Agri Business

Kharif sowing picks up pace with improved rainfall

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 12, 2019 Published on July 12, 2019

Shortfall down to 8.6 per cent

 

Kharif planting improved significantly since last week with the sowing shortfall narrowing to 8.61 per cent, covering 413.34 lakh hectares (lh), compared with 452.3 lh covered in the corresponding week last year. Slight improvement in monsoon rainfall helped speed up the pace, according to data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday.

There was some revival in monsoon activity this week with the overall rainfall deficit coming down from 28 per cent to 14 per cent. However, only 30 per cent of districts in the country received normal rains so far, with 42 per cent of them deficient and 11 per cent acutely deficient.

Rice planting

Rice planting is down by nearly 11 per cent to 98 lh as against 110 lh covered during the same period last year. Among the States that have reported less area under rice cultivation are Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.

With all three major pulses crops – arhar, urad and moong – reporting lesser acreage, pulses cultivation continues to be a worry. The shortfall in planting is as high as 25 per cent. Planting of pulses stood at 34.22 lh this week, compared with 45.73 lh covered in the same week last year. The shortfall was reported in most pulses-growing States, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The spurt in groundnut planting reported from Gujarat was not good enough to take care of the shortfall in soyabean sowing in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Soyabean area is down by 21 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and 23 per cent in Maharashtra.

Karnataka is another State that reported dip in oilseeds planting. The total area under oilseeds cultivation till this week was 75.68 lh, nearly 10 per cent lower than 83.78 lh achieved during the same week last year.

Among the foodgrain crops, coarse cereals reported relatively better performance. Even its area is down by 6.6 per cent to 71.17 lh as against 76.22 lh last year. While all major coarse cereals crops such as maize, bajra and jowar reported drop in sowing, the least was in maize. As against 41.59 lh covered in the same week last year, the maize acreage this week stood at 40.47 lh. The acreage is particularly poor in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Bihar.

Cotton cultivation

Cotton, on the other hand, caught on well with higher area under cotton cultivation reported from Gujarat and Rajasthan. However, the area reported from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is lower as compared to the same period in 2018-19. So far, cotton has been planted in 77.71 lh as compared 77.50 lh in the previous kharif season till date.

There is slight shrink in sugarcane area too, particularly in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The crop, on the other hand, is doing well in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh as of now. The sugarcane acreage till date is close to 50 lh as compared to 52 lh planted in 2018-19.

Water storage in 91 Central Water Commission-monitored reservoirs this week was 35.11 billion cubic metre (bcm) as against 37.22 bcm same week last year. The worst-hit seems to be southern region where water storage was only 8.51 bcm , or 16 per cent of the live storage capacity. Last year, the storage was as high as 31 per cent during the same period. The storage in western region water bodies too was 16 per cent, but it was only marginally lower than 18 per cent in the corresponding period last year.

 

Published on July 12, 2019
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