The cotton crop in 11 districts of Telangana has been hit by extensive rains in the last two weeks. According to official figures, the cotton crop in over 1.30 lakh acres and paddy in about 50,000 acres was hit by the rains. Adilabad and undivided Warangal districts, the two key cotton-growing districts in the state, were hit the hardest.
While 11 of the 31 districts were hit by heavy rains, Sangareddy, Medak , Siddipet, Yadadri and Medchal districts remained in the ‘deficit’ rainfall category. Farmers’ unions, however, said cotton crop losses would be far higher as the rains came at the wrong time. They said heavy rains hit the crop at the flowering stage and this could result in heavier losses.
Farmers in the state grew cotton in about 42 lakh acres this kharif, despite losses in the last season due to the virulent attack of pink bollworm. “Losses in Adilabad would be much higher as heavy rains lashed the cotton-growing district,” Telangana Rythu Sangham leader, Malla Reddy, said.
Adilabad district recorded 1,112 mm of rainfall, while Jogulamba Gadwal district received the lowest rainfall of 216.7 mm. Official figures put the crop losses in Adilabad district at 1.25 lakh acres. “The rains were not well spread out and were not timely. There were either no rains or insufficient rains,” he said.
Cotton farmers in several areas had to go for second sowing as the monsoon failed them after they sowed the seeds in the beginning of the kharif season. “Heavy rains in a span of 10-14 days would hit them the second time too,” Malla Reddy said.
Jaipal Reddy, a former leader of the Confederation of Farmers’ Association, said farmers faced two diametrically opposite problems. “While some were hit by heavy rains, others in districts such as Nalgonda, Sangareddy and Mahaboobnagar received less rainfall,” he said.