Agro Climatic Zones of the University jurisdiction
1. Southern Transition Zone,
2. Hill Zone,
3. Coastal Zone,
4. Central Dry Zone and
5. Northern Dry Zone.
The jurisdictional area of the UAHS Shimoga includes vivid agro- climatic situations, covering Coastal Zone (8 taluks), Hill Zone (12 taluks), Southern Transitional Zone (6 taluks), Central Dry Zone (10 taluks) and Nortern Dry Zone (1 taluk).
Rainfall: Annual rainfall ranges from around 550 mm in Dry zones to 4000 mm in Coastal zone. In Coastal and Hill zones, rainfall is mainly received from South- West monsoon and is distributed mainly between June and September, whereas, in Transition and Dry zones it is received both from South West and North East monsoons and is distributed from May to November.
Soils: The area of UAHS, Shimoga has got almost all types of major soils found in Karnataka. Coastal and Hill zones contain highly porous, acidic laterite soils, coastal alluvial soils and red loamy soils. Southern Transition Zone consists of red sandy, red loamy, and mixed red and black soils, while light red, red loamy, medium black and deep black soils are found in dry zones.
Irrigation: The area is blessed with good irrigation facilities from major and medium dams, and many small, medium and big tanks. The major irrigation projects are, Bhadra project (Lakkavalli dam), Tunga project and Upper Tunga project (Gajanur dam), Harangi project, Varahi project (in progress) and Upper Bhadra project (in progress). Ground water resource is rather poor in this area, with most of the taluks coming under either grey area or black area. Ground water is the major source of irrigation in some of the taluks in Dry zones.
Farming situations: This area represents a unique mixed farming situation involving ﬁeld crops – mainly rice, maize, sugarcane, pulses, cotton etc), horticultural crops (mainly plantation crops and fruit crops), animal husbandry (mainly dairy, sheep, poultry), agro-forestry, ﬁsheries (both marine and inland), etc. Kharif is the major cropping season in most of the areas. However, a large area in Central Dry zone is covered during rabi season. The area under different crops grown in the jurisdictional area of the UA&HS, Shimoga is given below.
CONSTRAINTS IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
General constraints: Acute labour shortage, migration of rural youth to urban areas, lack of skilled / trained manpower; problems in large scale adoption of farm mechanization, too many small land holdings, lack of infra-structure on the farms are some of the general problems faced in this area.
Location speciﬁc constraints: Highly acidic soils leading to imbalance in nutrient availability; very high rainfall (up to 4000 mm in four months) leading to washing of applied nutrients; highly undulating land terrain, water scarcity during summer; severe incidence of gall midge, ear-head bug, neck blast, and stem borer in rice crop, nut rot (kole or mohali), root grub and yellow leaf disease of areca nut, Eryophid mites of coconut, slow and quick wilt of black pepper, tee mosquito of cashew are some of the speciﬁc constraints in Coastal and Hill regions.
Low and highly variable rainfall (500 to 800 mm): long droughts during cropping season; eroded soils; lack of location speciﬁc varieties/hybrids in many crops; poor canal irrigation water management; Hidimundige disease of arecanut, black headed caterpillar red palm weevil of and stem bleeding coconut, downy mildew of maize, stem borer and neck blast of rice, bacterial wilt of pomegranate, etc are the speciﬁc problems of dry regions
• IMPORTANT CROPS :
– Major Field Crops
• Paddy, maize, groundnut, sugarcane, pulses, cotton, Bengal gram, onion, etc
– Major horticultural crops
• Areca nut, coconut, cashew nut, mango, banana, citrus, pepper, cocoa, vanilla, rubber, coffee, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, all major vegetables.
• Commercial flowers, medicinal and aromatics.