1. Agriculture World

Heavy rains may cause extensive damage to summer crops

P. Godha Hiranmayee
P. Godha Hiranmayee

Farm experts & industry officials said that, “Forecast of rainstorm across key central & western growing regions of India have stoked terror of potential crop losses in the second half of September.”

The regional meteorological department said, “The monsoon, which turned patchy in the first week of September, will increase in most parts of India, with rains expected in some of the key farm belts.”

Farmers were spurred by monsoon rains, which delivered about 70% of India’s annual rainfall & planted a record acreage with summer crops such as rice, corn, cotton, soybeans & sugarcane.

Rains were 17% above average in June- the first month of the annual rainy season, but July rains were 10% below average. The monsoon picked up again in August & was 27% above average.

Heavy rains in August damaged some cotton, pulse & soybean crops in few regions. By this industry & government official said that “The rains had localized impact & the damage was not widespread”.

But heavy rains could cause extensive damage later this month when the crops ripen.

B.V Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said, “Torrential rains would damage soybean & peanut which now need a relatively dry spell. Still, soybean production could be higher than last year’s 9.3 million tons”.

“Cotton plucking would pick up in the next two weeks. If farmers receive excessive rainfall, both yields & quality will suffer”, said Pradeep Jain, chief of the Khandesh Ginning & Pressing Factory Owners & Traders Association.

“Some pulse crops suffered a bit of damage in August, and now there is concern about heavy rains in the latter part of this month,” said Vivek Agrawal, who owns JLV Agro, a trading firm.

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