Agri Business

Kharif sowing gathers pace as monsoon deficit shrinks

Our Bureaus Bangalore/New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2017 Published on August 01, 2014


Acreage in cotton, soyabean improves

With the monsoon deficit shrinking to 22 per cent, kharif sowing in all crops has picked up. This has helped to make up the acreage in key crops such as cotton, soyabean and rice. However, the overall kharif acreage is still lower than during the corresponding period a year ago.

The total acreage under kharif crops is up 31 per cent to 700.6 lakh hectares (lh) as on August 1 against last week’s 533.2 lh, according to the Agriculture Ministry data.

Pace of sowing

The increase in pace of sowings has reduced the deficit in cotton acreage to some 3.4 per cent from the previous week’s 27.4 per cent.

For soyabean, the acreage deficit stands reduced to 18.8 per cent (29.3 per cent) and for rice the shortfall stands at 6.9 per cent (12.8 per cent). However, the acreage deficit remains high for pulses at 19 per cent (39.3 per cent) and coarse cereals at 25.8 per cent (43.4 per cent).

The deficit in total seasonal rainfall has come down to 22 per cent for the first half of the four-month monsoon season.

Normal precipitation

The weighted rainfall across the country stood at 353.2 mm during the June 1-July 31 period against the normal 452.4 mm. Precipitation has been normal in 17 of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions, with 19 of them witnessing deficient rainfall.

Though farmers have largely caught up with acreages despite delayed monsoon, follow-up showers in the remaining monsoon period holds the key for a good harvest, experts said. “The yields will be good this year only if it rains in September and October as cotton requires rains during the flowering and fruiting stages,” said KR Kranthi, Director at the Central Institute for Cotton Research in Nagpur. Cotton has been planted on about 104.84 lh so far, against last year’s 108.54 lh.

More cotton acreage

The cotton trade is expecting an increase of 5-10 per cent in acreages this year as oilseed growers are expected to switch to the fibre crop on better returns last year.

“Planting of soyabean is almost complete. There could be some late stage planting in parts of Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Overall, we expect the acreage to be lower by around five per cent this year,” said Rajesh Agarwal, spokesperson for the Soyabean Processors Association of India.

So far, soyabean has been planted on over 95.39 lh against 117.33 lh last year.

Published on August 01, 2014

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