Prolonged dry weather has taken a heavy toll on the Nilgiri tea production so far this calendar.

June was another dry month with the rainfall being less in most agro-climatic zones compared to June 2015 and the decennial (10-year) average for the month.

The cumulative rainfall in the five months was far lower than 2015 and decennial average in all agro-climatic zones.

Temperature was higher than last year with meteorological centre at Planiappa Estate recording the highest temperature of 29 degrees Celsius.

Humidity, wind speed, evaporation and soil moisture recorded at various centres showed an adverse ambience for tea cropping.

Consequently, tea companies have reported to Tea Board that their production in June was 18 per cent less than in June 2015.

They have reported that their output in June dropped to 1.41 million kg (mkg) from 1.71 mkg in June 2015 and the five year mean of 1.77 mkg for the month.

This pulled down the cumulative output in the first half of calendar 2016 by as much as 29.40 per cent over last year.

The production till June dropped to 5.69 mkg from 8.06 mkg in January-June 2015 and the five-year mean of 7.68 mkg for the period.

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