The farmers have completed cultivation on over 1.48 lakh hectares till June 15 as against 66,000 hectares during the same period last year. Though the land under cultivation of kharif crops till now is more than what it was last year, the uncertainty over rain was not there in 2022 and cultivation had picked up in the last two weeks of June. But this time, the impact of cyclone Biparjoy and a full-blown El Nino was already visible on the southwest monsoon pattern over India.
Nearly 50% of 716 districts in India are currently recording large deficiency in monsoon rainfall, while another 19% are deficient, India Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed on Wednesday. All subdivisions of Maharashtra have a rain deficiency of over 79-80% so far.
The farmers who have done cultivation are staring at re-sowing. Basavraj Birajdar, joint director of state agriculture department, said, “We are creating awareness among the farmers to restrain from cultivation till the soil is not properly wet. For regions with good rain for two to three days without much break is okay to start the sowing activities, provided the farmers have irrigation facilities available. But in the rain-fed areas, the farmers should wait for 80-100mm of rainfall before starting the sowing activities.”
The coastal districts received some rain in the past few days and sowing activities for rice and ragi has picked up. In Pune and Vidharbha divisions, sowing is yet to start.
Dnyandeo Wakure, retired district superintendent and agriculture officer and currently the chief mentor of agriculture and entrepreneurship department of SAARTHI Pune, on Thursday told TOI, “If sowing gets postponed to the first week of July, the harvesting season will face the brunt of untimely rain and the crops will be damaged.”