North India cotton acreage may remain at last year’s levels

Cotton acreage in northern India is unlikely to exceed levels seen last year as farmers in Punjab are seen to reduce acreage in the fall planting season. However, with the help of unseasonal rains in early April, farmers are likely to bring more acreage under the natural fiber crop in Haryana and Rajasthan.

“Cotton sowing in Haryana has decreased by about 10 per cent as of today. With sowing continuing till the first week of June, we expect to cover it,” said Ashwani Jhambe, Vice President, Cotton Association of India Ltd.

The region will decline in Punjab this year as it has been observed that farmers, who faced quality and quantity problems last year due to pest attacks, are shifting to rice cultivation in some areas. However, in Rajasthan, rains in April helped farmers practice cotton sowing, Jaham said.

The Indira Canal has been closed for repair work and is likely to open next week. Although the availability of canal water is an issue, farmers benefited from the early rains, he said.

Most districts in northern Rajasthan, Punjab and parts of Haryana received higher than normal rainfall from March to May this year according to IMD data. While the unseasonal rains affected the harvest of Rabi crops, it was observed that they help farmers to plant cotton earlier. “Overall, we expect cotton acreage in northern India to rise by about 10 percent,” Jump said.

Seed sales as in 2022

During 2022-23, about 2.41 hectares (lh) of cotton was grown in Punjab, 6.47l in Haryana and 7.77l in Rajasthan. “In the north, the total area is unlikely to exceed last year’s levels despite Punjab’s attempt to boost the area. Farmers, who were affected by pest attacks last year, have not stepped forward to increase There will be an increase of 2-3 percent in the states of Rajasthan and Haryana, he said.

Rasi expects its cottonseed sales to be at last year’s levels of 50 sacks in northern India. The total hybrid cottonseed market in the north is seen to be between 75 and 80 lakh bundles, as it was last year.

Satyendar Singh, CEO of seed business at Crystal Crop Protection Ltd, said, “Except for Punjab and some parts of Haryana, particularly Jind district, sentiment is positive for cotton this year. Northern Rajasthan is also positive and the region could increase by 15-20 percent in the region. Ganganagar In Haryana, the total area may remain the same or see some increase, especially in the southern part of the state.” He said his company, which sells 17 cotton hybrids nationwide, has seen better sales than last year.

Declining sales of illegal Bt seeds

Interestingly, the area under illegal BG-III cotton in Punjab has seen a sharp decline this year, which has contributed to the decline in the total area of ​​cotton.

Ramasamy said the sale of uncertified BG-III cotton seeds in Punjab has been fully controlled this year thanks to the efforts of the state agriculture ministry.

Crystal’s Singh said farmers, who planted uncertified BG-III hybrids last year, experienced huge losses due to increased attacks by pests such as cotton leaf curl virus and whiteflies. As a result, they are turning away from illegal seed cultivation, which is reflected in the decrease in the total area of ​​cotton in Punjab.