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Saturday, Feb 14, 2004

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Rains skip Malappuram

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KOLLAM recorded `excess rain' for the 11-day-period ending February 11, while Palakkad, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad districts joined it in totting up record wet spells during the latter six days of the period, according to the Agromet Advisory dated February 12 issued by the Thiruvananthapuram Met Office.

Malappuram was the only exception to an established pattern in which almost all parts of the State received some rain during the period even as hot summer conditions were beginning to settle.

Chief amounts of rainfall are (in cm): February 9: Kollam-6, Punalur-3, Konni-2, Varkala and Ambalavayal-1 each.

February 10: Ottapalam-2

Mean minimum temperature varied between 22 deg C and 25 deg C in various districts, with Kottayam recording the lowest minimum of 21.5 deg C. Mean relative humidity varied between 52 per cent and 77 per cent, mean cloud coverage between 2 okta and 5 okta and mean wind speed, 2 kmph and 8 kmph.

Forecast valid until February 14 spoke about mainly dry weather. Outlook for the two subsequent days did not indicate any significant change.

State and stage of crops: Harvesting operations are on in the Mundakan paddy fields. Post-harvest drying operations have been kicked off in some areas. In Kuttanad, the Puncha crop has reached the grain filling stage.

Top dressing and plant protection operations continue in banana and seasonal vegetables. Processing of pepper is also in progress, as is rubber tapping.

Seed nuts are being collected from selected mother palms while arecanut saw seed nuts being sown in nurseries. Cashew and other fruit trees have reached the flowering to fruit stages.

Advisory for 4 days: Harvesting and post-harvest operations can be continued in the Mundakan fields. Seed nuts can be continued to be collected from the mother palms and sowing of arecanut seed nuts in nurseries.

In sugarcane, intercultural weeding operations and top dressing can be undertaken. In banana, the `bunchy-top' affected plants must be destroyed. Need-based spraying operations can be practised in cashew to control stem borer and tea mosquito.

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