WITH THE delayed monsoon having almost spoiled the prospects of soyabean crop, the Agriculture department is now focusing on short-term crops for the coming Kharif season. The department has prepared a contingency plan to handle the situation arising out of inordinate delay in monsoon.
“We have started arranging for seeds of short-term pulses and oilseeds crops like moong, urad, til and ramtil. If the rains get further delayed, we would strongly suggest that farmers don’t go for soyabean crop,’’ Director of Agriculture R S Manral told the Hindustan Times.
Soybean is the main Kharif crop in the State, which accounts for 60 per cent of entire production in the country. The monsoon is already delayed by about 10 days now. Normal time of sowing of soybean is already over.
This year the department has kept a target of sowing soyabean on 46 lakh hectares of land. The target looks too ambitious given the Met department’s prediction. The weatherman does not have good news for farmers and the department.
The proper monsoon rains might not strike till June 28, director of the Regional Meteorological Centre Dr D P Dubey said. The system over Bay of Bengal has already started weakening, and though there are hopes of some rains after 48 hours, the system is not strong enough to ensure onset of monsoon, he added.
Manral said the latest soyabean could be expected to be sown is between June 25 and first week of July. “There is no way that soyabean sown after July 15 could bring any profit,’’ he admitted. He said that if the crop is sown after this date, the productivity is seriously hit and the crop is also prone to repeated infestation of pests and insects.
Not only this, since the crop takes about 90-120 days to be ready for harvest, sowing it might even hit the planning for Rabi crops during winter, he said. The contingency plan for short-duration crops is also not without hassles either.
“We are facing problems as seeds for pulses and oilseeds are in short supply,’’ the director said. He said the extension wing of the department has been alerted and would be advising the farmers on the steps to be taken. Similarly the contingency plan would be publicised through electronic and print media and other government channels, he said.
When monsoon played truant
If the monsoon indeed does not strike by June 28 as apprehended by the Met department, it would be one of most delayed ones in the State since 1992.
1 In 1992 monsoon struck Central MP (Bhopal) on June 26. There have been only five occasions during the last 14 years when the monsoon arrived on or after June 19.
2 In 1995 and 2003, monsoon hit on June 19; in 1997 on June 20, in 2002 on June 22 and in June 2005 on June 24.
3 The normal date of monsoon striking the State is June 13 (June 15 for Bhopal). Dr Dubey said a delayed monsoon however does not mean less than average rains.
Citing example, he said, though in 2005, monsoon struck on June 24, the State received normal rainfall of almost 103 cm. Not only this, the some northeastern districts like Sagar and Katni received highest rainfall in 100 years.
“It is certain that weather has started behaving in extreme manner these days, thanks, of course, to environment issues,” Dr Dubey said.