By admin       2019-01-14

Nashik: following erratic rain this year. The state agriculture department predicted that cotton production would come down by over 40%, as substantial cotton crops have wilted as water is adequate water.The normal annual cotton production in North Maharashtra is 21 lakh tonnes, and about 8.50 lakh hectares of land are used to cultivate this crop. The main cotton growing belts in North Maharashtra are in Jalgaon, Dhule, Nandurbar and Nashik districts, with Jalgaon and Dhule contributing 80% of the total acreage and production. In the last monsoon, rain was poor and 36 of 40 talukas of these four districts were declared ‘scarcity hit’. Average yield per hectare of cotton is around 25 tonnes. Of total cotton acreage, 60% is nonirrigated and 40% irrigated. Some farmers lost the entire cotton crop due to lack of rain this year. Recommended By Colombia “Inadequate rain has hit cotton production. Although we are still in the process of gathering the data of cotton production in North Maharashtra, the drop is over 40%,” officials of the state agricultural department said. What has compounded woes of cotton farmers is the attack of the pest called pink bollworm in parts of North Maharashtra. “The exact impact on cotton production would be assessed only after we collect data, which will take around a week or two,” an official said. A cotton farmer in Sindhkheda taluka of Dhule district, Prakash Chavan, said he had lost the bulk of his crop to poor rain. “This monsoon was the worst in the last two decades. The yield of my cotton farm is around nine quintals an acre. This time, I only got about three quintals in an acre,” he said.Ashok Pawar, a cotton farmer in Dhule, said sowing of cotton was delayed by over a month this year as the monsoon arrived late. “And when they came, the rains were inadequate. I had to re-sow the crop as the crop earlier sown wilted. My cotton crop on three acres turned yellow. I had ploughed all the cotton crop in September, thinking that I would at least get a good rabi crop,” Pawar said.

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