AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION

RAINFALL

Agriculture in the district is mainly dependent upon rainfall. In this district 91.5 per cent of the total cultivated area is under dry farming. There are no major irrigation schemes. [ Except the Bhima Irrigation Project.] The rainfall, therefore, determines the pattern of crops, rotation of crops and the productivity of the land in the district. Broadly speaking, the district can be divided into three natural zones. The eastern zone comprising Barshi, North Sholapur, South Sholapur and Akkalkot talukas has assured rainfall; the central or the traditional zone comprising Mohol, Mangalwedha, eastern part of Pandharpur and Madha talukas has uncertain rainfall and the western zone which comprises the scarcity areas of Karmala, Sangola and Malshiras talukas and the western parts of the Madha and Pandharpur talukas has also uncertain rainfall.

Rainfall all over the district is uncertain and scanty with an annual average of 625 mm. Only in Barshi taluka which is nearer to Balaghat range it averages 725 mm. The district gets rain from south-west as well as from north-east monsoon. The rains start in June and continue up to October throughout the district. The south-west monsoon brings rain between June and October and it constitutes about 85 per cent of the total rainfall. Thus the main precipitation during June to August is rather precarious. The showers in September and October are heavy and more assured. Winter rains brought by the north-east monsoon are of small magnitude. The normal rainfall for the monsoon period, i.e.. June-September is 425.9 mm. which is 73.6 per cent of the total annual rainfall. The farming practices are adjusted according to the normal character of the rainy season and expectations are made on the basis of this character.

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