Monsoon showers in late August and early September are likely to boost cotton production in the north Indian cotton growing states of Punjab, Haryana and lower Rajasthan.
In fact, the rains have altered the cotton crop situation compared to about 15-20 days back, when the cotton crop growth was not satisfactory, owing to deficit rainfall.
“In the last fortnight, there have been sufficient rains throughout the entire cotton area of Northern India. So, the concerns about deficient rainfall do not exist as they were earlier,” Mr. Rakesh Rathi, President, North India Cotton Association, told fibre2fashion.
“As of now, the growth of cotton crop is excellent. We will be harvesting a good crop this year of around 5.5 million bales of 170 kg each in the entire region including lower Rajasthan. This is subject to the condition that there prevails a dry climate in the days to come,” he opines.
So far, Punjab has received rainfall of 196.2 mm as against the normal rainfall of 422 mm. So, there is a deficit of 54 percent. Similarly, Haryana has received a rainfall of 241.4 mm, as against the normal 406.6 mm, leaving a deficit of 40 percent. “However, deficit rain will not hamper cotton crop as it requires less water for cultivation,” says Mr. Rathi.
Last year, around 6.4 million bales of cotton were produced in north India, including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. However, Mr. Rathi expects cotton production to decline this year in northern belt.
Explaining the reason for the likely decline in cotton production this year, Mr. Rathi says, “The expected reduction in cotton production is due to a decrease in cotton sowing acreage in the region. Last year cotton prices were lower compared to alternative crops like jowar and paddy and hence, some farmers have shifted to production of these crops.”
The acreage under cotton in northern India was 1.695 million hectares last year, while it is 1.53 million hectares this year, according to Mr. Rathi.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India