Agriculture World

Delayed Monsoon Withdrawal Adversely Affects Kharif Crops

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee

This is the seventh consecutive year for delayed withdrawal of monsoons and this is certainly not a healthy sign for proper growth of the standing Kharif crops like pulses, cotton and soybean, particularly in Central part of India, and has started raising concerns for the farming community in these regions. According to official reports withdrawal of southwest monsoon was recorded from some parts of west Rajasthan and Punjab from 28th of last month. Earlier Monsoons used to retreat from the western part of Rajasthan from September 1st. The trend has changed in recent years and the new withdrawal date for west Rajasthan generally begins from September 17. Due to delayed withdrawal the late rains in MP and Maharashtra regions are considered as a bad news for the crop growth of standing of major Kharif crops like pulses and oilseeds, besides hurting the standing cotton crop. There has been a delay of 28 days for the monsoon withdrawal. 

The late rains are however considered beneficial for the maturing Kharif crops such as rice in several areas and also beneficial in supporting the Rabi sowing due to enhanced soil moisture levels.  

Farmers are disappointed from the September rains since it has adversely impacted the harvest of Mung and urad in regions of Karnataka and Maharashtra, and the waterlogging situation is hurting the pulses soybean and cotton producing areas of these states.

Withdrawal of the monsoon has been delayed by at least 10 days in the state of Gujarat, causing damage to the important Kharif crops of groundnut, pulses, soyabean and cotton. The crops were ready for harvest and due to late rains the plants and pods were damaged to a large extent in few areas. In the state of Gujarat, delayed retreat of monsoons has caused damage to the crops, apart from the loss because of excessive flooding situation during last month. Major Kharif crops such as groundnut, soybean and urad are expected to suffer due to the late rains. In groundnut and soybean, some farmers are reporting fungus and increased moisture in the plants. 

Soybean Crop Significantly Affected:

Reports of crop damage in soybean first came out in the month of August when SOPA reported that the extent of damage can be 10-12% in the state of MP and the most affected districts were Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Dhar, Sehore, Harda, Shajapur, Mandsaur & Neemach. The Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) also stated that the damage is attributed mainly because of very heavy rains in August and wide scale temperature fluctuations. These conditions were lucrative for insects like Rhizoctonia aerial blight (RAB) and anthracnose (pod blight), to infect the soybean crop. Some damage was attributed from stemfly attack as well. The monsoon fury was also experienced in the month of September in MP state. 

The Growth problem of standing soybean crop occurred mainly due to the excessive rains in September, which damaged the crop with infestation and disease. According to Mr. Davish Jain, Chairman, Soyabean Processors Association of India, there was sudden rise in the temperatures after flooding, leading to outbreak of caused diseases, particularly in the Malwa area. In all, the harvest is already negatively impacted in M.P. and Maharashtra. Sources say that some post-harvest losses in Andhra, Maharashtra and M.P. Chhattisgarh belts may also be seen in near term. It will few more weeks to assess the extent of damage in the affected states. Therefore it is quite likely that actual production of soybean in the country may be lower than the earlier estimated figures. 

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