The torrential rain in Gujarat has hurt sowing and has resulted in damage to 30% of the cotton and groundnut crop where sowing had been completed. Sowing this season had progressed faster than last year, and was about 23% of land sown at the same point last year.
"Around 25% of land sown with cotton is affected. Banaskantha, Rajkot, Morbi and Amreli have seen some part of sown fields washed out by the heavy rains. Whether these fields are re-sown remains to be seen," said Arun Dalal, a city-based cotton trader.
According to him, cotton prices showed a downward trend one week ago as sowing had picked up pace. Reports of crop damage led to prices moving up, albeit marginally. "Cotton prices inched up by Rs 300 to about Rs 42,500 to Rs 43,000 per candy," he added.
According to officials, in Banaskantha, Amreli and Rajkot, sowing of both groundnut and cotton has been affected, while in the Surendranagar only cotton has been affected. With Gujarat having already received 64% of its average annual rainfall, sowing this year has been completed on 23% more acreage than at the same point last year.
The area sown with groundnut and cotton are at 114% and 95% of their three-year average area sown for the entire season, respectively. According to data released by the state government, sowing has been complete on around 81.83% of the three-year average area sown, which is 85.76 lakh hectares (ha).
By July 25, 70.18 lakh ha had been sown. Last year, 57.01lakh ha had been sown by the same date. Officials said that with good rains relatively early this year, the area currently sown is 13.17 lakh ha more than at the same point last year. Interestingly, cotton has gained ground this year.
The fibre crop has already been sown on 25.84 lakh ha, which is more than the total area sown with it in 2016.