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The Maharashtra agriculture department has advised farmers against early sowing even though many parts of the state have received a few pre-monsoon showers.
Farmers have been asked to undertake sowing only after their areas have received 80-100 mm of rainfall to avoid chances of seed wastage. Kharif activities have gathered momentum with farmers undertaking the preparation of soil ahead of the sowing.
Over the last few days, many parts of the state have reported heavy to medium rainfall. Parts of Konkan Marathwada, Kolhapur, Pune, Sangli, Satara, and some parts of north Maharashtra and Vidharbha have seen sporadic showers. The dams and reservoirs in the state have a decent amount of water. The monsoon arrived at the Kerala coast on Tuesday and it is expected the rains would reach Maharashtra in the next few days. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a normal rainfall this season.
In its advisory, the agriculture department has advised farmers not to take up sowing for crops like soybean, cotton, maize etc. Rice growers in Vidharbha have been advised to keep nursery preparation ready but avoid transplantation. The advisory has warned of early sowing as it might lead to seeds failing to germinate due to insufficient soil moisture. Last year, soybean farmers had complained of germination failure and one of the reasons cited was insufficient soil moisture. The extension arm of the department has undertaken a massive drive using all mediums to discourage farmers from an early sowing.
Maharashtra is expected to over 40 lakh hectares sowing of both cotton and soyabean. Pulses like tur, urad and moong is expected to over a combined acreage of 20 lakh hectares. Sugarcane another important cash crop is expected to be over around 10 lakh hectares of area.