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Erratic rains to affect cotton plantation in India

This year, the main cotton growing districts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are likely to face a prolonged dry period after June. Cotton area fell short by 30 per cent this year in north India. Rains are likely to start by June 19-20 in MP, Maharashtra and Telangana. Rainfall distribution is predicted to be very good all through the season until mid-September, except for a 10-day dry period in mid-July in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, and intermittent dry weeks in Telangana. Cotton production in the three states is expected to be good, if sowed before June 25, or at least before the end of June.

In Gujarat, rains are expected to start from June 20 to 21. For most of the period in July, the state is unlikely to receive rains. If the prediction turns out to be correct, rain-fed cotton in Gujarat, especially late sowed crop, will be under stress during July and after the third week of August if the monsoon recedes as predicted for many districts, resulting in decline in yields in rain-fed regions.

Rainfall distribution in AP is predicted to be erratic throughout the season. Rain-fed cotton may come under severe stress in the main cotton growing district of Guntur. Good rains are predicted in Karnataka in the last week of June and early July.