Dry November has further delayed the sowing of Rabi crops in the hill state this year.
After moderate rain advanced the sowing of 75% of Rabi crop in first week of November, now dry spell has delayed the sowing process for 25% of crop.
Usually farmers start sowing in the first week of November and moderate rain favoured the sowing of Rabi crop, including wheat and barley.
Sowing has been completed in more than 50% of areas under wheat - the main Rabi crop in the state. Officials of the agriculture department said farmers still have nearly two weeks for crop sowing, but the met department had predicted dry weather the next 10 days.
“Nearly 75% of sowing has been completed and we hope for some rain of rain in the coming two weeks so that farmers can complete sowing in time,” he said.
Head of the department of agronomy in state Agricultural University Dinesh Badiala said the period of October 25 to November 25 had been declared for sowing. “Earlier, rain had benefitted sowing, but the current dry spell has delayed sowing for some areas,” he said.
“Weather plays an important role in Rabi season as only 22% of the total cultivated area has irrigation facility, while the remaining 78% is rainfed,” he said.
Nearly 78% of the area in the state was rainfed. Farmers are largely reliant on rain for agriculture activities as the area was sans irrigation facilities.
The department of agriculture had envisaged good Rabi crop for this season. The state had fixed the target for the Rabi production at 6.95 lakh tonnes, out of which the target for wheat alone is 6.5 lakh tonnes. During the previous Rabi season, the state had harvested 752.6 metric tonnes of production from 399 hectares.
In 2007-08, the state had harvested 616 MT of crop from 402 hectares that was declined to 413 MT in 2008-09 over 392 hectares because of dry spell in winter.
In 2009-10, the state had produced 450 MT of Rabi crop from 383 hectares. Favoured by ideal weather conditions, Rabi crop sharp upsurge was marked in 2010-11, with nearly 675 MT of crop production from 393 hectares. In 2011-12, it was 679 MT from 387 hectares.
Rabi crop production
Year Area (in hectares) Production (MT)
2007-08 402 616
2008-09 392 413
2009-10 383 450
2010-11 393 675
2011-12 387 679
2012-13 399 752