Padi yields in Mada areas not affected by hot weather

PETALING JAYA: The current weather has yet to affect padi yields in the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada) areas as the land preparation is in the early stage of seeding, says its general manager.

Kamarudin Dahuli said the broadcasting of seed in the Mada area was at the wet seeding cultivation and manual planting.

He said Mada has prepared for the El Nino phenomenon or dry weather that is expected to occur from May until September.

“Padi plants exposed to this condition will show early symptoms such as poor seed germination and limited seedling growth.

“Based on the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute study, daily temperatures above 34°C will reduce the yield potential between 9-10% for every one degree Celsius increase, especially at the flowering and filling stages of rice seeds.

“Meanwhile, an increase in temperature of two degrees Celsius will result in a yield decrease of up to 13%.

“Apart from that, this drought can increase the risk of pest attacks and rice plant diseases,” he said.

He said that, however, based on the weather survey report issued by the Malaysian Meteorological Department, El Nino would not affect rice planting activities and production for the first season of this year in the Mada area.

“As of June 1, the overall status of the dam’s reservoir position is at 68.17% where Pedu Dam 65.2%, Masa Dam 40.2% and Ahning Dam 95.53%,” he said.

“The existing reservoir in all three dams today is still higher than the lowest record where in 1982, the Pedu Dam was at a level of 247.96 feet while in 1978, the Muda Dam was at a level of 274.5 feet and in 2005, the Ahning Dam was at the level of 293.79 feet.”

In the face of the El Nino phenomenon, he said Mada would prioritise the importance of rice plant activities and constantly monitor the current weather conditions, as well as the progress of activities at the rice field level to ensure that the water supply could be efficiently distributed.

He said as a precaution, Mada has taken action by fully utilising the recycling pumping stations to save water in the dam, operating mobile pumps to supply water to higher areas and problematic land.

He added that operations to supply irrigation water would be carried out in rotation according to the needs of rice planting phases in each region.

“A cloud seeding operation will be carried out if there is an appropriate cloud formation according to current requirements to increase the dam water level.”

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