Total kharif crops have been sown on 1,043.87 lakh hectares (lh) as on last Friday as compared 1,060.37 lh planted in the corresponding week last year, according to data released by the Agriculture Ministry.

The area under rice is 374 lh against 378 lh during the corresponding period in 2020-21. The area coverage is less mainly in the States of Odisha, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh due to deficit/excess rainfall which hampered land preparation as well as raising of nursery beds for carrying out timely transplantation. However, all areas have been covered by monsoon rains except Odisha.

The area coverage of pulses increased by 2.2 lh to 134.23 lakh hectares against 132 lakh ha during the corresponding week last year. Arhar area is two lh more than the same week last year.

The area under coarse cereals is down by 1.6 per cent to 169.06 la as compared to the corresponding week last year. The only crop in the positive territory is maize whose area is up by 1.8 per cent to 79.6 lh.

With soyabean area being higher by a marginal one per cent, the acreage under oilseeds crops is nearly 188 lh, which is still lower than same period last year by around two lh.


Low rainfall

There is over eight per cent drop in cotton area as the acreage reported was only 117 lh as compared to 127.7 lh in the corresponding week last year. Less acreage is reported from the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab due to deficient/scattered/erratic rainfall in the beginning of kharif season.

There is an eight per cent departure from normal in cumulative rainfall till August 20 as the actual rainfall received in the country was 575.9 mm against normal of 628.3 mm. Water storage available in 130 reservoirs in the country is 96 per cent of live storage of corresponding period of last year as per report of Central Water Commission.

As per the information provided by the States, the sowing of kharif crops can be continued up to end of August. Sowing of kharif crops particularly rice, urad, moong, sesamum, castor, niger, and kulthi can be continued up to end of August. In Gujarat castor can be grown up to September 15 as the State has been receiving good rainfall for last two days. In Jharkhand, sowing of niger, kulthi and early mustard (Rai) can be grown till September as the State has been receiving good rainfall.