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Weather Update for Farmers: Delayed Monsoon Hampers Kharif Sowing; India Experiences 37% Rainfall Deficiency

Farmers and agricultural experts across the country are anxiously monitoring the monsoon's progress, hoping for improved rainfall to mitigate the adverse impact on kharif crop production.

Shivam Dwivedi
Delayed Monsoon Hampers Kharif Sowing; India Experiences 37% Rainfall Deficiency
Delayed Monsoon Hampers Kharif Sowing; India Experiences 37% Rainfall Deficiency

The slow progression of the monsoon in India has caused significant delays in the sowing of crucial kharif crops such as paddy, oilseeds, and pulses. With rainfall arriving late in Kerala and the country experiencing deficient precipitation overall, concerns are mounting that El Nino could further suppress the much-needed rains.

Santosh Jhanwar, the Chief Executive of Agriwatch, a farm research firm working with around half a million farmers, noted that there is currently a lag of 10-12 days in sowing across major agricultural regions. Any further delay in the monsoon's progress will result in lower crop yields. Presently, the country is facing a rainfall deficiency of 37%. The monsoon arrived in Kerala on June 8, which is later than the normal onset date of June 1.

Sowing of pulses typically begins only four to five days after the monsoon arrives, as farmers require 2-2.5 inches of water in their fields. However, Suresh Agarwal, President of the All India Dal Mill Association, highlighted that due to the significant rainfall deficiency, soil moisture levels are depleting.

Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, has issued a "dismal" outlook for rainfall in the core agricultural zone until the first week of July. This period is crucial for sowing or preparing the fields for the kharif season. Skymet warned that the agricultural heartland appears cracked and parched.

One of the crops likely to be severely affected is soybean, which requires a substantial amount of water. Rahul Chauhan, Director of iGrain, an agri-research firm, stated that there might be a lower acreage for soybean cultivation this year. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that the monsoon has remained stagnant in several regions, including Ratnagiri, Koppal, Puttaparthi, and Sriharikota in the south, as well as Malda and Forbesganj in the east.

Despite the onset of El Nino, which can disrupt global rainfall patterns, the IMD predicts a normal monsoon for this year. Rainfall deficiencies are particularly pronounced in central India, with a shortfall of 55%, and in the southern peninsula, with a deficit of 61%. The east and northeast zones are experiencing a 23% rainfall deficiency.

Following the rainfall brought by Cyclone Biparjoy over parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan, the deficiency in northwestern India has reduced.

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