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Farmers in Vellore District Fear Low Groundnut Yield 

Peanut Market News January 17, 2018

Farmers in Vellore District Fear Low Groundnut Yield 

Farmers in the district are anticipating a drop in the groundnut crop yield raised during the kharif season. Incessant rainfall during the last one month had led to excessive vegetative growth in the crops, resulting in poor peg formation and lesser number of pods.

Groundnut was the main crop during kharif season. Agriculture officials and experts said the climatic conditions this year had not been conducive for the standing crop, and the farmers, in many parts of the district, fear less yield.

In fact, officials said the sowing itself was low as there were no rains in June and July. This year, groundnut had been cultivated in 28,000 hectares of area, while this was usually at least 40,000 hectares in the district.

Peg formation reduced
Experts said that owing to heavy rainfall, there were excessive vegetative growth in the plants. As a result, the peg formation had reduced. Subsequently, the number of pods per plant had also reduced. The pegs formed penetrate into the soil and the pods were then formed.

An official said the pod formation in the plants had reduced by half. "The crop requires at least a gap of 10 days in between rains. But this season, we had continuous rains. So, we are anticipating that the yield will be less. This is the situation in many parts of the district," he said.

D. Damodaran, a farmer in Vellari village near Gudiyatham, said that he had cultivated groundnut on four acres of land this year. "While it was sunny in the morning, there were rains in the evening. The plants have overgrown. They have grown for two foot high when it should be less than one feet. When compared to last year, the size of the pod has reduced by 50%. I am expecting only 60% yield at the end of the season," he said.

Last year, this farmer had got 15 to 20 bags – each weighing 40 kilos – of pods. "This year, I might get only 10 bags as yield," he added,  “There were many rainy days last month. Groundnut crops require a period without rains. Due to the continuous rainfall, the height of the plant has increased. The peg formation is less, and the average number of pods per plant will also be less,” P. Sridhar, agronomist, Agricultural Research Station, Virinjipuram, said.

Earthing-up works
Owing to the moisture conditions, farmers were unable to take up earthing-up works, he added.

Three to four rains were adequate for critical irrigation for groundnut crop, said S. Joshua Davidson, programme coordinator of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Virinjipuram.

"This year, there was less rainfall in June, followed by a relatively dry period during July and most part of August. It started to rain from August end and continued till September. Continuous rains in the evenings at the end of the season has caused problem," he added.

Officials said they had suggested the farmers to take up earthing up works or to press the crops using a drum so that the chances of pegs penetrating the soil was better.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/farmers-in-vellore-district-fear-low-groundnut-yield/article19745994.ece

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