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Farmers may opt for short-cycle crops

June 30, 2009 11:28 IST

Delay in rainfall is likely to impact crop size and farmers may shift to short-cycle crops like cotton and castor seeds, an industry official said.

"The delay in monsoon has raised concern for several crops sown during the season. The sowing of crops like pulses, oilseeds and maize is already late by over 15 days," Solvent Extractors' Association of India's president Ashok Sethia said in New Delhi.

Most of the sowing in the country depends on the monsoon as over half of the cultivable land, due to lack of proper irrigation system, is rain-fed.

Any further delay in rainfall is likely to impact the crop size. "Farmers may shift to short-cycle crops like cotton and castor seeds," Sethia said.

Due to delay in arrival of monsoon, sowing of oilseeds of which the domestic production is on the decline, is also delayed. However, there has not been any major impact on the prices of vegetable oils as country depends heavily on imports, Sethia said.

Oilseeds have a cycle of 105-120 days. If monsoon departs as per its schedule by September 15-30, the yields will be impacted. For a good oilseed crop, rains should come by June 25 to the central India and by June 30 to northern India, failing which the oilseeds crop may be lower than projected, he said.

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