In a bid to deal with monsoon deficiency, the agriculture ministry, in collaboration with the India Meteorological Department (IMD), has suggested measures, including sowing of short-duration crops such as pearl millet, green gram and sunflower.
In the rain-deficit regions, the agriculture ministry has suggested farmers to grow contingent crops such as pearl millet, cowpea, green gram and sunflower. For conserving soil moisture it has also advised mulching in areas where crops have been already sown.
In areas like north-west and east which have received normal or excess rainfall so far during the last seven weeks, the advisory has urged farmers to transplant rice and sow other kharif crops such as oilseeds and pulses.
For the north-interior Karnataka, which has received a huge 37% less rainfall till Tuesday in comparison to the normal benchmark, the advisory has suggested sowing of red gram, sesamum, horse gram, foxtail millet and bajra. Thinning out of excess and weak seedlings in rice crop sown in a row and removal of alternate rows in case of moisture are also advisable here.
In Rayalseema (Andhra Praddesh) where the monsoon has been 26% less than normal so far, the advisory has suggested sowing of contingent crops like pearl millet, cowpea, green gram and sunflower.
The Gujarat region, which has received scanty rainfall so far (58% less than normal benchmark), the advisory has suggested inter-cultural operations, weeding in groundnut, soybean, pigeon pea and vegetable crops and gap filling in cotton to conserve soil moisture and to maintain optimum plant population.
For Marathwada, which is facing an acute rainfall shortage at 49% less than normal, the agriculture ministry has asked farmers to do mulching in crops with crop residue to conserve soil moisture and provide protective irrigation (drip or sprinkle method) to earlier sown crops like soybean, cotton, red gram and jowar in view of the prevailing water-stress.
For Saurashtra & Kutch, where the rainfall deficiency is at 38% from the normal, the advisory has stated inter-cultural operations, weeding, gap filling and mulching with wheat straw, groundnut shell and available farm residues for groundnut, cotton, sesame, pearl millet and pulses to conserve soil moisture.