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Monsoon impact: kharif crop production to dip by up to 12%

Sad state: Cotton production was hit despite a 3.5% increase in its sowing as compared to last year. File

Sad state: Cotton production was hit despite a 3.5% increase in its sowing as compared to last year. File   | Photo Credit: S. Sudarshan

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Late sowing, rain hit soybean, groundnut, urad, tur in State

Most kharif crops, barring cotton, are expected to witness a 4.5% to 12% drop in production due to heavy rains and floods in many parts of the country during the monsoon, said a report released by private weather monitoring company Skymet on Monday.

In its kharif crop outlook for 2019-2020, Skymet said in Maharashtra, several crops such as soybean, groundnut, cotton, urad and tur were adversely impacted, first due to late sowing by farmers and later due to excessive rainfall and flooding. The report said the vagaries of the monsoon could be clearly seen in the State as one part of it, western Maharashtra, comprising Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara, witnessed massive floods while the other, Marathwada, experienced patchy and uneven rainfall.

Gadchiroli in Vidarbha received excess rainfall while Yavatmal remained deficient. Districts of Marathwada such as Beed, Latur and Solapur in western Maharashtra recorded deficient rainfall. Rainfall continued in the State in October, the report said.

Cotton sowing was up by 3.5% as compared to the same time last year. “Good showers in the last week of June and first week of July over Vidarbha and north Maharashtra helped farmers sow cotton. However, delayed monsoon pushed the sowing window by almost 15 days,” Jatin Singh, managing director, Skymet, said.

Generally, cotton sowing starts in the second week of June, but this year, Skymet said it could start only in the last week and a prolonged dry spell in June-July adversely impacted the crop growth. Thereafter, good rains in first week of August helped the crop revive.

“August and September recorded frequent rains at regular intervals that was in line with the crop requirement. Thereafter, largely excess rains in October created a flood-like situation in many parts of the State and damaged crops over 4 lakh hectares in the western and northern parts of the State. Sugarcane, cotton, paddy, soybean, tur and groundnut were among the worst hit,” the report said.

The Marathwada and Vidarbha regions are key tur-growing belts. Delayed arrival of monsoon in the State in turn delayed sowing. Tur in Maharashtra is mainly intercropped with soybean, cotton and other short- term crops. Tur and red gram in Vidarbha and Marathwada, the report said, were in a satisfactory condition. Initial deficient rainfall had resulted in lower sowing in Latur, Osmanabad, Nanded and Parbhani.

“Acreages were down by 9.4% than the same time last year. Total acreages of pulses’ sowing in the State were 19.27 lakh hectares as against 21.27 lakh hectares covered in the last season. Fairly widespread and intermittent rainfall in August and September had benefitted the crop and no major losses in yield is observed/reported,” Mr. Singh said.

The report mentioned that rains till the end of September delayed the maturity process as the soil had excess moisture and that except some site-specific causalities, the soybean crop over Marathwada and Vidarbha regions was in average condition.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 6:02:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/monsoon-impact-kharif-crop-production-to-dip-by-up-to-12/article30143561.ece

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