Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 24:
Odisha has received a mere 57.7 mm rainfall between June 1 and June 23 this year as against the long term average (LTA) of 166 mm for this period. Overall, this works out to minus 66.3% deficit, which meteorologists categorize as scanty.
According to a release by Dr Surendra Nath Pasupalak, professor of Agrometeorology at the Odisha University of Agriculture Technology, Bhubaneswar, with a deficit ranging from 61.9 to 85%, as many as 20 of the state’s 30 districts have received scanty rainfall during this period.
With a deficit of (-)19.8 % Nabarangpur is the only district which can be said to have received near normal rain fall.
With a rain deficit of (-) 43.0 to (-) 58.3 %, nine districts, such as Baleswar ( coastal), Baragarh, Deogarh, Sundergarh (west), Kalahandi, Koraput, Nuapada (south west) and Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar (north) – have registered a severe rainfall deficit.
Rest of the 20 districts have registered (-) 61.9 to (-) 85.0% less rainfall.
The crop coverage is about 50% as compared to the last year;s figure by this time, Dr Pasupalak has oberved.
In his release he said the already sown crops in medium and upland areas are under real threat of suffering from sprouting/seedling death or Gaja Marudi as it is called in Odia.
He has advised against sowing of paddy in upland and medium land areas under the present circumstances and has suggested to the government to stock shorter duration paddy varieties in large quantities keeping in view the elusive and erratic monsoon this year.
He said even in irrigated areas the farmers must remember that the dams and reservoirs do not have sufficient water at the moment for discharge into canals.