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Kharif output of rice, pulses, oilseeds will be down due to floods: Skymet

December 02, 2019


Most kharif crops, barring cotton, are expected to witness 12 to 4.5 per cent drop in production due heavy rains and floods in many parts of the country during the just-gone by monsoon season, said a report released by Skymet, India's leading private weather monitoring firm on Monday.


While rice and main kharif oilseed crop soybean produced is expected to fall by 12 per cent to 90 million tonnes (mt) and 12.15 mt respectively, the pulses output is estimated to be nearly 8.2 mt,4.5 lower than the previous year's production estimates of 8.59 mt.


Cotton production in the country, on the other hand, would increase by 23 per cent to 35.37 million bales in 2019-20 from 28.70 million bales previous year due to improved yields and increased acreages, Skymet kharif outlook for 2019 said.


This is despite the crop being adversely impacted in three major cotton growing States -- Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka -- firstly by late sowing and secondly by excess rains during the boll opening stage.


As far as soyabean was concerned, the crop suffered mainly in Madhya Pradesh, the State where the crop is grown widely. Heavy rainfall occurred in the State at a time the crop was at flowering to pod formation stage and excess rainfall led to failure in pod formation and poor seed setting. Districts like Indore, Ujjain, Neemuch, Mandsaur, Jhabua, and Ratlam have recorded yield losses to the tune of 50-70 per cent, while districts such as Sehore, Dewas, Ashok Nagar, Guna, Dhar, Vidisha and Rajgarh have experienced yield losses to the tune of 30-50 per cent. Other soyabean growing districts have yield losses in the range of 10-20 per cent. Some pockets of Maharashtra too, reported huge losses in soyabean crop due to heavy rains. Last year's soyabean production was estimated to be 13.78 mt.


3.2 million hectares of agricultural land inundated

According to Skymet, a 12 per cent drop in rice production from previous year's 102.13 mt is expected this year. This is because heavy rainfall in a few pockets of Madhya Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, north and west Madhya Pradesh and eastern Gujarat is feared to affect the productivity.


This monsoon season, an initial prolonged dry spell in June and early July coupled with excess rain in second fortnight of August and throughout September was detrimental to both life and property. Even the withdrawal was delayed, and rains continued till the first week of October.


A total of 137 districts in 12 States (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh) were affected by excess rains that led to floods in many regions and 4.5 million hectares of land was inundated out of which 3.2 million hectares was agricultural land. Apart from the above 137 districts, there are several other districts that experienced high soil moisture for the entire month of September which caused heavy losses to the crop. On the other hand, there are a few pockets that remained rain deficient and losses to crops are witnessed here due to low soil moisture (than average), the report said.



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