As the threshing of Aman paddy is over, the farmers of the northern region including Rangpur started preparing for Boro cultivation. The work of making seedbed of Boro paddy is done with the aim of planting 40 to 45 days old seedlings. After harvesting various vegetables including potato, mustard, and tobacco planted in the land, rice seedlings are planted there. But at this time of sapling planting, cold weather is prevailing in this region with dense fog. As the sun has not been visible for couple of days due to dense fog, the farmers are worried about the seedbed of Boro paddy, especially the vast potato fields in the region. However, in order not to damage the seedbed due to dense fog, farmers are covering the seedbed of Boro paddy with various techniques as well as polythene.
It can be seen that seedlings have been planted and seedbed of Boro paddy has been prepared. Many are preparing to plant Boro paddy on the land after harvesting mustard, potato, wheat and tobacco grown as winter crops. Farmers are preparing seedbeds for that. But the hostile behavior of the weather including fog is not allaying their fears. So the farmers are busy protecting the seedbed. At night, according to the advice of the agriculture department, some people are immersing the seedbed in water and some are covering it with polythene. Some people are trying to protect the seedlings by spraying fungicides. However, due to dense fog in the past years, the seedbed was damaged and this year the conscious farmers are covering the seedbed with polythene to protect it from fog.
Farkan Forkan Ali, a farmer from Dundibari area of Jaldhaka upazila in Nilphamari, said he had sown 60 kg of paddy a few days ago. Now he is worried because of the fog. However, with the advice of the agriculture department, he is covering the seedbed with polythene in the morning and evening. He said, "If the seedbed is damaged, it will not be possible to buy seedlings and cultivate the land." Besides, there will be no time to make seedlings in the seedbed. If the seedbed is damaged, the price will go up further. So he continues to care for the seedlings in the seedbed until they are planted in the ground. Those who will plant Boro on the land after potato extraction are already covering the seedlings with dry seedbed and polythene to protect the seedlings.
According to the Rangpur Regional Office of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Boro will be planted in more than five lakh hectares of land in five districts of Rangpur region, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram and Gaibandha this season. For this purpose, seedlings can be planted in 20 hectares with a seedbed of one hectare of land but it is necessary to plant seedlings in at least 25,000 hectares of land. Mentioning that the farmers have already planted the seedbed, the source said that the farmers are already being advised to protect the seedbed from the hostile weather. In addition, in order to produce good quality seedlings, farmers are being encouraged to make standard seedbeds as well as standard seedbeds and seedbeds covered in dry or polythene for better yields.
In this regard, the agriculture officials said, at present there is a hostile weather for agriculture in the region. Therefore, farmers are being advised to take various preventive measures to protect the seedbed. To protect the seedbed, it is recommended to cover the seedbed with polythene, immerse the affected seedbed in water for a while and, if necessary, remove the dew from the seedlings with twigs or something hard. Moreover, when the sun rises, the seedbed will become alive. Boro seedbeds will not suffer much damage if precautionary measures are taken. Mahbubar Rahman, Additional Deputy Director (Grain), Rangpur Region, Department of Agricultural Extension, said that if the temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or less, it is considered as cold wave. This situation is detrimental to the seedbed.
Therefore, the seedbed must be protected from the cold. In this regard, at the field level, farmers are advised to cover the seedbed with polythene, soak it in water and spray sulfur-containing drugs as well as give gypsum and urea in the seedbed.