Maize (corn) acreage has jumped 41 per cent Karnataka, the largest producer of coarse cereal, during the current Kharif season as farmers are seen bringing in more area under the coarse cereal crop. This comes even as Kharif sowing has taken place on 28.17 lakh hectares (lh) of the targeted 77 lh in the State as of June 25.

Maize sowing has been completed in 7.47 lakh ha till June 25, 41 per cent higher than the corresponding 5.30 lh a year ago. The target area for maize this Kharif in the State is 11.84 lh, and sowing has been complete in about 63 per cent of the targeted area. Maize planting is complete in 6.31 lh of the targeted rainfed area of 8.72 lh. In irrigated conditions, maize sowing has taken place in 1.16 lh of the targeted 3.12 lh.

Good rainfall

Good pre-monsoon showers and well-distributed monsoon rainfall, so far, has aided the Kharif sowing in the State. Rainfall during June was 31 per cent higher at 405 mm against the normal of 310 mm for the month. Key maize growing regions of Davangere and Chitradurga districts in south interior Karnataka has received 81 and 45 per cent more rainfall than normal during June.

Official sources said the progress of the Kharif sowing has been good so far. Total acreages are higher by about 8 per cent over the same period last year.

Increased pulses area

Among other crops, oilseeds and pulses areas have increased marginally compared with last year. Pulses have been sown on 7.33 lh compared with 7.30 lh in the same period last year. The target area for pulses is 21.07 lh, of which tur acreage is targeted at 14.31 lh. Tur has so far been planted in 3.31 LH, marginally lower than last year’s 3.34 LH. Moong or green gram has been seeded in 2.75 LH compared with 2.69 LH.

Higher oilseeds acreage

Total oilseeds acreage has been higher at 4.53 LH compared with 3.93 LH in the same period last year. The target area for oilseeds is 10.67 LH this year. Farmers are seen showing preference towards soybean, groundnut and sunflower. Till June 25, soybean has been planted in 2.69 LH (2.47 lh same period last year), while groundnut has been planted in 1.07 lh (0.84 lh) and sunflower in 0.57 lh (0.36 lh).

Cotton planting has been rather sluggish as the fibre crop has been planted in 1.65 lh compared with 2.39 lh in the same period last year. The State is targeting cotton acreage of 7.30 lh for the Kharif season this year. Among cereals, planting of paddy, jowar, ragi and bajra, among others, has been rather sluggish so far.

Source: The Hindu Group