Pulse growers in Karnataka see a potential impact of the Cyclone Michaung on the tur (red gram) crop in the State as the unfavourable weather over the past three days have triggered concerns over the crop prospects.

Tur crop in Karnataka, one of the largest growing states, is in various stages of the crop cycle as the delayed and erratic monsoon had pushed back the sowing this kharif season.

“In areas where sowing was delayed, the tur crop is in flowering stages, whereas in areas were timely sowing was carried out the crop would be ready to harvest within the next couple of weeks. The unseasonal cloudy weather over the past few days is likely to lead flower dropping and any rains at this time may also affect the quality of the tur,” said Basavaraj Ingin, President, Karnataka Pradesh Red Gram Growers Association, in Kalabugi, the main tur growing region of the state.

As per the Agriculture Ministry data, tur has been planted in 43.86 lakh ha during the kharif 2023 planting season, lower than the previous year’s 46.12 lakh ha. In Karnataka, the tur acreages stood at 13.75 lakh ha over same period last year’s 14.15 lakh ha. In Maharashtra, tur was planted in 11.17 lakh ha this kharif over same period last year’s 11.69 lakh ha. In Andhra, acreages under tur were lower during kharif 2023 at 1.57 lakh ha over same priod last year’s 2.06 lakh ha. In Telangana tur was planted in 1.92 lakh ha over same period last year’s 2.26 lakh ha. As per the first advance estimates the Agriculture Ministry expects tur output to be 34.21 lakh tonnes for 2023-24 over previous year’s 33.12 lakh tonnes.

The recent unseasonal rains in the tur growing regions of Maharashtra have reportedly impacted the standing crop with several areas experiencing flower dropping according to the trade. The early harvested tur crop has started arriving in some markets of Karnataka such as Kalaburgi and Raichur, a trader said.

Ingin said the climatic pattern is becoming unpredictable enhancing the risks for the farmers. In Karnataka, where a large section of the farmers bore the brunt of the drought triggered by erratic rainfall are now at the mercy of the weather gods to save their crop. Despite being officially declared as drought affected, farmers are yet to receive any relief from the Government, Ingin said, while demanding one time financial relief to the tur growers to overcome the current crisis.