Agri Business

Excess rain has damaged kharif crops: Skymet

TV Jayan New Delhi | Updated on November 05, 2019

File photo of Kharif crops flattened by strong winds   -  The Hindu

The maximum crop damage was reported from Western Madhya Pradesh, which received 61 per cent surplus rains.

Excess monsoon rains and the floods caused by them affected crops in many States, including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Punjab, according to a kharif crop damage report released by private weather forecaster Skymet on Tuesday.

While 40 to 50 per cent of soyabean crop has been hit in Madhya Pradesh, which is the biggest producer of the oilseed, 30 to 40 per cent of groundnut and up to 30 per cent of cotton crops have been affected in Gujarat.

Widespread floods

As many as six States – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Bihar – suffered severe floods, while eight others, including Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Odisha and Punjab, experienced moderate floods during this southwest monsoon season, which witnessed development of two cyclones, one deep depression, one depression and 10 low pressure areas.

According to Skymet, the country as a whole received 110 per cent of the long period average (LPA) of 89 centimetres of rainfall during the four-month-long southwest monsoon period, making it to the above normal category. Among meteorological divisions, Central India and Southern Peninsula received the maximum rainfall of 129 per cent and 116 per cent of their LPA, respectively. Among the 36 meteorological sub-divisions, western Madhya Pradesh with 161 per cent of its LPA emerged as the largest surplus, while the subdivision that includes Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi had a deficiency of 42 per cent.

Crop damage

The Skymet report said the maximum crop damage was reported from Western Madhya Pradesh, which received 61 per cent surplus rains. Almost 80 per cent of the districts in the region received more than 50 per cent surplus rains, causing widespread damage to crops.

In Maharashtra, Madhya Maharashtra and the Konkan region were swamped by extremely heavy rains this season. Mumbai received the highest seasonal rainfall of the decade. According to rainfall data available with Skymet, against the normal rainfall of 761.7 mm between June 1 and August 16, some parts received 937.5 mm rainfall. Madhya Maharashtra recorded a huge surplus of 55 per cent during the season.

Sugarcane, cotton, rice, soybean, tur dal, groundnut were among the worst hit. The sowing was delayed in the State to mid-July. Heavy rains after sowing hindered germination. The rains in early August adversely affected the crop at the early vegetative state. Excess rains in the period between September 7 and 13 caused severe damage to the crops by inducing flower shedding and impacting seed setting.


Saurashtra and Kutch regions in Gujarat received a surplus of 66 per cent, the highest since 2010. The districts most severely hit are Bharuch, Chhota Udaipur, Narmada, Botad, Dwarka, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Kutch, Morbi, and Surendranagar. Widespread damage to the groundnut and cotton crops has been reported from most of these districts.

Excess rains in late September when the groundnut crop was mature and ready to be harvested have infused fungal infection in the crop which has adversely impacted both the yield and the quality. The excess rains have caused inundation in the fields and harvesting has been delayed by 15-20 days.

Simultaneously, excess rains have induced flower shedding in the late sown cotton crop and damaged the quality of the opened ball. Yield has been adversely impacted and the quality also suffered. Around 30-40 per cent of the groundnut crop and 20-30 per cent of the cotton crop have been completely damaged.

The overall yield and quality is feared to be hit in Karnataka as well, which received heavy rains in mid-September. The excess soil moisture has reportedly induced flower shedding and caused root-rotting and wilting, leading to crop damage.

Rajasthan unaffected

On the other hand, Rajasthan, which also received heavy rains, was a bit lucky. One of its meteorological subdivisions – East Rajasthan – recorded the highest monsoon rainfall in the last 15 years, with an excess of 53 per cent. Yet, the crop damage is negligible as the sandy alluvium soil in the State ensured there was no water-logging following the rains. According to Skymet experts, the crop is in fact in a better condition this year.

The rains have hit crops in Bihar too, with 20 to 30 per cent of the early-sown crops damaged in water-logging in the fields. In Punjab too, which experienced a moderate flooding due to overflow in the Sutlej river and opening of Bakra Nangal dam, also reported damage to rice crop on 6 lakh hectares.

Published on November 05, 2019

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