Due to early entry into Kerala coast, the quantum of rains because of south-west monsoon (June-September) has been 18% more than benchmark — Long Period Average (LPA) in the first week of this month which has lead to commencement of kharif crops sowing for the season. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) during June 1 – 7, the country as whole has received 28.1 milimetres (mm) of rains against the normal bench mark of 23.9 mm, arrived on the basis of a 50-year average shower. “Favourable conditions are developing for further advance of southwest monsoon into parts of Konkan, interior Karnataka, Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Maharashtra, Assam & Meghalaya and some parts of West Bengal & Sikkim during next two to three years,” IMD stated in its latest prediction. Meanwhile, in its state specific agro-advisory, IMD has asked farmers to commence sowing of kharif crops such as rice, pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals, cotton, among others. For coastal Karnataka, the advisory has urged farmers to complete nursery sowing; undertake transplanting of rice and drain out excess water from the rice nurseries. For Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the advisory has urged farmers to to initiate planting of rainfeed sugarcane, bajra, soyabean, jowar, gram and maize while preparing nurseries for paddy saplings. The advisory has also stated that there were good pre-monsoon showers and monsoon rainfall over Kerala, north-eastern states, coastal Karnataka, south interior Karnataka, Rayalaseema, Konkan and southern parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh during previous fortnight, which is likely to continue during succeeding week. “This facilitates sowing of kharif crops in Kerala, north-eastern states, coastal Karnataka, south interior Karnataka, Rayalaseema and southern parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh,” the advisory noted.
According to agriculture ministry data released on Friday, kharif crops sowing has commenced in many parts of the country and so far 8.1 million hectare have been sown which is 12% more than sowing during same period last year. Out of area sown, sugarcane crop occupies more than 50% sowing carried out. IMD earlier this week had reiterated that this year’s monsoon rainfall would be “normal,” and made a slightly improved forecast of the precipitation than predicted in April. According to its second long-range forecast, quantitatively, rainfall for the country as whole is likely to be 98% of the benchmark LPA, with a model error of ± 4%. Rainfall in a range of 96-104% of LPA is treated normal. Giving the region-wise distribution pattern, the department stated that the overall rainfall during June-September period would be 96% of LPA over north-west India, 100% in agriculturally crucial central India, 99% over South Peninsular and 96% of LPA over north-east India, all with a model error of ± 8%.