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June-Aug summer-sown oilseed, rice area up; cotton down
31 Aug 2008 10:15 am

Mumbai - India's summer-sown oilseed and rice area for the period June 1-Aug 28 continued to be higher than the year earlier because the previous year's good prices prompted farmers to plant more crops.

Oilseed planting, as of Aug 28, was 1.729 crore hectares, compared with 1.701 crore hectares for the year earlier, government data showed Friday.

Rice area was 3.448 crore hectares, up from 3.295 crore hectares a year earlier, the data showed.

This higher area has led to expectations of a record-high rice production of over 10 crore metric tons this year, according to Vijay Setia, president of the All India Rice Exporters' Association.

However, other summer-sown crops continue to lag from a year earlier due to deficient rains in the early sowing period. The rains revived during August and have led to flooding in many states.

Despite this, Mangala Rai, secretary in the Department of Agricultural Research, said the overall summer-sown crop condition seems to be good even though some parts of the country have witnessed drought and some other regions faced flood-like situations.

Monsoon rains in the season so far, from June 1 to Aug 27, have been only 1 per cent below normal, which is within the parameters of normal monsoons.

Corn area during June 1-Aug 28 fell 4.5 per cent on year to 69.5 lakh hectares.

Cotton sowing was down 2 per cent at 89.1 lakh hectares, while sugarcane area was 17 per cent smaller on year at 44.1 lakh hectares.

India's summer crop is sown from June and harvested during October, and is mostly dependent on monsoon rains for growth.

Sowing of the summer crop is now largely over. However, rains are needed at regular intervals in September to nurture the maturing crop.

Table of sowing area for selected summer crops in India (in million hectares) compared with the year-earlier figure.

Crop 2008 2007
(Up to Aug 28)
Groundnut 5.03 5.15
Soybean 9.52 8.72
Oilseeds (Total) 17.29 17.01
Pulses 9.78 11.69
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