As the data released by the agriculture ministry on Sunday, the area was sown to summer crops such as paddy was 1.55% lower at 1,043.87 lakh hectares so far in the ongoing Kharif season of the crop year 2021-22 (July-June).
Sowing operations are still ongoing, and the planting of summer (Kharif) crops can be extended until the end of August, according to the report.
In the previous year, farmers planted summer (Kharif) crops on 1,060.37 lakh hectares. The planting of Kharif crops begins in June, with the arrival of the southwest monsoon. Monsoon rainfall was 8% lower between June 1 and August 20, according to the ministry.
The Central Water Commission said that the water storage available in 130 reservoirs in the country was 96% of live storage in the same period last year, and 99.9% storage on average over the last ten years.
According to the ministry, ‘sowing is still ongoing in states growing Kharif crops, with monsoon rains occurring in many states.’
As per the report, a majority of state governments have informed the central government that sowing of Kharif crops, particularly urad, moong, paddy, sesamum, and castor, can be extended until the end of August.
Castor can be grown until September 15 in Gujarat, which has had heavy rains for the past two days. Similarly, kulthi, nizer, and early mustard seed can be sown in Jharkhand until September, according to the report.
According to the most recent data, the area sown to paddy (the main Kharif crop) remained marginally lower at 374.03 lakh hectare as of August 20 of this Kharif season, compared to 378.07 lakh hectare the previous year.
Likewise, the area sown to oilseeds was slightly lower at 187.88 lakh hectare as opposed to 189.98 lakh hectare, while coarse cereals acreage was lower at 169.06 lakh hectare as opposed to 171.82 lakh hectare during the same period.
However, the area sown to pulses was marginally higher this Kharif season, at 134.23 lakh hectare, compared to 132.03 lakh hectare the previous year. Cotton has been planted on 117.04 lakh hectares so far this Kharif season, down from 127.69 lakh hectares the previous year.
However, sugarcane acreage was slightly higher at 54.63 lakh hectares as opposed to 53.85 lakh hectares, while jute and mesta area remained flat at 7.02 lakh hectares as opposed to 7 lakh hectares during the same period.
In some areas, Kharif crop planting continues until September, with harvesting beginning in October.