A week’s delay in arrival of monsoon in Madhya Pradesh will not have any significant impact on soybean crop yield provided there is no long break in monsoon once sowing starts, experts said on Thursday.
Madhya Pradesh is the country’s top producer of soybean and accounts for 53% production, according to official data.
Scientist and soybean expert PS Bhatnagar said slight delay in arrival of monsoon would not have any significant impact on soybean yield provided there was no long gap once the monsoon arrives.
With pre-monsoon showers hitting east Madhya Pradesh, farmers are getting ready to sow soybean, paddy and pulses although the onset of monsoon is still a few days away.
“Pre-monsoon activity has begun in east Madhya Pradesh from Bay of Bengal area and onset of monsoon should take place by June 20-21. The progression of monsoon from Arabian Sea area is still week and it will take another 8-10 days to arrive in west Madhya Pradesh,” India Meteorological Department’s Bhopal office director Anupam Kashyapi told HT.
The state government has increased the target area under kharif crop – that includes oilseeds, paddy, pulses and maize – this year to 132 lakh hectares from 126 lakh hectares in the previous season. However, area under soybean, which was cultivated on about 59 lakh hectares last year, is expected to fall by more than 5%.
“Soybean cultivation in MP area will come down this kharif season as farmers have been suffering crop damage for the past two to three years. We expect farmers to increase the area under pulses,” agricultural production commissioner PC Meena said.
Solvent Extractors’ Association of India executive director BV Mehta said there would be marginal drop in soybean acreage by about 5-10%.
Soybean farmers are trying to increase per hectare yield of soybean for a better crop size. During the 2015 kharif season, production of soybean was around 69.29 lakh tonnes compared to 87.1 lakh tonnes in 2014.
Soybean prices are up 7% than what they were a year ago. At present, a tonne of soybean is fetching a price of Rs 3,950 while in June last year, the price was `3,700 per quintal. Besides Madhya Pradesh, other soybean producing states are Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.