Scanty rainfall impacts sowing in State -G Venkataramana Rao
This, despite early release of water to Godavari, Krishna deltas
Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh): Deficit rainfall in July in August has impacted sowing in the State. The State government’s pro-active step to release water early to Godavari and Krishna deltas to hasten sowing too has not worked to the expected level.
While the normal area sown till date (August 9 from June 1) is 24 lakh hectares, sowing has been completed only in 20.21 lakh hectares, which is just 84 % of the area that is normally covered.
The primary reason for tardy sowing appears to be deficit rainfall. While a 30% excess rainfall was recorded in June, a 24 % deficit rainfall was recorded in July and a 22 % deficit in August till today. In the arid Rayalaseema region, groundnut crop is suffering from moisture stress.
In Kurnool, groundnut and cotton sown in the western mandals and maize and blackgram sown in the eastern mandals is under moisture stress. In Anantapur district, groundnut sown in June is under moisture stress, according to information given to the Agricultural Commissionerate.
The sowing of course food grains such as paddy, jowar, bajra, maize, ragi and minor millets is only 87 % of normal, the sowing of pulses like red gram, green gram, black gram and horse gram is better with 105 % of the normal. With water level in most of the reservoirs in the State reaching rock bottom, there is none to be released for irrigation. While the major reservoirs in the State are holding 212.79 tmcft on August 9, there was 368.12 tmcft on the corresponding date last year.
Water table plummets
The groundwater resources position is also bleak in the State with the water table falling to 14 metres. Some groundwater resources are available only in the coastal districts of Srikakulam (12.03 tmcft), Vizianagaram (7.7 tmcft), Visakhapatnam (4.35 tmcft) and Guntur (1.61 tmcft).
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