The sowing of arhar, soybean, groundnut, and sunflower has been less than last year in the current kharif season even as planting has entered the last stages mainly due to weak rain in Karnataka and excess in some others like Gujarat.
The soybean acreage seems to have dropped as farmers might have shifted to cotton because of better prices offered in the past few years and a sharp fall in soybean rates.
The area under cotton has increased by almost 21 per cent as compared to the same period last year.
Though sowing will continue for a few more weeks and this should get a boost from monsoon revival, unless there is a big lift, the acreage under arhar, soybean, groundnut and sunflower might remain less than last year, which could lead to lower production.
The data from the department of agriculture showed that till Friday, the area under arhar was around 15.49 per cent less than last year, and those under soybean, groundnut, and sunflower seed were around 10.31 per cent, 11.46 per cent and 11.87 per cent less than last year.
Overall, till July 21, around 79.13 million hectares of land was brought under kharif crops, which was nearly 3.34 per cent more than the same period last year and over 5 per cent more than the normal acreage sown, which is the average of the past five years.