Kharif sowing gradually picking speed, despite delayed rains

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Farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Gujarat have increased sowing activities despite the rainfall deficit during the past fortnight. The India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) says monsoon has revived after a gap of three weeks. 

The overall acreage of summer crops at about 50 million hectare was still 10% below last year’s level. Sowing has been completed in nearly half of the normal area, according to agriculture ministry.

Many areas are witnessing a monsoon dry spell as the rainfall remains subdued. According to IMD report, the rainfall received for the last 20 days has been below normal. Monsoon rains are expected to pick up during the second week of July and remain in a normal range for the rest of the month, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted. As of now, the overall rainfall is 8 per cent below the normal range.

The key kharif cereal paddy acreage was down 9% at 11.5 million hectare. By the end of July, sowing in 85% of the season’s net sown area gets completed. Though sowing area under some crops like paddy, urad and groundnut still trails the year-ago levels in Uttar Pradesh, the overall kharif acreage in the state was higher by about 6% as of June 30.

Heavy rainfall has been reported from some parts of east and southern India. “Conditions continue to remain favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon over Delhi, remaining parts of west Uttar Pradesh and some more parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan during next 24 hours. Conditions are also becoming favourable for further advance of monsoon over remaining parts of the country during the subsequent 48 hours,” IMD said in a statement on July 11.

Farmers in Maharashtra have completed sowing on nearly 9.2 million hectare (or 65% of the targeted area) as of July 5 in ongoing kharif season, as against 10.75 million hectare in the year-ago period. Paddy cultivation is in progress in the Konkan region and is in the nursery stage. Some of the planting is becoming yellow due to lack of rains, state officials said. During 2020-21, total area sown under kharif crops was at 109.54 million hectare, as against 108.57 million hectare in 2019-20.

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