Prolonged monsoon helps wheat but hurts other crops

Singapore/New Delhi, Sep 26 | Updated: Sep 27 2007, 06:22am hrs
A longer-than-usual monsoon season in the country may delay sugarcane crushing and hit groundnut and cotton crops, but it could come as a blessing in disguise for wheat in the countrys growing states in the north.

The June-September monsoon usually dissipates in the second week of this month but rains continue to pound the country's rice, maize, groundnut and cotton growing areas.

It is very unusual, it could be a record-date withdrawal, said M Rajeevan, a senior weather department official. It should take at least one week to withdraw and rains might spill over into October, he said. Heavy rains could delay cane crushing in the western state of Maharashtra by a few weeks, but there were no reports of damage to the crop in the world's second-largest sugar producer. Crushing was to begin on October 1, now it will start on October 15, said Vinay Kumar, managing director of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories. But extended rains could benefit wheat farms before sowing starts in November as India builds buffer stocks.