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Maharashtra agri dept advises farmers to avoid early sowing to thwart chances of seed wastage

Last year, soybean farmers had complained of germination failure, and one of the reasons cited was insufficient soil moisture.

Maharashtra agriculture department has advised farmers against early sowing even though many parts received good rain. The department has asked farmers to undertake sowing only after their areas have received 80 mm to 100 mm rain to avoid chances of seed wastage.

Kharif activity has gathered momentum with farmers busy in preparing the land for the upcoming season.

Over the past few days, many parts of the state have reported heavy to medium rainfall. Parts of Konkan, Marathwada, Kolhapur, Pune, Sangli, Satara and some parts of North Maharashtra and Vidarbha have reported sporadic showers. Dams and reservoirs in the state have a decent amount of water.

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The monsoon arrived over the Kerala coast on Tuesday, and it is expected to reach Maharashtra in the next few days. The India Meteorological Department has predicted normal rainfall this season.

In its advisory, the agriculture department has also advised farmers not to take up sowing for crops like soybean, cotton, maize among others. It has also advised rice growers in Vidarbha to keep nursery preparation ready but avoid transplantation.

The advisory has warned against early sowing as it might lead to failure in germination due to insufficient soil moisture. Last year, soybean farmers had complained of germination failure, and one of the reasons cited was insufficient soil moisture.

The extension arm of the department has undertaken a massive drive using all mediums to discourage farmers from early sowing.

In Maharashtra, it is expected that over 40 lakh hectares will record sowing of cotton and soybean. Pulses like toor, urad and moong are expected be sown in over a combined acreage of 20 lakh hectares. Sugarcane is another important cash crop and is expected to be sown in over around 10 lakh hectares.

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