Feature Article

The monsoon is taking a break for a few days, which is a boon to farmers.

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By R H Patil

Department of Agricultural Meteorology, UAS, Dharwad

After a week of nonstop rains, the monsoon has taken a brief respite in the north interior Karnataka (NIK) region.

The IMD forecast suggests that rains will continue along the coastal region and the Western Ghats, but northern interior districts will mostly be relatively dry with chances of only light rains in isolated places. This is a relief to farmers for the time being.

Farmers of this region, especially from Hukkeri, Chikkodi, Belagavi, Khanapur, Alnavar, Kalaghatagi, Dharwad, Navalgund, Shiggavi and Hangal taluks received heavy to very heavy rains for four days while the rest of the taluks received light to moderate soaking rains.

Because there is still a lot of lands to be sown with Kharif crops, this brake will help farmers sow paddy, green gram, soybeans, cotton, chilli, maize, tur, and bajra, among other crops.

The crops which were sown between the last week of May and the first week of June are now 3-4 weeks old. These crops require inter-cultivation and weeding before being fertilized. Before applying supplemental nutrients, the crop must be at least 3-4 weeks old. Moreover, with the heavy rains soon after sowing, most of the applied nutrients may have run off with the rainwater or leached down into the soil profile. This has made the young seedlings look yellow and weak. With the monsoon break, now is the time to apply nutrients to early sown crops. This will help the crop to quickly recover and pick up its growth.

For the crops to be sown now and in the days to come, with enough moisture in the soil, farmers can apply at least half of the recommended fertilizer while sowing them. This will give a head start and the crop will grow faster and healthier.

With three more months of normal to above-normal monsoon forecasted during the July, August and September months, and a lot of rains yet to come, it looks like this season’s crops in NIK may not experience moisture stress and farmers may harvest bumper crops.

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