Agri Business

Excess rains may shrink urad, moong output

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on October 21, 2021

Quality of crops also hit: Millers

Excess rains in September and October might have shrunk the crop size of kharif pulses – urad and moong – by about a fifth, besides affecting the quality of the produce.

Traders and millers see at least 20 per cent damage to these crops as excess rains impacted the standing crop in major growing regions across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka among others.

Lower production

The decline is despite area under urad being marginally higher at 38.89 lakh hectares (lh) compared with 38.32 lh last year. Moong acreage was marginally lower at 35.09 lh (35.20 lh). “Urad output during 2021-22 will be about 20 per cent lower than last year’s 1.6 million tonnes. The damaged crop also has to be ascertained as there has been a lot of rain in Gujarat and Rajasthan, resulting in wash-out of the crop. There’s problem in urad and that market will be firm,” said Sunil Sawla, Secretary, Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA).

Similarly, the moong crop is also seen lower by a tenth over last year’s 1.7 million tonnes, Sawla said. “The dry condition during seeding time from mid-July to mid-August impacted the sowing,” said Pradeep Ghorpade, CEO, IPGA.

It’s not just the dry conditions that has impacted moong in Rajasthan, the largest producer. Though there was a pick-up in acreage later during the season, the standing crop has been impacted by recent rains.

As per IMD data, rainfall was 175 per cent more in Rajasthan during September, while in Gujarat it was 268 per cent higher than normal. Maharashtra received 95 per cent more showers, while Telangana and Madhya Pradesh had 78 per cent and 31 per cent surplus, respectively. In the first 20 days of October, Rajasthan witnessed 110 per cent more precipitation, while MP received 101 per cent more rain and Uttar Pradesh 197 per cent more.

Punit Bachhawat, Managing Director of Prakash Agro Mills in Ahmedabad, said both urad and moong have been affected by recent rains. “Due to the changing climatic pattern, no one is sure about the yields,” he said.

Urad quality hit

Further, Bachhawat said the quality of urad has been badly affected across all major growing States such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. The crop would have been down 20-25 per cent from last year, he said.

The Agriculture Ministry, in it s first advance estimates, had projected urad crop at 2.05 million tonnes, higher than 1.60 mt during last year’s kharif (per fourth advance estimates). Similarly, the moong crop size was projected higher at 2.05 mt (2.01 mt).

B Krishna Murthy, Managing Director, Four P International in Chennai, said rains in September have caused major damage to the standing urad crop and the quality has taken a hit. “There’s hardly any State giving good quality black gram raw material this year,” he said adding 20-25 per cent of the crop would have been easily damaged.

Suresh Agarwal, Chairman, All India Dal Millers Association in Indore, said there would be 20 per cent decline in urad output this year due to late rains. However, late rains will help rabi crops. Rahul Chauhan of IGrain India said there would be a crop loss of about 10-15 per cent, while another 15-35 per cent of the crop seed would have discoloured due to excess rains.

Better prospects for tur

The harvest of moong and urad was impacted in Karnataka due to the excess rains, while the standing tur crop has also been impacted by water logging in the key producing region of Kalaburgi.

However, IPGA’s Sawla said the overall tur crop looks good, provided there are no further rains. “We don’t want more rainfall now. Tur will be better but there should not be any further rains. Good pod filling will be facilitated by a cool climate. We expect 3.8-4 million tonnes.” Sawla added.

Published on October 21, 2021

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