October rain delays sowing of rabi crops, only 4% sowing so far
NASHIK: The district’s rabi season sowing is getting delayed because of October rain, which wreaked havoc on Kharif crops in the district. The agriculture department officials claimed that around 4% sowing of rabi crops has so far taken place in the rain-hit Nashik district and majority of the farmers have not started rabi sowing yet because soil in the fields is still occupying excessive moisture which is not conducive for sowing activity.
“Though the delayed retreating rains have badly hit Kharif season, the existing wet conditons in the fields however will benefit largely to farmers to sow their rabi crops. The farmers should begin rabi sowing at the earliest for a good output at the end of harvesting period,” urged district agriculture officer (ZP) Ramesh Shinde to the affected farmers in the district.
Farmers would have to wait for the soil to reach the ideal condition for sowing. Rabi sowing normally begins in the second week of October. Rabi sowing can only be undertaken when the soil reaches the ideal field capacity condition called “Waaphasa”, which refers to the mixture of 50% air and 50% water vapour in the cavities between two soil particles.
An official of the agriculture department said sowing of rabi crops like grams, jowar and sunflower normally begins by October 10-15. He said in the current conditions, further hampered by excessive moisture in the soil due to prolonged rains, rabi sowing in a bulk of fields might take some time to begin.
Due to floods in August and prolonged incessant rainfall till October end largely affected harvesting of kharif crops. The farmers as a result were trying to recover their losses of kharif crops out of rabi crops. However infavourable land conditions for rabi crops further delayed sowing activity as against the rabi sowing target set by the district agriculture department.
The authorities have fixed 70,764 hectares of field for rabi crops of jwar, wheat, maize and other grass-grains in the district. However till date, sowing on only 2082 hectares has been completed with wheat crop topping the table.
For peas, udid, moong, field of 41,184 hectares was fixed. However sowing activity so far has been completed on a meagre 2000 hectares of field. Crops like kardai and sunflower are alos yielding unsatisfactory results.
According to agriculture experts sowing of rabi crop is essential by November end. Due to delayed sowing, the wet condition in the land may disappear and can affect yield. All crops which have been sown in four months’ duration get harvested at the end of March.
During that harvesting time, the wet condition decreases on account of rising heat and which might hamper yield.
Out of the total cultivation in the district, 70% of crops have been damaged. Crops of maize, soyabean, bajra, jwar and paddy sustained heavy damages, besides horticulture crops of grape vineyards and pomegranate.