Timely rains herald sowing operations in Karnataka

Bengaluru, July 1 (IANS) With the onset of southwest monsoon in Karnataka on time, resulting in widespread rains across the state, sowing operations are in full swing for what could be a bumper kharif crop this year.

Though the monsoon was a week behind schedule, favourable conditions, including windstorms and strong surface winds have led to excess rainfall in coastal and southern areas, while it was average in the northern parts of the state.

“Even before rains had set in, more than average pre-monsoon showers this year augured well for farmers, as wet soil and moisture helped them prepare their fertile lands for early sowing operations,” state natural disaster monitoring centre director G.S. Srinivas Reddy told IANS here on Wednesday.

According to Met office, pre-monsoon showers across the state till May were 185 mm against 123 mm normal, which is 50 percent in excess, while rainfall was 20-25 percent in excess during June, as monsoon picked up momentum and intensified in the later half of last month.

Contrary to predictions of below normal and deficient monsoon this year by the state-run Indian Metrological Department (IMD) across the country, including Karnataka, monsoon covered the state on time and was in excess, leading to rise of water levels in dams, reservoirs and rivers across the state.

“Sowing operations are in full swing across the state as rains have been on time this year and in good measures. Sees are being sown for cultivating paddy (rice), wheat, jowar, bajra, ragi and edible oils,” Reddy said.

Sowing for cotton, sugarcane, soyabean, pulses, corn and groundnut will be taken up in July-August with more rains forecast till mid-September.

In a relief to millions of farmers and officials of the state agriculture ministry, private weather forecasting agency Skymet, however, had predicted a ‘promising monsoon’, with normal to excess rainfall.

“We expect the monsoon to maintain its momentum till September across the state, as conditions will turn favourable for moderate to heavy rains in all the three regions — coastal areas and south and north interior regions of the state,” Bengaluru IMD Director (in-charge) Ramesh Babu told IANS here.

Average rainfall for the state in the southern peninsula is 850 mm (85 cm) during the southwest monsoon period from June to September.

The state’s south interior areas, including the Mysuru region and Bengaluru, receive widespread rains from the northeast monsoon that begins in mid-October and lasts till early December.

“With rain-bearing clouds waning over central and northern parts of the state, monsoon took a break this week though conditions are favourable for its revival next week, while coastal districts and south interior areas, including Western Ghats in Malnad will continue to receive moderate to heavy rains during this month,” Babu added.

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