With the bearish trend in pulses extending into 2018, pulse growers seem to be in for hard times. Tur (arhar) prices are under pressure and ruling below MSP. With arrivals trickling into the market since the past fortnight, the Maharashtra government has begun gearing up for tur procurement in a major way. According to senior officials of the State Agriculture Department, farmer registrations for tur procurement has already begun and is expected to continue till January 14 after which tur shall be procured at MSP from January 15. The official said that the state government has already approached the Centre for procuring Tur at MSP and a green signal is expected before January 15. The state government is likely to open around 100 centres for tur procurement, the official said. Procurement of tur had begun in Karnataka recently, where the state announced a bonus of Rs 550 per quintal over the Centre\u2019s MSP. According to industry people, prices of tur and chana are expected to remain under pressure and rule lower than the minimum support price (MSP) levels announced by the government. MSP of tur is Rs 5,450 per quintal including a bonus of Rs 200 per quintal while the MSP of chana is Rs 4,400 per quintal including a bonus of Rs 150 per quintal. According to the first advance estimate of kharif foodgrain crops, tur production is expected to decline by 16.5% from 47.8 lakh tonne in 2016-17 to 39.9 lakh tonne in 2017-18. Sowing of chana has increased by about 14% over the previous year from 87.7 lakh hectare to about 100 lakh hectare as on December 22. Arrival of new crop of tur has started in Karnataka and Maharashtra where prices are ruling between Rs 4,400 per quintal to Rs 4,600 per quintal, about 20% lower than the MSP. Tur production in Maharashtra is expected to be lower by more than 40% from previous year. While tur is ruling 20-40 % below the MSP the market prices of black gram (urad) are hovering up to 50% below the MSP of Rs 5,400 in Rajasthan and Karnataka. Moong (greengram) also continues to rule at 10-20% below the MSP of Rs 5,575 in various markets. According to Nitin Kalantry, a trader in Latur, tur arrivals have begun in a slow way and farmers are holding onto their crop so that they don\u2019t get into losses. \u201cWith a good crop in the offing, demand is low. At present prices, farmers will end up with losses of Rs 1,000 per quintal, he said, adding that there are around 40 lakh retailers across the country and most of them are buying as per need and are not stocking up. Officials in the Department of Agriculture said that the government has received an extension for the purchase of moong and udad from the Centre till January 12. The targets for udad procurement have been met at 52,000 tonne, he said. Barring masur (red lentil), the prices of most Kharif and rabi pulses \u2014 moong (green gram), chana (Bengal gram), urad (black gram) or tur \u2014 have stayed below the MSP. While the Centre has recently taken a series of steps such as removal of export curbs on pulses, imposing import duty of 30 % on chana and masur, among others, it is targeting a production of 229 lakh tonne of pulses, almost same as that of last year.