The belated surge in the monsoon in September — at a time when it should be receding — has helped overcome apprehensions of a huge decline in kharif harvest. Delayed showers have generated hope of good and timely rabi sowing, which can partly compensate for the likely drop in kharif production.
The latest crop outlook for the current kharif season is that the production of most crops, barring oilseeds, is likely to be near-normal. In fact, the output of cereals such as paddy, jowar, ragi, maize, bajra, and pulses such as toor and green gram may even exceed last year’s production on account of higher coverage. But oilseeds output is likely to drop on account of an erratic monsoon in July and August.
According to officials in the Agriculture Department, sowing had taken place on 66.31 lakh hectares by the first week of September against a kharif target of 72 lakh hectares, covering 92 per cent. The recent spell of rains helped increase the coverage of paddy, jowar, maize and minor millets. Sowing of paddy commenced in almost all parts of Mandya district and it is likely to be completed by September-end. The coverage exceeded the target in six districts which are Davangere (101 per cent), Dharwad (107 per cent), Gadag (108 per cent), Haveri (106 per cent), Belgaum (101 per cent), and Bagalkot (101 per cent).
The department has set a foodgrains production target of 86.12 lakh tonnes in the current kharif season. The last kharif season’s foodgrain output was 77.40 lakh tonnes. The oilseeds output in this kharif season is targeted at 10.93 lakh tonnes against the last kharif season’s output of 7.27 lakh tonnes. The sown area in the last kharif season was 61.81 lakh hectares, which was less than this year, officials said.
The recent rain is expected to increase coverage of rabi crops by about three to four lakh hectares. The department plans to see 34 lakh hectares of land planted with rabi crops. According to officials, the monsoon was active in most districts during September 3 to 9, and it was more-than-expected in 16 districts such as Chitradurga, Davangere, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Kodagu, Mysore, Udupi, Bidar, Gulbarga, Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwad, Haveri and Uttara Kannada. The rainfall was less-than-normal in the rest.
The State received a cumulative rainfall of 768 mm as against 699 mm of normal rainfall from June 1 to September 9. So far, rainfall was more-than-expected in 13 districts, normal in 15 districts and deficient in one district (Bangalore Rural). Rainfall was deficient only in 11 taluks namely Bangalore East (in Bangalore urban district), Hoskote in Bangalore Rural district, Bagepalli and Sidlaghatta in Chickaballapur district, Nagamangala in Mandya district, Aurad and Basavakalyan in Bidar district, Chincholi and Shahapur in Gulbarga district, Raichur in Raichur district and Kundgol in Dharwad district, according to the Directorate of Economics and Statistics.