Amaravati: Continued rainfall in the cotton-growing areas of Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam districts will damage the quality of the cotton flower, worry cultivators, whose fears have been raised following rains lashing the region.
A large number of farmers took up cotton cultivation this season keeping in view the high price is fetched last season and the early arrival of the monsoon. Area under cultivation went up nearly 25%, touching six lakh acres, up from four lakh acres last year.
The crop is now about to reach the picking stage.
While abundant rains in the first three months of the season helped farmers in upland areas cut down cultivation costs, heavy rain in the last leg will damage the prospects of a good yield. Farmers have also been expecting a high yield as the crop withstood the impact of the pink bollworm, which destroyed yield in the last two years, and other pests.
“There were no big winds throughout the crop season this year which might have largely saved the farmers from the spread of pink bollworm,” said agriculture scientist Praveen Kumar.
With markets started slowly returning to normal, there were expectations of high demand. While the price of cotton also depends on the quality of kapas, growers are afraid that heavy rains might not only damage the quality of kapas but also lead to discolouration, and loss of sheen and a low price.
“It is really frightening to witness rains in the last weeks of the picking season. We are praying that our yields are not washed away,” said K Saradhi, a tenant farmer from Atchampet village in Guntur district.