Agri Business

Cyclone effect: Muddy soil causes unusual delay in rabi sowing in Gujarat

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on November 21, 2019

Representative image   -  THE HINDU

Wheat, chana, jeera sowing progressing at a sluggish pace

Muddy soil and waterlogged farms due to extended rains, has caused unusual delay in rabi sowing for crucial crops such as wheat, gram (chana) and cumin (jeera) in Gujarat.

Farmer sources revealed that rabi sowing is delayed by more than a month now and the progress on rabi sowing is much slower than expected as farmers are unable to till the land due to wet soil. In a normal year, rabi sowing kicks off in October.

The State has seen overall rabi sowing on about 4.86 lakh hectares till November 18, which is about 85 per cent lower than normal 31.19 lakh hectares for rabi sowing in the State. This year rabi sowing, which began around start of November, is about 40 per cent lower than 7.88 lakh hectares seen around same time last year.

"Even today, there is rain-water in some low-lying fields. Many other fields in the region are muddy, due to which it is difficult to till. It is just about a week now that we are seeing bright sun shine so that the land can get enough sunlight to dry. The full-fledged sowing will happen only by the end of November or early December," said an official at Gujarat agriculture department.

The delay in rabi sowing will affect the new arrivals of some important crops including wheat, cumin and gram. In Gujarat, irrigated wheat sowing is reported on about 40,000 hectares, which is barely 4 per cent of the normal sowing. Sowing of grams stood a little over 26,000 hectares, i.e 88 per cent lower than normal sowing.

Other key rabi crops including sugarcane and cumin seeds saw sowing at 35,311 hectares and 19,723 hectares respectively. This is less than even half of what was seen around same time last year.

After delayed monsoon withdrawal by later part of September, cyclonic activities continued till early November when severe cyclonic storm 'Maha' caused thunderstorm accompanied by widespread rains in the State.

During its South-West Monsoon season, Gujarat received excess rainfall of 1190 mm till November 8, 2019 about 45 per cent more than State's long period average of 816 mm. Kutch region received 84 per cent more rainfall at 738 mm, while North Gujarat received 20 per cent excess rainfall at 856 mm, East and Central region got 31 per cent more rains at 1071 mm, while Saurashtra and South Gujarat region received 54 per cent and 48 per cent excess rains at 1027 mm and 2111 mm respectively.

Published on November 21, 2019

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