“Total acreage in the three states — Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan — has risen about 7 percent compared to about 1.22 million hectares sown last year, officials said on Friday..
“The area covered under cotton is now at 14 percent of last year’s total. Key producers Gujarat and Maharashtra haven’t begun their sowing yet.
“In the 2008 cotton season, about 9.37 million hectares were covered under the fibre crop. The output for the year ending Sept 2009 is estimated at about 29 million bales, as per data from Cotton Advisory Board, a government and industry body..
“Sowing is nearly complete in Punjab and Haryana, while 70 percent area in Rajasthan is over, the officials said. Haryana has seen a steep rise in acreage followed by Rajasthan, while area in Punjab is steady, they added..
“Sowing in Haryana is in the last phase… this year sowing has risen about 15 percent compared to last year,” A. Solanki, joint director in Haryana farm department, said..
“Acreage is expected to rise in Haryana and Rajasthan, according to a Reuters survey. “Sowing is still on in Rajasthan and we have already surpassed last year’s sowing area,” Panna Lal, joint director in the state’s farm department, said. …
“The final acreage for the fibre crop in the current sowing season will be decided by three largest growing states – Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh – where sowing is yet to begin and a lull in monsoon may adversely affect acreage, officials said..
“Farmers in these states have prepared their land and have bought seeds…they are now waiting for the monsoon,” a senior official in the Textile Commissioner’s office, said..
“So far, sowing has been done in only a miniscule area with irrigation facility in Gujarat. “A delay in monsoon is a cause for concern for the cotton farmers,” he added..
“India’s annual monsoon rains are likely to extend the lull in their progress for another week, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday.
“The lull may delay sowing activity in the three states, which are mostly rain-fed, the official, who did not wish to be quoted, said..
“The three states contributed about 74 percent of the total acreage under cotton cultivation in 2008 sowing season and is estimated to produce about 71 percent of country’s output..