Key kharif crops like sugarcane, maize sowing in full swing in India

Planting of key kharif crops, as of June 8, 2018 stood at 84.61 lakh hectares – marginally lower over corresponding last year’s 85.81 lakh hectares, but higher by 8.5 per cent over the normal for the corresponding week, according to latest figures released by the Agriculture Ministry.

Acreage under maize is up 15 per cent over previous year’s 3.45 lakh hectares as farmers in Karnataka, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir are seen bringing in more area under the coarse cereal.

The transplantation of paddy has also picked up mainly in the North-Eastern States such as Meghalaya, Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The paddy area is also higher in Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Farmers have planted paddy in about 6.32 lakh hectares which is about five per cent lower than the corresponding period last year. However, the acreage this year is 56 per cent over the normal area for the period.

The area under pulses has been reported at 1.87 lakh hectares against 1.98 lakh hectares previous year. Higher area under pulses have been reported mainly in Uttar Pradesh, whereas the acreage in Karnataka and Uttarakhand, where sowing has begun, have been trailing over last year. Area under oilseeds are also trailing last year’s levels.

States such as Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand have reported higher acreage over corresponding last year, while the pace of sowing has been sluggish in Karnataka.

The cash crops – cotton and sugarcane – are showing a divergent trend. Sugarcane acreage is up, while the area under cotton is down by 11.3 per cent over corresponding period last year. The lower area in cotton is mainly on account of dip in Punjab’s acreage, where the sowing is down 26 per cent. Area is also marginally lower in Haryana and Rajasthan, while it is seen picking up in Karnataka.

The sugarcane area is higher by 0.5 lakh hectares mainly on rise in acreage in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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