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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kharif Acreage Expands as Weather God Smiles.

The Economic Times
New Delhi, 15 July 2013

The spurt in rains across central and western India is expected to continue in the second half of July, with the weather office forecasting rainfall to be better this month. This will further help kharif sowing with sown area touching 51.77 million hectare till date. However, a 40% below-normal rainfall in eastern states is likely to hit tea plantations. “In the second half of July, the rains will be better,” said Laxman Singh Rathore, director general, India Meteorological Department. He said general conditions indicated a fresh cyclonic circulation would be formed over northwest Bay of Bengal during the second half of the week. The western end of the monsoon trough would shift northwards from July 14 onwards leading to good rains. Till July 12, around 88% of the country has received normal and excess rainfall this season beginning June 1. Cumulative seasonal rainfall activity continued to be excess over all the four homogeneous regions except east & northeast India, where it was 34% below the long-period average. Rathore said the rains are spread across the country. “There has been no long dry or wet spell this year, which should help the agriculture sector,” he said. According to the agriculture department, the sowing of kharif crops has picked up further in this week. The total sown area as on July 12 stands at 51.77 million hectare as compared to 34.15 million hectare at this time last year. 40% deficient rainfall over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim, Gangetic West Bengal and Jharkhand is not likely to make a major impact. However some crop like tea could be impacted with the relative humidity low and temperature high, Rathore said. “Water requirement of rice and maize crops is being met. There will be no major impact due to deficient rains in the northeast,” he said. The rainfall has brightened the prospects of a better kharif output. It has also augmented water storage capacity in 85 major reservoirs in the country. As on July 11, live storage available in these reservoirs was 56.314 billion cubic metres which was 36% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. This storage is 203% of the storage during the corresponding period of the past year and 149% of storage of an average of the past ten years.  

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