Seed shortage threatens crop

18062011rice Farmers in the central region are facing a shortage of short-term rice seed for the summer-autumn rice crop, which will be grown 25-35 days late because of the late harvest of the 2010-11 winter-spring rice crop.
A prolonged cold spell has prolonged the maturing period of the current crop, causing a delay in harvest.
To prevent losses to the summer-autumn rice crop due to flooding, central provinces have planned to grow short-term rice varieties with a growing period of less than 100 days, so they can harvest the crop before September 15 to avoid the flooding season.
Nguyen Van Bai, director of the Quang Tri Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said his department had never faced these kinds of difficulties.
If rice fields were left vacant for the current summer-autumn rice crop, farmers would face a food shortage.
On the other hand, if they were more than one month late, there would be a risk of flooding before harvest, he said.
The province has had to use short-term rice harvested from the 2010-11 winter-spring rice crop, as rice seeds for the summer-autumn rice crop, he said.
Hoang Huu He, deputy director of the Thua Thien – Hue Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said to deal with the late cultivation of the summer-autumn rice crop, the province has decided to switch from growing long – and medium-term rice varieties to growing short – and very short-term rice varieties to mitigate potential losses caused by flooding.
The department has instructed the province’s Plant Seedlings and Breeder Animal Company to select and supply 2,000 tonnes of short and very short-term rice varieties for the summer-autumn rice crop, he said.
The growing period of the rice varieties, including Khang Dan, HT1, TH5, Iri 352 and DV108, is 5-10 days shorter than normal rice varieties.
Thua Thien – Hue Province has also petitioned the Government to support farmers with 300 tonnes of short-term rice varieties, he said.
The central provinces’ departments of agriculture and rural development have also instructed farmers to bury rice stubbles deep in the ground, after harvesting the winter-spring rice crop to prevent the spread of diseases caused by insects to the summer-autumn crop.
Water shortage
Central provinces are also facing the threat of water shortage for the summer-autumn rice crop.
Vu Nhan, head of the Mo Duc District Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau in Quang Ngai Province, said the district’s drought-hit area this year was larger compared to previous years.
In this year’s summer-autumn rice crop, the district has transferred nearly 200ha of rice into growing other crops to avoid drought.
Nguyen Van Hoa, head of the Nghe An Province Irrigation Sub-department, said with current hot weather and the inspection results of water level at the province’s 625 reservoirs and dams, the danger of water shortage for the summer-autumn rice crop was very high.
It was difficult for pumping stations at the Nam Dan and Khe Luong sluice gates in Do Luong District to pump water into rice fields because of a low water level at the sluice gates, Hoa said.
Water sources at the end section of irrigation systems in Dien Chau and Quynh Luu districts were also limited, he said.


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