Monday, September 22, 2008

the recent rice/paddy harvest

I just harvested my latest paddy crop of white samba variety BG358, which is a 100day variety. The yield was not as good as I had hoped for, but as noted in an earlier segment we did suffer the ill effects of rain at the wrong time and I was additionally affected by a very dense weed that showed itself for the first time this season, for which I had obviously not bargained for.

Of course I will sell all my rice to my customers, and I have already milled three bags of paddy to take back with me and given two bags to my neighbor to par boil for me so I will have par boiled samba also to be sold to my customers. The kekulu samba retails at 75/-a kg and the par boiled for 80/-

At present our main topic of discussion is how our harvest went whether our paddy got caught to the rain, what price we are holding out for and when we expect to reach that price etc. A very farmer type talk. Some people had a very good harvest others, a lousy one. There are so many factors that determine if it is good or bad. Those who planted ‘bala vee’ that of less than 100 days got affected by the rains and mine also fell so I had to hand cut instead of machine, which added to the cost of harvest. Those who planted ‘vadimal vee’ usually between 115 and 135 days to harvest enjoyed a bumper harvest as the rains came with up to a month to harvest and the tank water had also stopped so the later rainfall ensured that the fields got as much water as necessary before the stalks fully ripened.

Other factors like the soil condition just to quote one example also affects the harvest and some of my neighbors planted more than one variety and did well on some and badly on others. So all in all I still have not worked out the best formulae for my soil conditions, as I have been faced with other factors beyond my control that have affected yield and therefore the evaluation of the result of the trials.

When farmers who have done the same thing for generations still don’t have an answer to their ideal product mix, it is no surprise that I don’t either, but it also brings to light the difficulty faced by farmers and the paucity of advice based on experience and scientific knowledge as well as market dynamics that we farmers can count on. It is that we all take different routes and come harvest sit around discussing who got lucky this time!! There has to be a better way of doing this, with speculation now being on price movement. Some expect it to rise and will hold stocks to sell later.

1 comment:

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