Monsoon deficit drops to 21% but delay in onset has led to 27% fall in Kharif sowing

Vinson Kurian | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021

Kharif sowing was delayed by the late onset of the monsoon | Photo Credit: AKHILESH KUMAR

Acreage expected to rise with Met forecasting good rains in July, August


Above normal to normal rainfall over Central India and adjoining West Maharashtra helped lower the rainfall deficit for the country as a whole to 21 per cent till Sunday (from 33 per cent at June-end).

The Northern and southern parts of the country nurse varying deficits at the end of the first week of the second monsoon month of July, which is usually the rainiest of the four months.

Deficit above 50%

The deficit has crossed the 50-per cent mark in at least four Met subdivisions in North and North-West India, but the good news is that the monsoon is forecast to peak in these areas over the next four to five days.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the monsoon trough over land, connecting North-West India and North-East Bay of Bengal, runs through North-East Rajasthan, South Uttar Pradesh, West Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal. It is also called the seasonal trough, and plays a major role in sustaining rainfall over the plains of the North and East of the country and therefore the farming heartland.

According to the IMD, the seasonal trough supported by a feeble low-pressure area would stay ‘active’ over the next four to five days to sustain strong monsoon conditions over these regions. Additionally, the trough is forecast to gradually shift towards the North from Monday, driving heavy to very heavy rainfall into South Uttar Pradesh and northern parts of Madhya Pradesh.

Widespread rainfall with isolated heavy/very heavy falls is likely to continue over the North-Eastern States and also along the West Coast during this period.

The northern limit of the monsoon passes through Barmer, Jodhpur, Sikar, Rohtak, Chandigarh, Una and Amritsar across the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. The IMD assessed conditions as becoming favourable for a further advance of the monsoon into the remaining parts of Haryana, Punjab and some more parts of Rajasthan by Monday. Normally, it covers the north-western-most Met subdivision of West Rajasthan by June 30 but failed to do so this time, which means that the current 8-to-10-day lag would in all probability persist.

PTI adds: The area sown under kharif crops was down by 27 per cent at 234.33 lakh hectares amid a deficit in monsoon rainfall last month, according to the latest government data.

According to the latest sowing data released by the Agriculture Ministry, the area under kharif cultivation was only 234.33 lakh hectares till the last week of the kharif season of 2019-20 crop year (July-June), as against last year’s 319.68 lakh hectares.

Rice, the main kharif crop, was sown in 52.47 lakh hectare till last week, down from 68.60 lakh hectare.

Pulses, especially tur, urad and moong, were sown on just 7.94 lakh hectares as against 27.91 lakh hectares a year ago, while coarse cereals were planted in 37.37 lakh hectare (50.65 lakh hectares), the data showed.

In the case of oilseeds, the area under groundnut, sunflower and soyabean was lower at 34.02 lakh hectares (59.37 lakh hectares). Among cash crops, sugarcane was sown on 50 lakh hectares (51.41 lakh hectares). Cotton acreage was lower at 45.85 lakh hectares (54.60 lakh hectares). Jute was sown only on 80 lakh hectares (7.15 lakh hectares).

Published on July 07, 2019
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