The monsoon rains, which advanced to north India last week, would boost paddy transplantation in Punjab and Haryana and help farmers save expenditure on diesel and power for irrigation, experts said.
South-west monsoon, the life line of Indian agriculture where 60 per cent of cultivable land is not irrigated, had hit Kerala on June 5.
But its progress got delayed, raising concerns over the adverse impact on kharif crops such as paddy and soyabean. Till July 4, there was 30 per cent deficit rainfall.
"Rice is grown in irrigated areas in Punjab and Haryana. The advancement of monsoon in these two states has changed the entire weather condition to good for paddy transplanting," India Meteorological Department director general LS Rathore told PTI.
Paddy transplanting would pick up pace as conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon in these two states in the coming days, he said.
Rathore said rains have brought down temperatures in these two states and has improved moisture level in soil and air that benefits transplanting of paddy saplings.
Echoing similar views, Orissa-based Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) director Trilochan Mohapatra said the delay in monsoon has not affected paddy sowing in Punjab and Haryana, where paddy nurseries are grown in irrigated areas.
"Paddy seedlings are ready for transplanting in these two states. If monsoon further progresses, sowing can be completed by end of July," he said.
Punjab Agriculture Department joint director Gurdial Singh said the lashing of rains in the northern region will not only boost sowing operations but would help in curtailing input costs, especially diesel use for irrigation.
In Punjab alone, diesel sale during the month of June when paddy sowing season begins, has shot up by 18 per cent to 2.98 lakh kilo litres.
In the north-west India, monsoon rainfall up to July 4 has been 83 per cent below the long period average. However, rains and thundershowers are expected to occur at a few places over Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, east Rajasthan on many days of this week, said the IMD forecast for the week ending July 13.
Because of delayed monsoon and power shortage, the sowing of major kharif crops including paddy, guar and maize in Punjab and Haryana had been hit, with area under cultivation of these crops going down considerably.
Till July 6, farmers have sown rice in 55.40 lakh hectare across the country.