The area under mustard this year is estimated to have increased by 5 per cent to 100.39 lakh hectares (lh) as of February 1 against 95.76 lh covered a year ago.

The estimate is based on a survey undertaken by RMSI Cropalytics , nominated by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) for an all-India rape-mustard crop.

BV Mehta, Executive Director of SEA, said RMSI has submitted the third report based on remote sensing. He said mustard crop acreage has come down in some States during the current year. Explaining this, he said farmers in many districts of Gujarat and Rajasthan have opted for other crops instead of mustard. The price offered to mustard was lower than minimum support price (MSP), he said.

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The remote sensing survey showed that the acreage increased by 5 per cent in eight major States from 86.45 lh as on February 1 of 2022-23 to 90.63 lh now. Of these States, the acreage declined to 2.69 lh (2.91 lh) in Gujarat, and to 1.92 lh (2.09 lh) in Chhattisgarh.

Big jump in UP

Uttar Pradesh witnessed a substantial jump of 27 per cent in acreage from 14 lh in 2022-23 to 17.76 lh in 2023-24. In Haryana, the acreage increased by 5 per cent to 7.59 lh (7.34 lh). The acreage went up by 1 per cent from 37.43 lh (37.82 lh) in Rajasthan, and by 5 per cent to 13.96 lh (13.23 lh) in Madhya Pradesh. However, acreage declined by 8 per cent and 1 per cent in West Bengal and Assam, respectively.

The remote sensing-based survey showed that mustard crop acreage went up by 5 per cent to 9.76 lh (9.31 lh) in the remaining States of the country.

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Mehta said RMSI carried out analysis in the mustard-growing districts using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Normal crop health condition is when the NDVI value is beyond 0.45. Better moisture content in the crop canopy represents healthier vegetation and its optimal growth.

Mehta said crop health was found to be optimal in States such as Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan indicating good crop condition till date, whereas crop condition was found to be moderate in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.