AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION
ALL THE CULTIVABLE LAND IN THE DISTRICT falls under
one of the three categories, namely jirayat (dry crop land),
bagayat (irrigated land) and rice lands. Dry crop lands on
account of their dependence on the monsoon, are further divided into
kharif (early monsoon) and rabi (late monsoon) lands.
Kharif crops are brought to maturity by the rains of south-west
monsoon whereas rabi crops depend on north-east monsoon, dew and
Kharif season, which commences in June and
terminates in September, draws its rainfall mainly from the
south-west monsoon and from the ante-monsoon showers in May. An
average rainfall of 69" received during this season is on the whole
fairly distributed. The main kharif crops of the district
are:-paddy, kharif jowar, bajri, ragi, Italian millets,
kodra, vari, sava, maize, turi, kulith, udid,
chavali, groundnut, niger, sugarcane, chillies, brinjals,
tomatoes, bhendi, cucurbits and leafy vegetables. Sowing and reaping
of these crops roughly coincides with the commencement and
termination of the monsoon. With the exception of sugarcane, sowing
is generally done between mid June and mid July and harvesting
between the middle of September and the end of November. Kharif
Jowar, however, is harvested between the middle of December and the
middle of January. Crops like chillies, turi and cotton are
harvested in September, December, January and February respectively.
In the heavy rainfall zone paddy, ragi, Italian
millet, kodra, vari, sava and rala are the main crops grown. In the
central and eastern zone, kharif jowar, turi,
groundnut, cotton, tobacco, chillies and all pulses are grown.
Sugarcane, which is the main cash crop of the district, is grown all
along the river valleys. Planting of tobacco is generally done in
August and it is harvested in January. Planting of sugarcane
commences from November onwards and is over by the end of January.
Cultivators take ratoon crop of sugarcane at least for four
years. There is also the practice of planting of cane by the
rajooing method, especially in the month of August. This is a
16 month crop. Kharif jowar and groundnut grown in central and
eastern zone are dibbled by marking the lands by a marker. Cotton
crop is grown as a miscellaneous crop generally along with chillies.
Sowing is over by the end of July.
Rabi crops such as shalu jowar, gram and
wheat are grown in parts of central zone and eastern zone, along the
river-banks submerged during floods. The moisture retained by the
soil from monsoon showers, rains received from north-east monsoon
and dew are sufficient for these crops. In the western zone, after
the harvest of paddy, crops such as watana (field peas),
val and gram are taken in the lands retaining sufficient
moisture. Advantage of north-east monsoon rainfall is also taken.
Wherever watering facilities are available, wheat, onions, garlic
and vegetables such as carrots, radish, cabbage, brinjals and
tomatoes are the other crops grown after the harvesting of