Agri Business

Excess monsoon, post-monsoon rain likely to hit Kharif output

T.V. Jayan/ Vishwanath Kulkarni | Updated on November 04, 2019 Published on November 04, 2019

In Madhya Pradesh, it has been reported that kharif crops have been damaged on about 60 lakh hectares.

But Agriculture Ministry expects higher yields in some crops to offset overall impact

The excess monsoon and post-monsoon rainfall across parts of Central and South India have spoiled the kharif party for many a farmer in these regions this year. However, officials at the Agriculture Ministry said that the overall impact on kharif food grain output would be limited because of higher expected yields in crops such as paddy.

Crops such as soyabean, groundnut, pulses and cotton, among others, have been hit by excess rains both during the growth stage and in the harvest period, thereby trimming crop sizes in some cases and also impacting the quality of the produce. Besides, horticulture crops such as onions and tomatoes and perennial crops such as coffee and pepper have also been impacted.

Click here to read about the cyclone impact on Gujarat farmers

In Madhya Pradesh, it has been reported that kharif crops have been damaged on about 60 lakh hectares, according to State government estimates.

Similarly, in Maharashtra, standing crops have been damaged on over 13 lakh hectares, per unofficial preliminary estimates. In Karnataka, crops have been affected on over 9 lakh hectares; assessment of the extent of damage is being carried out.

Trade bodies such as the Soyabean Oil Processors Association have projected an 18 per cent dip in the output of oilseeds this year, while the Cotton Association of India has found it difficult to arrive at a crop estimate as rains continue to impact the fibre crop in various States.

Banking on rice

The Agriculture Ministry, while admitting to crop losses in soyabean and pulses — mainly urad in Central India — believes that the higher yields in others crops such as rice will offset the kharif output losses.

“We have a very good report on the kharif crop except for certain pockets in Central India where mainly soyabean is grown. The excess rains have been particularly good for rice, but some crops like soyabean and urad have been slightly affected,” said a senior Agriculture Ministry official.

For instance, 19 districts in Madhya Pradesh’s soyabean belt have been adversely affected, he said, adding that an inter-ministerial team has gone to the State and its report is awaited. “Apart from that we do not much information on crop damage happened in other parts of the country,” the official said.“Overall, the kharif yield this year is expected to be as good as that in the last year. Some losses in some crops will be made up by gains in other crops.”

No respite

Meanwhile, rainfall, triggered under the influence of Cyclone Maha, continues in parts of Central and Western India. Post-monsoon rains till date have been 232 per cent in excess in Gujarat, while Maharashtra and Rajasthan have received a surplus of 143 per cent and 119 per cent, respectively. In Karnataka, the post-monsoon rains have been 103 per cent more and in Telangana, 70 per cent. Across the country as a whole, the South-West Monsoon was 10 per cent more than normal.

Asked about the impact of Cyclone Maha on groundnut in Gujarat, the Agriculture Ministry official said the ministry hasn’t received any adverse report yet. But he said the oilseed crop is anyway expected to be very good this year and so, even if there is any impact, it may at the most would bring down excess production by a little and will not have any major impact on output.

Skymet damage estimate

Meanwhile, Sudhakar Manda, head of remote sensing and GIS at Skymet Weather Services Private Limited, a Noida-based private weather forecaster, said imagery taken by satellites has indicated damage to some crops in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

In parts of Madhya Pradesh where there were continuous rains for 40 to 50 days, the soyabean crop seems to have been affected. The soyabean area affected could be at least 30 per cent and it may even go up to 50 per cent, he said.

Similarly, the impact of excess rain in Maharashtra may be on 20 per cent of soyabean growing areas in the State. “Major soyabean growing areas such as Latur and Parbhani districts have been affected by water logging,” said Manda. He also expects an adverse impact on 10 per cent of the cotton-growing areas in the State.

As regards groundnut in Gujarat, the yield is expected to be better than last year’s, he said, but the projections of a bumper yield made a few months ago may have to be scaled down. Nearly 20 per cent of the groundnut crop in districts such as Junagarh, Amreli and their surrounding areas has been hit, said the Skymet executive.

Published on November 04, 2019
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