Agri Business

Why a delayed monsoon withdrawal is a bane and a boon for farmers

Vishwanath Kulkarni/Rutam Vora Bengaluru/Ahmedabad | Updated on October 06, 2020

Heavy precipitation during harvest has left growers worried   -  THE HINDU

Oilseeds, pulses take a hit; but excess rains brighten prospects for rabi sowing

The delayed withdrawal of the monsoon — for the seventh consecutive year — is becoming a cause for concern for the farming community in some regions, particularly in the central parts of the country. The rains brought about by the withdrawing monsoon impact the harvest of key kharif crops such as pulses and oilseeds, besides hurting standing crops like cotton.

Traditionally, the monsoon starts withdrawing from September 1 from the North-West. However, this year, the withdrawal was delayed by 28 days.

Nabansu Chattopadhyay, former DDG, Agromet Division at Indian Metrological Department, said though the rains due to the delayed withdrawal have impacted some crops, the precipitation is seen beneficial for the maturing kharif crops such as rice in several areas and for the upcoming rabi sowing season. “The crop losses due to September rains, if you look in totality, are just a fraction,” he added.

Damage seen

Monsoon was 9 per cent surplus this year. The September rains have impacted the harvest of moong and urad in parts of Karnataka and Maharasthra, while the waterlogging triggered by heavy precipitation has worried growers. “The waterlogging due to excess rains is hurting the tur crop in several areas,” said Basavaraj Ingin, President of the Karnataka Red Gram Growers Association in Kalaburgi. Gains from the increase in tur acreages, estimated at around 30 per cent in Karnataka, will be offset by the losses triggered by late rains, he said.

In Gujarat, the monsoon withdrawal is delayed by at least 10 days, which has caused damage to key kharif crops of groundnut, pulses and soyabean besides cotton. The crops, according to farmer leaders, was ready for harvest with plants and pods getting spoilt after scattered showers.

Soyabean crop hit

“The monsoon withdrawal is delayed and that has caused damage in addition to the damages sustained during the excessive flooding in September. Main kharif crops such as groundnut, soybean and urad have been damaged. In groundnut and soybean, some farmers are reporting fungus and increased moisture in the plants,” said Vitthal Dudhatara, President, Gujarat Unit of Bhartiya Kisan Sangh.

The damages are not limited to Gujarat. The monsoon fury was also experienced in Madhya Pradesh besides other kharif-growing regions. The major soyabean cultivation area in central India had received heavy downpour and flooding during September.

“It hasn’t rained since the last week or so. It seems that the monsoon withdrawal is on its course. The problem mainly occurred because of the excessive rains in September, which damaged the crop with infestation and disease. That happened at a crucial time of the crop growth. After flooding, there was sudden rise in the temperatures, which caused diseases, particularly in the Malwa area,” said Davish Jain, Chairman, Soyabean Processors Association of India.

Jatin Singh, CEO, Skymet, said there is no specific reason for the delayed withdrawal. “The harvest is already impacted in M.P. and Maharasthra. There is significant amount of soyabean damage, but the extent is not clear. There could be some post-harvest losses in Andhra, Maharashtra and M.P., Chattisgarh belt. The crop that worries me because of this late withdrawal is soyabean”

Published on October 06, 2020

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