“Green and black gram (mung and urad, respectively) sowing could also be affected as farmers have been advised to refrain sowing these crops if there is not at least 100 mm rain, divided in three-four showers (10-15 mm each) in their areas. If there is not sufficient rainfall till June 21, the farmers will not take the risk of sowing crops such as green and black gram,” a senior agriculture official said.
With the sowing window for some crops closing even before monsoon arrival in parts of Maharashtra, their production could be affected. As per rough indications from India Meteorological department (IMD), monsoon is likely to enter the state during the next 24 hours. The normal date of monsoon onset over extreme southern parts of Maharashtra is around June 5-6.
Kailas Dakhore, agro-meteorologist at Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Agricultural University who has been assisting the state agriculture department in issuing advisories to farmers, told TOI, “The farmers have been advised to not start sowing amidst localised and pre-monsoon showers happening sporadically at present in parts of Maharashtra. They must sow after monsoon arrival and that too, once their area receives 75-100 mm rainfall, along with forecasts of more spells thereafter. Sowing is expected to be thus delayed in the state not only because of late arrival of monsoon but also because it will take some time for areas to get this quantum (75-100 mm) rainfall.”
Agriculture commissioner of Maharashtra Sunil Chavan told TOI , “Seeds and fertilizers are amply available for farmers in all blocks. Flying squads to address farmers’ problems are deployed in all districts and can be contacted via the agri department control room.”