The south-west monsoon showers covered the entire country on Friday after a four-day delay from the normal schedule, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
As compared to a 33% rain deficit in June, the monsoon rainfall as on Friday reported only 3% of shortfall during July 1-19 period.
The area under all kharif crops has been by down only 7% year-on-year as of July 19, having improved from a 27% fall until a fortnight ago, showed the latest agriculture ministry data.
Barring cotton and groundnut, the sowing of all other crops are still lower from a year before.
The sowing of rice and pulses are worst affected with oilseeds and coarse cereals showing some recovery. Rice planting till this week stood at less than 140 lakh hectares , more than 9% less than 154 lakh hectares sown in the same week last year.
Pulses cultivation was nearly 16% lower so far compared with the corresponding week last year with all three major pulses – arhar, urad and moong reporting drop in planting.
There was considerable improvement in the sowing of coarse cereals this week with maize reaching almost the same levels as that in last year. However, jowar and bajra have some catching up to do to meeet the same levels as last year.
A drastic shortfall in soyabean cultivation in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh dragged the oilseeds area down 8.43%. As against 119 lakh hectares covered in the corresponding week last year, the oilseeds has been sown in 111 lakh hectares so far this year. A 25% increase in groundnut planting in Gujarat was not enough to cover the deficit.