Indian rice planting accelerates with revival of monsoon rains

By Mayank Bhardwaj

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Ample monsoon rains have accelerated the planting of summer-sown rice in India, based on the most recent farm ministry knowledge, after a sluggish begin to the sowing season that started in June.

Crop-nourishing monsoon rains picked up in July and August, permitting farmers to plant 32.8 million hectares (81 million acres) with rice by Friday, up 5.1% from the identical interval final yr.

A rise in rice planting in India, the world’s second-biggest producer of the grain, will ease considerations that provides may very well be squeezed after New Delhi, in a shock transfer late final month, ordered a halt to its largest rice export class.

India’s choice to ban abroad shipments of non-basmati white rice pushed costs to multi-year highs, as commerce and business officers imagine shipments by the world’s largest exporter of the grain may very well be halved.

Farmers sometimes begin planting rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, sugarcane, peanuts and different crops from June 1, when essential summer time monsoon rains are anticipated to start drenching the nation the place almost half the farmland lacks irrigation.

India’s monsoon rains have been 5% above common over June and July as a complete, however had fallen 10% under regular in June earlier than rebounding to 13% above common the next month.

The climate workplace defines common, or regular, rainfall as between 96% and 104% of a 50-year common of 87 cm (35 inches) for the four-month season.

The delayed arrival and decrease rainfall in June, particularly in some southern, jap and central states, held again summer time crop planting, though the monsoon superior to cowl the complete nation nearly per week sooner than regular.

In some areas, together with breadbasket states similar to Punjab and Haryana, torrential rains in July triggered floods however dry climate prevailed in different components of the nation.

Farmers had planted 18.3 million hectares with oilseeds, together with soybeans, by Friday, a slightly smaller space than a yr earlier.

Corn was planted on 7.9 million hectares, up from 7.7 million hectares a yr earlier. The cotton space was additionally marginally smaller at 12.1 million hectares.

(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Modifying by Kirsten Donovan)

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