The acreages under tur or red gram, a key kharif pulses crop, are down by half for the week ended July 9 as deficit rains in the key producing regions of Karnataka and Maharashtra have impacted the seeding. The sluggish trend in seeding is seen triggering concerns among growers and the trade, who are hoping that the rains will pick up in the days ahead.

Tur acreages for the week ended July 9 stood at 10.32 lakh hectares(lha), down 47 per cent over same period last year’s 19.46 lha. In fact, the tur acreages till the week-ended July 9 are at a four year low. Normal area, the average of the previous five year’s, for the period, is 18.42 lha.

In Karnataka, tur acreages are down 53 per cent at 3.79 lha as compared to previous year’s 8.13 lha, while in Maharashtra, the seeded area trailing by 46 per cent at 3.35 lha over previous year’s 6.24 lha on account of poor monsoon. So far, the key producing regions such as Marathawada is facing a 39 per cent rain deficit, while the shortfall is 31 per cent in Vidarbha and 29 per cent in Madhya Maharasthra. North Interior Karnataka is facing a rain deficit of 37 per cent while the shortfall is 31 per cent in Telangana.

“There has been no rain this year. All key districts in North Karnataka are facing drought-like situation. Though some farmers have taken up sowing, it has dried up,” said Basavaraj Ingin, President of the Karnataka Pradesh Red Gram Growers Association in Kalaburgi, the key tur producing district. “Though the actual sowing window is till mid-July, but farmer can take up seeding till July 30, which may impact yields,” Ingin said, adding that even in Maharasthra, farmers are facing similar situation.

Sowing delayed

Nitin Kalantri, a trader in Latur, said “There is no rain. It has not even rained 3 to 4 inches. Tur sowing is getting delayed as a result of which there will be impact on yields. The sowing window for tur is till July-end August. Even if it rains till the month end, new sowing may take place, while farmers who have taken up sowing in anticipation can also benefit.”

So far, in Madhya Pradesh, the tur acreages stood lower at 1.10 lha (1.92 lha in same period last year), and also in Telanagana at 0.74 lha (0.94 lha). Also, in Gujarat the acreages are trailing at 0.69 lha (0.87 lha) and in Uttar Pradesh at 0.78 lha (0.98 lha).

Parag Gadre, Advisor, India Pulses and Grains Association said Gujarat is broadly doing fine, while the sowing has been delayed in Central Maharashtra and Vidarbha, the predominant growing regions. While there is no exact rainfall and sowing data at the taluk level, in some part of Vidarbha, farmers may have to take up re-sowing as there is damage in about 10 per cent of the sown area. “We expect better rains in August. There were delayed rains last year, also. If the same pattern continues this year and if El Nino doesn’t pan out dramatically causing drought, then there will be recovery. If it same situation continues, then there will be concern,” Gadre said.