The area under summer crops has reached 64.47 lakh hectares (lh) as of Friday, which is 8 per cent more than 59.59 lh reported in the year-ago period as the zaid season sowing continues to progress well. The total normal area under zaid crops, grown before kharif sowing and after rabi harvest, is estimated at 66 lh in the season.

The sowing under summer paddy has increased to 29.80 lh until April 19, which is 9 per cent more than the 27.41 lh reported in the year-ago period.

Summer pulses areas are up 10 per cent at 13.12 lh from 11.96 lh as higher urad and moong acreage has been reported this year. Moong crop sowing is up at 10.36 lh against 9.42 lh a year ago and urad rose at 2.76 lh from 2.54 lh. The key growers of summer pulses are Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

Maize area up

Oilseeds acreage has been reported at 9.65 lh, up by 5 per cent from 9.18 lh. Groundnut has been sown on 4.58 lh and sesamum on 4.74 lh. Both seasmum and groundnut coverage is higher from the year-ago period. Sunflower acreage reached 33,000 hectares as against 29,000 hectares a year ago.

The acreage under summer-grown nutri cereals and maize is up 9 per cent at 11.31 lh from 10.35 lh as higher coverage of jowar, bajra and maize has been reported this year. Jowar sowing is up at 37,000 hectares against 16,000 hectares in the year-ago period while bajra acreage was reported 6 per cent higher at 4.61 lh from 4.36 lh. Maize acreage, too, is up 9 per cent at 6.33 lh from 5.82 lh.

Deficient rainfall

Meanwhile, the cumulative rainfall in pre-monsoon season since March 1 is 18 per cent below normal at 42.5 mm against 52 mm, considered normal on pan-India basis, until April 19. While North-West region has 11 per cent deficit, central India has received 89 per cent higher precipitation than its long period average (LPA) between March 1 and April 19.

The southern peninsula region has received 72 per cent below normal rainfall and East and north-east India 32 per cent lower than average precipitation, India Meteorological Department data show.