Thursday, May 29, 2008
yala planting season begins and is so beautiful
I as a paddy farmer having about 3 acres of paddy land in Hingurakgoda as part of the total 5acre property (the rest planted with coconuts, bananas mango, orange and lime as well as a few vegetable beds)
I have just sown(May17th&18th) white Samba the BG358 variety for the first time, and unlike last season I have not transplanted. This was due to a cost of Rs10,000 to transplant not compensated by the certainty of a much higher yield. I have previously planted red nadu, red samba and white nadu. I want to see which variety gives me the best yield to determine what is best for my particular soil conditions.
As I am the last in my irrigation canal and this season in exclusively tank fed from Minneriya, I foresee a problem with a shortage of water, having to pump water at expense when necessary to cover a shortage. I have obtained permission to close all other water lines for one night a week to ensure I get water, but how this will work in practice is yet to be seen.
It takes me two full days of a 2 inch pipe of pumping to flood all my fields at a cost of ten liters of kerosene which costs 80/- a liter at present. I did this on May 24th and 25th while the water was shut to our canal. It is essential that in the first weeks for the germinated seeds to take root, that fields get a good soak and a head start over the weeds. The days are baking hot and the fields in higher ground like mine can crack in the heat.
I am at a loss to know which season yields more, but farmers tell me it is Yala when the sun is more prevalent and photosynthesis has the greatest chance given the availability of water. Only time will tell! Farmers expected a bumper crop last season, only to be scuttled by the heavy rains at harvest.
It is such a joy to see the new rice plants and its light green form in the fields as it is a sea of green wherever one looks in my area. The farmers are broke exhausted and expectant that this year will see a turn around in fortunes. In wet fields one gets a host of birds, a pair of Indian Rollers in my case, swooping down to catch small frogs and worms in newly sown ground.
The photos here show the preparation of the fields with the tractor, the sowing by hand of the germinated seed paddy, and then the light green fields a week later. In another week they should be at their glorious green.