Good monsoon: Sowing area under paddy crosses last year’s level

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New Delhi | Published: September 1, 2018 12:27:56 AM

Sowing areas under paddy for the first time this season rose from last year's level as monsoon rainfall in August increased in many states lifting farming activities with 83% of the total areas in the country receiving normal rains since June.

Good monsoon: Sowing area under paddy crosses last year’s level

Sowing areas under paddy for the first time this season rose from last year’s level as monsoon rainfall in August increased in many states lifting farming activities with 83% of the total areas in the country receiving normal rains since June.

In August, the country received 242.6 millimetre rainfall, which is about 93% of normal 261.3 mm, according to data released by the India Meteorological Department.

The weather bureau predicted 96% rainfall for August with a model error of plus or minus 9%.

The overall monsoon rainfall is 94% of the normal in the three months to August 31. Barring Jharkhand, Haryana and some areas of Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the rainfall has been normal in most of the other parts of the country, a government official said. Bihar, which was -23% deficient in first two months is now -18% at the end of August which points to good rainfall in the state, the official said.

The planting of paddy across the country, which was lagging behind the year-ago level until last week, has increased to 369.98 lakh hectare as of August 31 from 367.88 lakh hectare in the corresponding period last year, the agriculture ministry said releasing the kharif sowing update.

The deficit in sowing of all kharif crops has also narrowed to 0.41% as on Friday whereas it was 1.28% as on August 24. The agriculture ministry officials said that there is no concern for crops due to rainfall from any part of the country except north interior Karnataka, which has received 20% less of normal rainfall so far since June.

The government will release its first estimates of crops production in third week of September. It is hopeful of another bumper harvest likely at par with last year’s kharif food grain output of 140.73 million tonne.

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