September 1, 2008


Good prices elevate India's summer-sown oilseed area


India's summer-sown oilseed and rice area during June 1-Aug. 28 continued to be higher from the year ago period because good prices during the previous year prompted farmers to plant more area under the crops.


Oilseed planting as of August 28 was 17.29 million hectares, compared with 17.01 million hectares during the year-ago period, latest government data showed Friday (August 29).


Rice area was 34.48 million hectares, up from 32.95 million hectares a year earlier, government data showed.


This higher area has led to expectations of a record rice production of more than 100 million tonnes this year, according to Vijay Setia, president of the All India Rice Exporters' Association.


However, other summer-sown crops continued to lag from a year ago due to deficient rains in the early sowing period. The rains revived during August and led to floods in many states.


Mangala Rai, secretary in the Department of Agricultural Research said that the overall summer-sown crop condition seems to be good even though some parts of the country have witnessed drought and other regions were flooded.


Monsoon rains in the season so far, from June 1 to Aug. 27, have been only 1 percent below normal, which is within the parameters of normal monsoons.


Corn area during June 1-Aug. 28 fell 4.5 percent to 6.95 million hectares.


Cotton sowing was down 2 percent, at 8.91 million hectares, while sugarcane area was 17 percent smaller on year, at 4.41 million hectares.


India's summer crop is sown from June and harvested during October, and is mostly dependent on monsoon rains for growth.


Sowing of the summer crop is now largely over. However, rains are needed at regular intervals in September to nurture the maturing crop.
Table of sowing area for selected summer crops in India (in million hectares) compared with the year-ago figure.







Oilseeds (Total)






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