The failure of monsoon and also post-monsoon rain has been a cause of worry for farmers in Ballari district. For, crops cultivated in around 63.76 % (2.22 lakh hectares) of the total 3.49 lakh hectares has been lost during the kharif this year on the one hand and sowing for the rabi has been severely affected on the other.
During the kharif, as against an average normal rainfall of 352 mm, the district recorded 215 mm between June 1 and September 30 this year. For the rabi, the average actual rainfall recorded during the first week of October was only three mm against the normal of 27 mm for the whole month.
Of the total targeted kharif area of 3.65 lakh hectares, 1.55 lakh hectares has irrigation cover while the remaining 2.09 lakh hectares depends on rainfall. Sowing has been completed in 3.49 lakh hectares, of which 2.35 lakh hectares was in rain-fed. Due to te failure of rain, a major chunk of maize in 1.05 lakh hectares, and other major crops, including cotton, jowar, bajra and groundnut, suffered loss. The loss of crop is estimated to be around ₹ 145 crore, according to Diwakar, Joint Director of Agriculture. The following is the taluk-wise area affected by dry spell in the order of hectares and percentage. The highest loss has been reported from Hagari Bommanahalli 50,101 hectares (91.41 %), followed by Sandur 23,586 hectares (90.49 %), Kudligi 75,159 hectares (89.6 %), Hadagali 37,109 hectares (69.06 %), Sirguppa 23,877 hectares (40.29 %), Hosapete 9,868 hectares (35.17 %) and Ballari 2,871 hectares (6.62 %). With the dry spell continuing, sowing for the rabi season has been severely hampered with the achievement being only 4.3 % as against a target of 1.65 lakh hectares.
“Rabi season has just commenced and farmers, who have stocked all agriculture inputs, are awaiting a couple of good spells of rain to take up sowing,” he said and added that there were predictions of good rainfall during the current week.
Bengal gram and jowar are vastly cultivated during rabi in 90,000 hectares and 40,000 hectares, respectively. In addition, cotton, groundnut and sunflower are also cultivated in patches in the district.