The rainfall ‘deficient’ pockets of southern India along with other parts of eastern, central and northern regions are expected to receive heavy rainfall during the next few of days, India Meteorological Department said on Wednesday. This is expected to reduce regional imbalances in the distribution of monsoon rains so far. “Heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely over north-eastern states, Uttrakhand, east Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, coastal Karnataka, south interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Pudducherry, Kerala and Lakshadweep,” according to IMD forecast valid till next Saturday.
According to IMD, the cumulative rainfall received till Wednesday across the country has been at par with the benchmark long period average (LPA). Rainfall in a range of 96-104% of LPA is treated as ‘normal’ and LPA rainfall is pegged at 89 cm, on the basis of average between 1951-2000. So far the northwest India has received ‘above normal’ rainfall (116%) and central India is at 105% of LPA. In case of southern peninsula, the rainfall so far has been 82% of LPA (deficient) while in east & northeast region, there has been ‘below normal’ rainfall (92%). Especially the rainfall has been ‘deficient’ in south interior Karnataka (64%), coastal Karnataka (79%), Kerala (69%), Marathawada (77%) and Vidarbha (80%). “We expect the rains in August to make up for the deficient regions especially Karnataka,” an agriculture ministry official told FE.
Out of the 36 subdivisions in the country, five have received ‘excess’ rainfall while 23 got ‘normal’ rains so far. Only eight have received ‘deficient’ rains. In terms of area, 23% of the country fall in ‘excess’ rainfall zone, 59% received ‘normal’ monsoon this year while 23% fall in ‘deficient’ rains zone. Meanwhile, for the rain deficient south interior Karnataka, the agromet advisory by IMD has urged farmers to postpone sowing of crops till sufficient rainfall is received. “Wherever, the long duration crops like red gram, and castor has been sown, undertake earthing up operation,” it stated.
In Marathwada, the advisory asked farmers to apply protective irrigation for the standing crops like cotton, groundnut, black gram, green gram and maize besides undertaking mulching in late sown crops.
For farmers of West Bengal’s Bankura, Vardhaman, Hubli and West Midnapur districts where heavy rainfall and flooding caused damage in transplanted ‘Aman’ rice along the low laying areas, the advisory has suggested farmers to drain out excess water from field and undertake re-transplanting with available nursery till mid of August. In excessive rains hit Jaipur, Ajmer, Tonk and Dausa districts of Rajasthan, the advisory has urged farmers against allowing stagnant rainwater in the standing kharif crops. For the north Saurashtra zone, if growth of cotton and groundnut crops suppressed due to continuous and heavy rainfall and cloudy weather, the region specific note has suggested farmers to use fertilisers like ammonium sulphate and potash.
Thanks to the normal monsoon rains the sowing of kharif crops — rice, pulses, coarse cereals, sugarcane and cotton— is progressing well. Areas sown of key crops, except oilseeds, have been higher than the level at the same time last year, with the overall sowing 3% higher. Till now, 75% of the sowing or 791 lakh hectare is completed and it would continue till middle of next month.On an average, 1,058 lakh hectare is covered under kharif crops sowing.