Due to strict orders by the government, ban on the availability of seeds has been done for cotton and that’s the reason why crop sowing is delayed and its availability to the market has been impaired.
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Farmers are upbeat about cotton crop as it is fetching good prices. Secondly, this year, due to government directive they have delayed sowing. This is proving to be a favorable scenario for farmers because, in a shorter crop cycle, there are fewer chances of pest attack, especially the pink bollworm. Longer the plantation cycle, higher are the chances of pest attack. Hence, we see not much impact on sowing due to delay in monsoon,” said Nayan Mirani, a cotton expert and former president of Cotton Association of India (CAI).
Pan India, cotton has been planted in about 32.2 lakh hectares as on June 29, as against 46.10 lakh hectares in the corresponding period last year. Sowing in Haryana has increased a bit, while that in Punjab and Rajasthan has fallen. Maharashtra, however, is likely to witness some rise in the cotton acreage as farmers prefer cotton.
“This year the possibility of pest attack is less because of the climate. Also, there is positive sentiment about cotton prices. We will continue with cotton this year,” said a cotton grower from Junagadh district in Gujarat.
Notably, prices have moved up on concerns of a possible decline in acreage and bullish sentiment due to US-China trade war, where India has an opportunity to sell its cotton to China.
As per the latest report by ICRA, international cotton prices reached four-year highs during the six-month period ended May 2018 due to the global scenario and speculative buying in the backdrop of anticipated tightening of demand-supply situation. While the prices stabilized in the last week of June after surging 5-6 percent in the first few weeks, prices are still up 10 percent year-on-year.
In India, cotton prices touched 47,000 per candy (of 356 kg) for 29 mm variety.
“If we don’t get rains in the next 3-4 days, then germinated seedlings will die and we have to sow the crop again
India is likely to get 97-percent rainfall of a long-term average in the June-September monsoon season, IMD forecast last month.
The forecast for normal monsoon rains and an early arrival in Kerala prompted farmers such as Raghunath Patil from Jalgaon district in Maharashtra to cultivate cotton on four acres in the first week of June.
But now the ongoing dry spell is threatening to wilt the crop.