Madhya Pradesh: El Nino may impact soya yield
The India Meteorological Department’s prediction of El Nino effect continuing throughout monsoon season has farmers and soybean experts worried, as distribution pattern rather than quantum of rainfall is more crucial for the soya crop.indore Updated: Jun 04, 2015 19:05 IST
The India Meteorological Department’s prediction of El Nino effect continuing throughout monsoon season has farmers and soybean experts worried, as distribution pattern rather than quantum of rainfall is more crucial for the soya crop.
“There is about 90% probability of El Nino conditions to continue during the southwest monsoon season,” IMD said in its forecast update for monsoon.
While private forecaster Skymet has played down the El Nino effect, it has also predicted weak rainfall in some states, including Madhya Pradesh, where more than 60% kharif cultivation area is rain-fed.
“After extensive research on the areas under irrigation, Skymet has deduced that Madhya Pradesh will be the worst affected this year,” a release issued by the company stated.
The experts are more worried about the impact of El Nino on the distribution pattern. “The distribution pattern of monsoon is very crucial for the soya crop.
If predictions are correct, soya sowing in MP should start by June 20. However, monsoon spells during seedling stage in early July, flowering stage in mid-August and pod-filling stage in September will be crucial, scientist and former director of National Research Centre for Soybean (NRCS) Dr PS Bhatnagar said. “Any dry spell during this period will have an adverse impact on the crop yield.”
MP accounts for about 53% of total soybean production in India, and prices have been inching upwards over the past few days.
Soybean futures on NCDEX for June contract are trading at Rs 4,080 per quintal, up from Rs 3,900 last month.
“Confusing signals by IMD has created a bit of panic in the market and speculators are taking advantage of that,” Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) office-bearer Rajesh Agrawal said.
He, however, admitted that erratic distribution pattern of monsoon will bring down the yield.
In 2014 season, India’s soybean production was revised to 99 lakh metric tons, down from 110 lakh metric tons, after erratic rains brought down the yield in MP and Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, the state government has been advising farmers to go for short duration crop.
“We have drawn up contingency plans both for deficient monsoon as well as late onset of monsoon,” an agriculture department official said. “Farmers in low-lying areas who have access to ponds can get one or two irrigation, but a gap of more than 15 days in monsoon could be a problem.”
Soybean is the principal kharif crop of Madhya Pradesh and is used for producing soya oil, while the de-oiled cake, also known as soya meal, is exported as animal feed. The cake is also used for making soya chunks for human consumption.