Crop arrival will get delayed by 10-12 days in October due to the initial delay in sowing. Official sources, however, allayed fear of any scarcity saying short-duration crops were grown in the beginning of the sowing period due to insufficient rainfall.
“Most farmers use zero till drill technology in which the soil is irrigated selectively. In the process, a part of the soil is made wet while another part is just moist, which could be used for sowing with little irrigation for the next season,” they said.
Official sources said usually sowing increases from the beginning but due to disruption of rainfall in the beginning this year, the pattern has reversed.
In July, the acreage of food grains — rice, pulses, coarse cereals (ragi, millets, bajra, and jawar), and others like sugarcane, oilseeds, jute and cotton — was lower at 182.63 lakh hectares (lh) as against 210.89 lh in the corresponding period in 2010. On the other hand, the acreage as on date has gone up to 992.48 lh as against 962.67 lh.
The increase in acreage is primarily due to rice and cotton while oilseeds, sugarcane and jute/mesta have also contributed.
The laggards are pulses and coarse cereals which, official sources said, is not due to non-sowing of crops but scanty rainfall in the crop areas.
While farmers shifted to soybean, cotton and rice in place of pulses and coarse cereals in June- July, they now have started sowing pulses and coarse cereals.
According to the latest data, rice acreage has gone up by 32.02 per cent as against a decline of 6.4 per cent in June-July, while, in case of cotton, sowing is higher at 10.52 per cent compared to a decline of 22 per cent.
Acreage of non-food crops such as sugarcane and oilseeds, which have gone up currently by 2.35 per cent and 6.53 per cent, were either marginally up by four per cent or down by 42 per cent in June–July.
Jute/mesta has been consistently increasing at the rate of 10-10.52 per cent. Even for crops where acreage has gone down in 2011-12 such as pulses and coarse cereals, sowing has gone up from June-July to August-end. While pulses and coarse cereals acreage were down by 18.43 per cent and 17.57 per cent in June-July, their sowing has improved and decline is at 13-14 per cent each.
Various states where rice acreage has gone up are Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu while cotton acreage went up in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashrta and Haryana.