.........ROURKELA:At a time when pest attacks on paddy crops are grabbing the headlines in the State, the agriculture authorities in the tribal-dominated Sundargarh district cite only a fraction of crops to have been damaged due to Stem Borer pest attack and hope to end up with bumper harvest.
As per a report submitted to the Government recently, crop damage due to Stem Borer pest attack has been found on only 206 hectares (ha) in Sadar and Tangarpali blocks of the district, while majority farmers in the district hope to reap bumper crops.
Sundargarh Deputy Director of Agriculture RN Satpathy said harvest of autumn paddy crops on high land, which is almost 35 per cent of total coverage areas of 2.11 lakh ha, is over. He said against the normal average of 22 quintals per ha, various pockets of the district have reported 18 to 24 quintals per ha as the final statistics are likely to end up with bumper crops.
Satpathy said similarly, 50 per cent of crop cutting of the winter paddy on low land and medium land is over and rest 50 per cent would be completed by the end of November. He pointed out that against the normal average yield of winter paddy at 32 quintals per ha, various pockets of the district have reported 26 to 28 quintals per ha, while Ledimang village in Sadar block reported 48 quintals per ha under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bimal Yojana. After final harvesting of winter paddy, they expect to achieve average of 35 to 37 quintals per ha to record bumper crops.
Paddy farmers in the district throughout the Kharif crop season had endured scaring moments with the monsoon starting on a weak note. In July, there was 29 per cent surplus rainfall and a whopping 34 per cent deficit rainfall in August, but there was no moisture stress condition. Of the total 3.13 lakh ha farm land, paddy cultivation was taken up on 2.11 lakh ha comprising 55,000 ha on low land, 95,000 ha on medium land and 61,000 ha on high land.Meanwhile, Collector Vineet Bhardwaj accompanied by the DDA and other agriculture officials inspected the crop situation at Ledimang village.