Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh drive mustard acreage higher by 24% as rabi sowing picks up

Joseph B. Hash

Farmers continue to show their preference for oilseeds, mainly rapeseed-mustard over other crops as the planting of rabi crops progresses at a fair pace across the country with overall coverage exceeding last year’s levels marginally.

In Rajasthan, the largest mustard-producing State, farmers have increased the acreage under mustard-taramira by a whopping 36 per cent to 29.28 lakh hectares (lh) compared with 21.51 lh during the same period a year ago. The normal area under the crop in Rajasthan is 25.50 lh.

Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, the area under mustard has gone up by 69 per cent to 7.78 lh (4.61 lh). Haryana with a planted area of 5.47 lh (4.95 lh) and Assam are other States that have witnessed an area increase in mustard area, while Uttar Pradesh has seen a marginal decline at 10.21 lh.

Many parts of the country continues to receive good post-monsoon rains helping the sowing. Cumulative rainfall from the period October 1 to November 10 has been 29 per cent more than normal for the country as a whole. Over 75 per cent of the area has received normal to large excess post-monsoon rainfall till November 10.

The area under wheat, the main rabi cereal crop, is down by 10 per cent at 41.33 lh, as the harvest of kharif crops is still going on across many States.

Pulses area trails

In Uttar Pradesh, the largest wheat producer, the planted area as on November 12 stood at 6.50 lh (5.07 lh), while in Punjab it was 12.28 lh (14.10 lh), Madhya Pradesh at 14.29 lh (14.99 lh) and Haryana at 2.89 lh (4.55 lh).

Though the overall area under pulses is still trailing last year’s level, the area under gram in Madhya Pradesh, the largest producing State, is marginally up at 11.80 lh (11.41 lh). Karnataka with a planted area of 6.85 lh (6.82 lh) and Andhra with 1.55 lh (1.45 lh) are the other States that have registered an increase.

In Rajasthan, the acreage was lower at 12.41 lh (13.71 lh), Uttar Pradesh at 3.9 lh (4.2 lh) and Maharashtra at 1.2 lh (1.8 lh) have registered a decline. Paddy transplantation has been sluggish with Tamil Nadu registering an acreage of 5.82 lh (6.08 lh).

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