With early arrival of monsoon in central India, Madhya Pradesh (MP) may witness early soybean sowing this year, feel industry experts.
Soybean sowing generally starts after mid-June with the arrival of monsoon in central India. According to India Meteorology Department (IMD) Bhopal, monsoon's advent in MP has been early even as good amount of rains are expected in the state in the coming days.
Monsoon rains generally enter MP by June 12 and the soybean growing regions by June 13-15, said farmers and experts, adding that Malwa and Nimar are the major soybean growing regions in MP, the largest soybean producing state in the country.
"One more spell of good rains in the state will start sowing and we hope soybean sowing to start by June 15," said Rajesh Agrawal, spokesman and coordinator, Soybean Producers Association of India. Madhya Pradesh witnessed good amount of pre-monsoon showers in the previous days which contributed to soil moisture, thereby giving way for suitable situation suitable for sowing.
According to experts, 3-4 inches of soil moisture is required for soybean sowing and some areas have already witnessed 4-inches rainfall in Madhya Pradesh.
Traders also stated that sowing may have started in some districts in small pockets. Farmers said many areas in Madhya Pradesh have enough soil moisture to start sowing but they are still waiting for another spell of rains to be sure. "Last year, many had to sow again as we witnessed insufficient rains after the first spell," said Shekhar Thakur a soybean farmer in Dewas near Indore.
In Kharif 2011-2012, soybean sowing was not timely due to delayed and insufficient rains and many areas in Madhya Pradesh had to sow again, added Thakur.
Industry experts were also upbeat about acreage and production figures this year.
"We expect 5-7 per cent more area under soybean sowing throughout the country and up to at least 200,000 hectare increase in Madhya Pradesh," said Rajesh Agrawal of Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA).