The southwest monsoon has come back strongly in the last couple of weeks with deficiency starkly reducing from 19% of the long period average (LPA), on July 24 to 9% on July 31 and to 5% on August 7. Rains further caught up with the week ending at just 1% below normal. Since overall rain are within 4% deficiency, they can now be said to be normal.
In central India, rainfall has moved from being most deficient (at 44% at the end of June) to seeing the highest rainfall (5% above normal) as of August 7. However, A few areas have faced shortages. And coupled with low irrigation, stress remains high in these parts.
At the overall state level, only two major kharif growing states — West Bengal and Haryana — are yet to see rains catch-up and have rainfall deficiency of 32% and 29%, respectively. But rainfall volume data alone does not tell the whole story. We need to consider vulnerabilities that arise from inadequate irrigation for a comprehensive perspective on states and crops. CRISIL's Deficient Rainfall Impact Parameter (DRIP) does just that. The higher the score, the more adverse the impact of deficient rains.
Gujarat no longer appears stressed in terms of outlook on crop production. However, delayed rains and in some cases weak sub-regional rainfall patters have kept DRIP scores high for West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.
Among crops, the latest DRIP scores only highlight stress in rice. July and August are critical for kharif crops. So far, the catch-up in rains has been rapid and abundant, but excessive rains can also negatively impact crops. Therefore, a lot depends on how the rest of August pans out.