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Weather/Crop Growth related latest updates in Vidarbha/Akola regions & ICAR Crop advisory for Growers

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee

In regions of Akola and Vidarbha, the maximum temperature during the last few days of April was roughly 1.2°C below normal while lowest temperature recorded was 1.6°C above normal. As per Met reports, rainfall from 1 Mar-27 April in Vidarbha subdivision totaled 33.7 mm or 102% above normal.  Akola location on the other hand recorded 23.4 mm rains during the same period. Temperatures more than 40.0°C was recorded at many places in Vidarbha during the last week of April.

Currently Kharif season crops like Sesame, Sunflower Sesame etc are being grown in these regions and the reproductive growth of these crops, as well as vegetables are reported at optimum levels.

In the fallow fields of the above mentioned regions, ploughing related operations are underway and irrigation as per needs, were being scheduled as per the reproductive stage of summer crops/vegetables. In case of regions with irrigation facilities, cultivation of leafy vegetables for example spinach, fenugreek or summer vegetables like okra, bitter gourd, tinda, gourds, cowpea, cluster bean, coriander, etc were undertaken during this period. Reports also say that irrigation and basin mulching of established and new fruit plantations are in progress. For growing young fruit plantation, thatches (for heat protection) were made. Maintenance work of farm pond, mending of drainage lines/bunds were done as well.

Crops like sunflower, groundnut, green gram etc are at reproductive stage while harvest stage was seen for Mrigabahar fruits in mandarin and sweet orange and sapota/papaya fruits. Sources stated that adequate soil moisture conditions had been maintained in irrigated summer crops, through need based irrigation.

Now coming to the advises from experts of ICAR, growers are advised to go for deep summer ploughing of harvested fields to expose the hibernating insects, larvae/pupa to sun and predator birds, so as to get the advantage of the soil moisture.

Provide mechanical support to the orchid crops to protect from gusty wind speed at relevant places also advisable by the crop experts of ICAR. Undertaking need based timely irrigation to orange orchards with ambiabahar fruit bearing, and wherever possible one should follow drip irrigation.

The Institute advises Basin mulching with organic residues to conserve soil moisture, maintain thermal regime. Spraying of NAA 1gm (10PPM) or GA 1.5gm (15PPM) + Urea 1kg (1%) + Carbendazim 100gm (0.1%) in 100 litter of water on pea sized fruits of mandarin orange (ambiabahar) and sweet lime to reduce fruit drop due to heat impact.

ICAR advisory also mentions going for alternate spay including GA or NAA at an interval of 15 days. Then, one should make provision of shade/thatches (made of harvested cotton/pigeon pea stalks or dried grass or green net) to individual young/new plantation. Under prevailing evaporative demand (9-10 mm/day) apply irrigation at an interval of 7 to 8 days, irrigating in the early morning or evening hours. Also, cultivation of summer vegetables like bitter gourd, tinda, ridge gourd, smooth gourd, bottle gourd, cowpea, cluster bean, coriander, etc. can be initiated during this period, and to ensure sufficient feed, drinking water and medication for the livestock.

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