Agri Business

Cotton acreage may bloom as showers return

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on July 24, 2014


Follow-up rains in September, October hold key to yield, output

Cotton sowing in the key central parts of the country has picked up with the revival of the monsoon over the last few days.

“Though farmers in Maharashtra faced problems as continuous rains hindered planting in several parts, the acreage is set to increase with momentum in sowing over the next few days,” said KR Kranthi, Director at the Nagpur-based Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR).

Delayed start

Despite a delayed start to planting this season, CICR expects total acreage under cotton in the country to touch around 110 lakh hectares, Kranti said. Last year, cotton acreage was 115 lakh hectares.

The revival of monsoon in the last couple of weeks has reduced the rain deficit to 25 per cent from 43 per cent in the first week of July.

State-wise acreage

As on Monday (July 21), cotton was planted on about 56 lakh hectares, compared with 102 lakh hectares in corresponding period a year ago.

“While the deficit in acreage would be made up, the follow up rains in September and October will hold the key for yields and output,” Kranthi said.

Maharashtra, the largest State under cotton, will still get to see about 38-40 lakh hectares under the fibre crop, while in Gujarat, the acreage may come down to around 23-24 lakh hectares against last year’s 28 lakh hectares, Kranthi said.

In North India, cotton has been planted on about 14 lakh hectares, while in Andhra the acreage could stand at around 18-19 lakh hectares.

In Andhra and parts of Karnataka, cotton plantings can go on till early August. However, in Gujarat – where the rains were scanty till a few days ago – cotton has gained acreage from other crops such as groundnut. “The cotton acreage in Saurashtra and across Gujarat is up by at least 10 per cent,” said Anand Poppat, Secretary of Saurashtra Ginners Association.

The increase in yields during fag-end season pickings last year and lower returns from groundnut have prompted farmers to plant more cotton this year. Poppat estimates cotton acreage in Gujarat to be between 31 and 32 lakh hectares.

“Sowing has picked up across the country and there is considerable improvement in the cotton acreage over the last fortnight. However, the acreage will be lower than last year,” said MB Lal of Shail Exports.

He expects to see a clearer picture on acreage to emerge in about a week’s time.

Published on July 24, 2014
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