowing seeds necessary for the kharif season has been maintained in the district. At present, the stock of 22,284 tonne of fertilizer and 2,600 tonne of sowing seeds has been maintained. In addition to the private agencies involved in selling of seeds and fertilizer, input will also be provided for the farmers through the 40 Raitha Samparka Kendras, he added.
According to the forecast, the monsoon is expected to become active in the district from May 27 onwards, following which the sowing activities are likely to gain momentum, he added.