The area under summer crops has reached 60.63 lakh hectares (lh) as of Friday, which is 8 per cent more than 56.04 lh reported in the year-ago period with the zaid season progressing well. Zaid crops are grown before kharif sowing and after rabi harvest.

The sowing under summer paddy has increased to 29.61 lh until April 12, which is 11 per cent more than 26.69 lh reported in the year-ago period.

Pulses coverage up 5%

Summer pulses areas are up 5 per cent to reach 11.85 lh from 11.28 lh as higher coverage of urad and moong has been reported this year. Moong sowing is up at 8.98 lh against 8.59 lh a year ago and that of urad is up at 2.65 lh from 2.42 lh. The key growers of summer pulses are Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

Oilseeds acreage reported at 8.99 lh, down a tad from 9.03 lh. Groundnut acreage reached at 4.02 lh and sesamum at 4.45 lh. While sesamum acreage is higher, there is a marginal drop in groundnut coverage. Sunflower acreage reached 30,000 hectares against 28,000 hectares year-ago.

Deficient rainfall

Acreage of summer-grown coarse cereals is up 13 per cent at 10.18 lh from 9.04 lh as a rise in coverage of jowar and bajra has been reported this year. Jowar sowing is up at 31,000 hectares against 13,000 hectares in the year-ago period while bajra acreage is reported 9 per cent higher at 4.11 lh from 3.78 lh. Maize acreage, too, is up 14 per cent at 5.63 lh from 4.95 lh.

Meanwhile, the cumulative rainfall in pre-monsoon season since March 1 is 17 per cent below normal at 36.2 mm until April 12 against 43.7 mm considered normal on pan-India basis for this period. While north-west region is deficit by 22 per cent, the central India has received 107 per cent higher precipitation than its long period average (LPA) between March 1 and April 12. South peninsula region has received 79 per cent below normal rainfall and east and north-east India 21 per cent lower than average precipitation, India Meteorological Department data show.