Uneven spread of monsoon rain affects kharif crops in half of rural Telangana

Uneven spread of monsoon rain affects kharif crops in half of rural Telangana

Germination of rain-fed crop seeds, especially cotton, has been low to sparse in more than half of the 585 rural mandals that received up to normal rainfall.
| Photo Credit: File Photo

Notwithstanding the average rainfall in Telangana this monsoon being graded “excess” technically so far, rain-fed crops on more than half of the rural mandals are facing moisture stress due to the uneven spread of rain, resulting in low germination and survival of cotton in several areas.

Germination of rain-fed crop seeds, especially cotton, has been low to sparse in more than half of the 585 rural mandals that received up to normal rainfall. This includes 76 mandals with deficient rainfall (20% to 59% less than normal), one mandal with a large deficiency (over 60% less than normal), and 236 mandals with rainfall ranging from 19% below normal to 19% above normal, classified as normal.

Official statistics put the cultivation of kharif crops so far at about 50 lakh acres including cotton on 35 lakh acres, soybean on 2.6 lakh acres, redgram on 2.4 lakh acres, maize on 2 lakh acres, paddy on 1.75 lakh acres and greengram on about 0.4 lakh acres. Last year, the extent of kharif crops sown/ transplanted by the same time (July 7) was less than 40 lakh acres.

“Germination of cotton on about 20% of the total sown area so far has been low to sparse, forcing some farmers to sow the seed again, while a section has also taken up inter-cultivation of soybean to make up the loss,” sources in the Agriculture department said.

Cultivation of cotton has been high in Adilabad, Kumram Bheem-Asifabad, Sangareddy, Nalgonda, Narayanpet, Vikarabad, Nagarkurnool, Bhadradi-Kothagudem, Khammam, Nirmal, Mancherial, Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri, Warangal and Jangaon districts, where it has ranged from above 1 lakh acres to 4.5 lakh acres.

The rainfall so far has been deficient in most mandals in Kumram Bheem-Asifabad, Jayashankar-Bhupalapally, Siddipet and Sangareddy districts and some of the mandals of Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri and Jangaon districts where cotton is being cultivated as the main kharif crop.

“I have sown cotton during the second week of June after initial rains on 10 acres taken on lease but the germination percentage is sparse. After the recent spell of rain, I have sown soybean in between the cotton rows with the hope to make up for the loss to some extent,” Prem Singh, a farmer of Sangareddy district, said.

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