Agriculture World

KAU Urges Farmers to Defend Crops with Organic Mulching, Water-Efficient Micro-Irrigation Practices

kerala farmers

Considering the severe drought-like situation prevailing in the State, the KAU or Kerala Agricultural University has issued an advisory on measures that the cultivators can implement.

The unprecedented increase in atmospheric temperature & the fact that soil temperature will be higher than the atmospheric mercury levels have made drought-mitigation measures essential.

KAU has urged farmers to defend their crops with organic mulching, water-efficient micro-irrigation practices and by staying away from chemical fertilisers as well as pesticides unless the situation warrants.

The advisory also explains the drought alleviation measures to be adopted for several crops like paddy, arecanut, coconut, vegetables, banana, nutmeg and pepper. Taking into consideration possible pest infestations (bacterial wilt & brown plant hopper attack in paddy crop; whitefly & eriophyid mite in coconut; leafspot & dieback in nutmeg and aphid in banana) during the drought, corrective measures have been spelt out.

The advisory further proposed minimum/least use of water, ensuring utmost efficiency. For the transplanted paddy fields, there is no need to uphold the water level after 1 week of planting; instead gentle irrigation at short intervals will be better.

KAU

It said dry sowing is also a good option in fields with restricted irrigation facilities. Watering vegetable crops from 12 noon to 3 pm & using chemical fertilisers during that period must be avoided. In addition, ploughing of coconut gardens & sowing pulse crops after the summer rains would help drought mitigation.

Sprinkle neem oil emulsion to conquer whitefly attack. Bury dried / fresh husk around the palm & apply lime solution up to 2 metres on the stem are few other steps recommended for coconut.

As for vegetables, it suggested growing crops like amaranthus, cowpea, cucumber, salad cucumber & snakegourd.



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