Though kharif sowing picked up during the week, the shortfall in acreage has widened further on continuing monsoon deficit.

The gap in acreage has widened further to 86 lakh hectares (lh) from 82 lh during last week as monsoon continue to play truant during the peak sowing season.

For crops such as rice, coarse cereals and oilseeds, the acreage has picked up, while the area shortfall has increased for pulses.

Cotton acreage

Surprisingly, cotton acreage, which was leading till last week, has started trailing and the area so far is down by 8.7 lh. This is mainly on account of poor rains in Saurashtra and parts of Gujarat impacting the sowing operations during the week.

Cotton acreage in Gujarat stood at 13.39 lh against 20.21 lh in corresponding period last year. Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan have also seen a marginal decline in cotton area, while the acreage has picked up in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Oilseeds

The shortfall in oilseed acreage has been reduced to 12.58 lh against 19 lh in the previous week. Groundnut acreage stood at 16.5 lh against 24 lh in the corresponding period last year. The shortfall is mainly because of lower coverage in Gujarat, which stood at 6.66 lh (10.15 lh). The shortfall in overall soyabean acreage exists at 4 lh. The decline in area in Madhya Pradesh is made up by higher acreage in Maharashtra.

Other crops

The area under paddy stood at 144.59 lh as planting has picked up in Punjab, Haryana, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. This has helped narrow the gap in acreage at 16.68 lh against 23 lh in the previous week.

The progress in cultivation of pulses during the week was poor mainly because of lower acreage in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The acreage under tur stood at 17.84 lh against 21.34 lh last year. The area under urad stood at 10.31 lh (13.72 lh), while moong acreage was down at 7.72 lh (11.90 lh). Sugarcane acreage stood at 52.81 lh during the week.

vishwa@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 20, 2012)
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