Even as monsoon rainfall in June has been 32 per cent lower than normal this year, the country's official weatherman India Meteorological Department (IMD) expects situation to improve during the week. The change is expected to have an impact on the country's crop sowing pattern, which was 15.46 per cent lower than the area that was sowed in the country during the corresponding week ended June 28, the previous year.
The latest forecast of IMD says that between July 4 and 10, above normal rainfall is likely to occur along west coast, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and East Rajasthan and many parts of Gujarat, thus partially compensating for the deficient monsoon in other parts of the country. In the first month of the current monsoon season, the regions to get the scantiest rainfall were Western Uttar Pradesh (-72), Haryana and Delhi (-63), Gangetic West Bengal (-59), Eastern Uttar Pradesh (-58), Punjab and Eastern Madhya Pradesh (-53), and Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh (-53 and -48 respectively).
Overall water storage status in the country's 91 reservoirs was also well below the average for the season.
A reduction in kharif crop sowing was thus expected. On an all-India basis, area covered under kharif crop sowing was 146.61 lakh hectres on June 28, lower than 162.07 lakh hectres the same day, in 2018. While pulses sowing was 5.44 per cent lower, cotton acreage was 5.12 per cent lower than the corresponding period the previous year. Less area coverage under rice was reported from states such as Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Odisha. Pulses sowing was low in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan till June 28.
The IMD had forecasted that the formation of low pressure area over North Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood around June 30 would become more marked in coming days resulting in more favourable conditions for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into remaining parts of central India and some more parts of west and northwest India in the first week of July.