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Better-than-expected rain to push Kharif sowing: Govt

Better-than-expected rain to push Kharif sowing: Govt
With most states receiving better-than-expected monsoon rains so far, the government on Tuesday said sowing of <g data-gr-id="42">kharif</g> crops such as paddy, pulses and <g data-gr-id="43">soyabean</g> will gather pace in the coming days. 

However, higher acreage under the key <g data-gr-id="44">kharif</g> (summer) crops would depend on well-distributed rains in July, farm experts said while expressing concern over progress of monsoon in the next month. "The rainfall so far this year has been better than expected. Sowing is in progress in most states and will gather pace this week," Agriculture Secretary Siraj Hussain said.

Regular advisories are being issued by State Agriculture Universities advising farmers to undertake <g data-gr-id="41">sowing</g> operation in accordance with rainfall conditions in local areas, he said. Much of the sowing has so far been confined to irrigated states like Punjab and Haryana and the progress of monsoon in the last few days has helped farmers to begin planting in rainfed areas, Agriculture Commissioner J S Sandhu said. Nearly half of the net sown land in the country is dependent on monsoon rainfall. 

Sandhu said, "Good rains have improved soil moisture in rainfed areas. <g data-gr-id="38">Sowing</g> will gather pace in the next few days and more area under kharif crops will covered." Transplantation of paddy has started in Punjab and Haryana. The sowing of soyabean, pulses and cotton in rainfed areas of central India is expected to pick up, he added.

Stating that the July rainfall is crucial for <g data-gr-id="32">progress</g> of sowing, Solvent Extractors Association Executive Director B V Mehta said: "Oilseeds like <g data-gr-id="33">soyabean</g> are grown largely in rainfed areas. So, well <g data-gr-id="30">distribution</g> of rainfall in <g data-gr-id="31">regular</g> interval is important. Let's see what will happen in July."

The sowing area and crop yields in rainfed areas is highly dependent on <g data-gr-id="27">well-distribution</g> of rains as farmers do not have irrigation facilities to back on, he added. Till last week, farmers had sown <g data-gr-id="28">kharif</g> crops in 91.61 lakh hectare as against the normal area of 111 lakh hectare. As per the Met Department, the country as a whole has received 11 <g data-gr-id="29">per cent</g> more rainfall than normal. 
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