Paddy harvest affected in DK, Udupi

The harvester waiting to be put to use at Saibrakatte in Udupi. DH Photo

Paddy farmers in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi are a worried lot as the intermittent rain that has been lashing the districts for the past few days is likely to damage the standing crops as well as affect the harvesting process.

The paddy is cultivated on 15,900 hectares in DK while in Udupi it is cultivated on 36,000 hectares.

Paddy growers in undivided Dakshina Kannada normally harvest the Kharif crop in October and November. This year, the sowing and harvesting processes have been delayed due to a delayed monsoon.

A paddy farmer Manohar Shetty said that, if the rain continues, then there is a danger of the standing crop being destroyed. “I will wait for a few days to take a decision on harvesting the crop,” he said. Shetty said that some farmers had already harvested the crop and had spread it on the field for drying. “Such farmers have been forced to shift the crop from the courtyard in order to protect it from rain,” he added.

Sharath, another farmer from Udupi, said, “Normally, we celebrate Deepavali by offering puja to the harvested paddy crop. This year, I could not take up harvesting due to the intermittent rain in the region. Further, delayed sowing has affected the harvest in many parts of the district.”

The crop is ready for harvest by farmers who had transplanted the paddy seedlings in June-July in spite of delay in arrival of monsoon. The rain is likely to affect the corn of the paddy, which is ready for harvest. The gusty wind makes the paddy saplings fall on the ground and rot, farmers said.

Harvester machines

Heavy rain last week washed away about 40 acres of paddy at Bairampalli in Udupi taluk. Adding to the woes of farmers, the harvester machines had to be brought in from Davangere and Tamil Nadu to take up harvesting at Saibrakatte, Santhekatte, Barkur, Koteshwara and Kundapur in Udupi district. The machines, however, are yet to be of any use.

Sharavana and Santhosh, who have come with their harvester machines from Tamil Nadu, said, “We reached here four days ago. Owing to the rain, the farmers are not contacting us for harvesting the standing crop. The machines too cannot be moved around in the fields. We are hopeful of earning some income after the rain recedes in the region.”

Sharavana told DH that he has been visiting Udupi for harvesting for the past four years. “The harvesting in my native village takes place in January,” he added.

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