Monsoon above normal so far, boosts kharif crop prospects

Widespread monsoon rains over western, southern, central and eastern parts of the country in the last one week have pushed cumulative rainfall this season on Monday to 7% above the benchmark, which is considered as ‘above normal’ level.

Since the beginning of July, the country has received 32% more rainfall over the benchmark so far. While in June, cumulative rainfall was 8% less than the benchmark.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cumulative rainfall received during June 1-July 11 was 274 mm, which was 7% more than the normal benchmark of 257 mm for the same period.

Central India and the South Peninsula have received 10% and 27% more rainfall respectively than the normal range so far. The rainfall deficiency in northwest India and east and north east regions has been 6% and 3% respectively.

Cumulative rainfall between 96%-104% of the benchmark is considered normal range while rainfall between 104%-110% of the benchmark is considered as ‘above normal’ level.

This is expected to further boost kharif crops – paddy, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane and cotton – sowing which are lagging behind from the normal range by around 9% till last week.

According to an agriculture ministry official, Kharif sowing activities are expected to continue until the end of July. Rice sowing progress has been lagging behind by more than 22% compared to last year till last week expected to gain momentum as paddy fields require adequate volume of rainfall for beginning of transplanting operations.

The adequate and well distributed rainfall during monsoon months (June-September) helps in boosting kharif crop production besides ensuring sufficient moisture for the rabi crops.

Meanwhile, IMD on Monday predicted intense wet spells over Gujarat, Konkan and north Madhya Maharashtra till July 14th.

According to the met department, heavy rainfall activities were witnessed Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat region, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Maharashtra, Saurashtra, Kutch, Konkan, Goa, Vidarbha, Telangana, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, coastal and south interior Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Kerala.

On May 31, the IMD said monsoon rains this year will be more than what it had forecast in April at 103% of the benchmark long-period average (LPA), with 81% chance of rainfall being either “normal” or above. In its forecast for June, the IMD has predicted a normal rainfall in the range of 92-108 % of LPA.

In its forecast for June, the IMD has predicted a normal rainfall in the range of 92-108 % of LPA. However, actual rainfall in June was 8% less than LPA.

However, the met department had stated that cumulative rainfall during July 2022 is most likely to be in the normal range – 94% to 106 % of LPA.

In April, 2022, the government had set a record foodgrain production target of 328 million tonne (MT) in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) against 314 MT of production in 2021-22, as per the third advance estimate of foodgrain output.

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