Agri Business

Normal rainfall likely next month, above-normal rains during Sept-November: IMD official

Subramani Ra Mancombu Chennai | Updated on August 30, 2021

Forecast augurs well for rabi crops and kharif pulses

After taking another “break” earlier this month, the south-west monsoon is expected to be normal next month, while the country is forecast to get above-normal rainfall during September-November this year, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official has said.

“Over the last 10-11 years we have received good rainfall during September. Rainfall even during September-November has been good. Better days are ahead,” said DS Pai, IMD’s Head - Climate Research and Services, IMD.

Kharif outlook: How monsoon is linked to agri, economic development

Addressing a Kharif sowing overview webinar, he said rainfall activity would very likely be near normal in the first week of September, while it would be normal to above normal during the second week over central and adjoining north-west and north peninsular India, near normal rainfall activity over most parts of east and north-east and below normal over most parts of peninsular India.

‘Break’ phases

For the period August 27-September 23, normal rainfall is forecast by the IMD. The south-west monsoon took a second “break” during the first part of the month after the first one during late June-early July.

During the September-November period, a major part of the country is likely to receive normal rainfall, Pai said. However, rainfall in Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir would be below normal as also some parts of Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and a few pockets in the north.

As monsoon takes a ‘break’, Kharif sowing down 10%

This forecast should help since the monsoon this year has so far been 10 per cent deficient over the long period average. However, the rainfall has been well-distributed and this has ensured that kharif sowing has not suffered badly.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, the area under kharif crops was down by 1.87 per cent as on September 27 compared with the year-ago period.

The forecast is good for the kharif pulses crop such as pigeon pea (tur/arhar) which will be harvested from December.

Highest since 1917

Data show that since the year 2000, rainfall during September had exceeded 200 mm thrice — 2005, 2007 and last year. Last year’s 259.5 mm rainfall was the highest in 103 years when the country received a record 278.1 mm in 1917.

In 2019, rainfall during September-November topped 400 mm, while last year it was about 285 mm. Since 2010, rainfall during this period slipped below 200 mm only once — 2018.

The forecast, in particular, augurs well for rabi crops. Sowing of rabi crops will begin from October onwards. The September-November rainfall over the last 10-11 years has also led to better rabi crops production.

Until the 2008-09 crop season (July-June), kharif foodgrains production was higher than rabi crops. After that kharif and rabi production alternately was higher till 2016-17. Since 2017-18, rabi crops production has been topping kharif crops output regularly.

Rabi topping kharif

Last season, it widened the gap by 10 million tonnes (mt) to 159.08 mt. Overall, foodgrain output last crop year has been pegged at a record 308.65 mt.

That way, the IMD forecast augurs well for the rabi crops, which would require good soil moisture before sowing starts. Higher than normal or normal rainfall in September will ensure that farmers will have conducive conditions to start sowing their crop.

Normal rainfall, particularly in parts that grow key crops during kharif and rabi, is a boost for the Indian economy. Normal rainfall resulting in good agricultural production activates the rural economy and in turn, ensures overall economic growth in the country.

This forecast also allays fears of the country’s agricultural production being affected since rabi crops could make up for any slip-up during kharif.

Changing trends of rainfall (in mm)

Sep

Oct

Nov

Sept-Nov

2011

186.9

38.1

20.1

245.1

2012

193.5

58.7

30.7

282.9

2013

152.7

129.3

14

296

2014

187.9

60.1

14.4

262.4

2015

131.8

42.3

39.9

214

2016

168

54.5

7.7

230.2

2017

153.3

81.5

14.7

249.5

2018

132.3

35.6

21

188.9

2019

259.5

110.1

31.6

401.2

2020

177.3

78.1

29.3

284.7

Source: IMD

Published on August 30, 2021

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