Agri Business

Excess rains damage cotton crop in Maharashtra

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on September 21, 2020

Excess rains have affected cotton crop in the cotton growing districts of Jalgaon, Dhule and Nandurbar in Maharashtra. The cotton bolls have started rotting, which will affect the first plucking.

A cotton plant undergoes about four pluckings in the harvesting season. The rains will reduce the quality of cotton in the first plucking, which will affect farmers’ earnings.

Farmer Kishor Dhamale from Sakhri town in Dhule district said that incessant rains in the last three weeks have affected the cotton crop in all the three districts. The cotton bolls at the lower end of the plants have been most affected.

This will reduce the quality of cotton fibres. Due to incessant rains and the Covid pandemic, Revenue Department officials are not visiting the fields to undertake surveys and file crop damage reports (panchnamas). How will the farmers get compensation? Dhamale asked.

Pratibha Shinde, Farmer leader from Jalgaon, said that the rains have not just affected cotton crop but also soyabean in all the three districts. Accessing the fields is difficult due to waterlogging and the muck. The first plucking of cotton could be a washout, she added.

An official of the State Agriculture Department said the cotton crop planted in late May and early June has been most affected. Loss in quality will force farmers to sell their produce for a pittance, adding to their misery. The Minimum Support Price declared by the Centre for medium staple cotton is ₹5,515 per quintal and ₹5,825 for long staple cotton. The decline in quality may bring down the cost by ₹500-1,000. In these three districts cotton has been planted on about 8.5 lakh hectares.

Published on September 21, 2020

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