NATIONAL

Kharif output will be lower

New Delhi Oct 5. The kharif output this season is estimated at 90.85 million tonnes, against 111.51 million tonnes, even as a Crop Weather Watch Group meeting in the Agriculture Ministry noted on Friday that the monsoon was likely to withdraw in most parts of the country except in northeast and southern peninsula by the end of the week.

On September 20, the southwest monsoon withdrew from Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, the remaining parts of Rajasthan and most of Gujarat. Five days later, the withdrawal line passed through Leh, Patiala, Delhi, Dholpur, Neemuch, Vallabh Vidhya Nagar and Veraval. On September 30, the monsoon further withdrew from parts of east Uttar Pradesh, east Madhya Pradesh and north Maharashtra.

The cumulative rainfall in the monsoon season — 2002 so far was normal to excess in 15 out of 36 meteorological sub-divisions of the country.

At the all-India level, 72.29 cm rainfall occurred this monsoon against the normal of 88.67 cm.

The States, most adversely affected are Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The total live storage in 70 important reservoirs in different parts of the country, as monitored by the Central Water Commission for the week ending September 27, was 67.16 billion cubic metre (bcm), (51% of the storage capacity at FRL) against 76.08 bcm (58% of the storage capacity at FRL) on the corresponding date of the previous year and 97.85 bcm (75 per cent of the storage capacity at FRL), which is the average storage of the last 10 years.

The national conference on agriculture for rabi campaign in its meeting on September 24 and 25 noted that despite the normal takeoff of the monsoon in June, there was total failure in July.

However, the rainfall picked up by mid-August allowing for the late sowing of kharif crops in certain regions. The remote sensing-based assessment by the ISRO confirmed that in large areas the transplanting of rice was late by about 40 days.

As per the reports received here, the paddy crop is in tillering to heading / flowering stage in Bihar, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland,Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir , Assam and Tamil Nadu. No major incidence of pest and disease has been reported.

The maize crop is also reported to be in the maturing stage in Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, while the cotton crop is in the flowering to boll formation/ picking stage in Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Sugarcane is in the cane formation stage in Punjab and Haryana, while groundnut is reported to be in the flowering to peg formation stage in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The soyabean crop is in the flowering to pod formation stage in Maharashtra. No major incidence of pest and disease has been reported.

The country is free from any locust activity. However, intensive locust surveys are in progress to detect any locust in the Scheduled Desert Areas, sources said.

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