THE CURRENT spell of heavy rains in the Western Madhya Pradesh have spoiled the prospects of bumper soyabean crop in the State, say analysts. Heavy rains in the Malwa belt, which accounts for 90 per cent of soyabean production in the State, has led to apprehension of partial damage to the crops.
National Research Centre for Soyabean (NRCS) Director G S Chouhan told Hindustan Times that 10 to 15 per cent damage to crops is expected due to the continuing incessant rains and cloudy weather.
“The crops need intermittent sunshine, especially now that it is the growth period, but cloudy weather in the past one month may result in poor growth of the crop.” Chauhan warned of more crop damage if the rains do not stop in one to two days.
For the soyabean growers of the State, the monsoon has been alternately good and bad. The rains were delayed in June. However, it rained substantially in July and 90 per cent sowing was done by the first week.
In fact, good monsoon in July had raised the spectre of a bumper crop this year with officials estimating a jump of 10 lakh metric tonnes. But heavy and incessant rains in August have again dampened the sprits.
Meanwhile, Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA) officials played down the damage to the crops. SOPA Chairman Rajesh Agrawal said that there was some water logging in the low lying areas of Mandsaur and Neemuch districts, but no major damage to the crop has been reported. He, however, expressed concern over the cloudy weather, which he said was not conducive for the growth of crops.
Soyabean Development Programme, SOPA, director G P Saxena also said that no major damage to crop has been reported from any part of the State, but conceded that some crop damage could have occurred in the areas which have been inundated.
Madhya Pradesh accounts for nearly 65 per cent of total soyabean production in the country. The state has increased acreage under soyabean to 4.4 million hectares this year.