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As rabi sowing gathers momentum, rapeseed-mustard is emerging as a favourite choice of farmers in North India. As of October 29, mustard acreage accounted for some 57 percent of the total planted area of 43.29 million hectares sown now.
The total acreage is 1.8 percent higher compared with last year’s 42.52 million during the same period.
Higher market prices for mustard and good residual soil moisture left by extended rains aid the sowing trend. The total oilseeds acreage is up 26.58 percent at 25.33 million. Of this mustard, accounts for a significant chunk. Mustard area is also higher by 26 percent over the same period last year.Significant planting of mustard has been taken up in Rajasthan at 16.9 million hectares, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 5.96 million hectares and Madhya Pradesh at 1.25 million hectares.
The post-monsoon rainfall continues to be good across the country, which has received 38 percent more precipitation than usual during October 1-27. About 85 percent of the area has received average to excess rainfall, while the remaining 15 percent witnessed deficient rains.
Live storage in the 133 significant reservoirs monitored by Central Water Commission stood at 141.724 billion cubic meters (BCM), 82 percent of the total capacity as of October 28.
Besides mustard, the other crop which has witnessed a growth in acreage is maize, while all other crops are trailing last year’s levels. Maize acreage stood at 0.83 LH, marginally higher than 0.77 million hectares. Coarse cereals, including jowar, have been planted in Maharashtra at 1.52 million hectares, followed by Karnataka at 1.39 million hectares and Tamil Nadu at 0.91 million hectares.
Among pulses, gram, the main crop for the season, acreage is lower at 7.77 million hectares than 9.36 LH in the year-ago period. Rajasthan reported a pulses acreage of 4.84 million hectares, followed by Karnataka at 2.76 million hectares and Madhya Pradesh at 0.51 million hectares.
Cereals such as rice and wheat are trending lower than last year’s levels. Rice is planted on 3.71 LH compared with 4.34 million hectares in the year-ago period. Rice planting is mainly in Tamil Nadu, where the area stood at 3.28 million hectares, followed by Telangana at 0.29 million hectares. The sowing of wheat stood at 0.34 million hectares compared with 0.35 million hectares in the same period a year ago.

Source: The Hindu business line

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