Late spells of monsoon rains has damaged standing soybean crop in multiple districts of the state, at a time when people were feeling lucky about the presence of ideal climatic conditions for soybean growth.
On Wednesday, there were rains in Indore, Barwani, Khargone, Ujjain and surrounding districts. Widespread rains occurred in Alirajpur, Ratlam, Jhabua and Barwani districts on Thursday.
“The early sown variety of soybean that is ready for harvest would have suffered some damage due to rains,” scientist and soybean expert Dr PS Bhatnagar told HT. “If the rains are followed by sunshine then the pods split and seeds fall out,” he said. The extent of damage will be revealed after the agriculture department conducts a survey.
However, Indore-based Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) said about 70% of the crop has already been harvested so any damage would be minimal.
According to the regional office of the Met department, moisture incursion from Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea is causing rains across the state. An upper air cyclonic circulation prevailing over Saurashtra and Kutch is also causing rains.
Experts have been predicting a good soybean crop this year before the late spell of rains hit the state as the monsoon had arrived on time and there had been no major pest attack. Apart from floods in eastern parts of the state in July, the weather had been very conducive this year, especially in the Malwa-Nimar belt where soybean is grown extensively.
Soybean cultivation area in MP this year has been estimated at 56 lakh hectares, about the same as last year. Soybean farmers are trying to increase per hectare yield for a better crop size. During the 2015 kharif season, production of soybean was around 69.29 lakh tonnes on cultivation area of 56 lakh hectares.
Soybean prices are ruling at about `2,700 per quintal for the new crop at spot markets in Indore.
Madhya Pradesh is the top producer of soybean in the country and accounts for 53% of its production, as per government statistics. The crop has also been hit in Maharashtra, the second largest producer, due to heavy rains in Marathwada region.