The country’s soybean output may decline by over 17 per cent this year on the back of heavy crop damage in major growing regions owing to flood-ravaged water logging.
Data by the Soybean Processors Association (SOPA) shows the overall soybean output at 9 million tonnes (mt) for the current harvesting season, as against the revised downward output estimate of 10.9 mt for the previous year. SOPA had earlier estimated the overall soybean output at 11.48 mt for the kharif harvesting season 2018.
“Farmers carried out soybean sowing aggressively in these states between June 25 and July 15. In some areas of Maharashtra, however, sowing was extended up to the last week of July. However, the crop was badly damaged by up to 30 per cent, in the low-lying areas of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan due to water logging. This resulted in a sharp decline in average yield,” said SOPA chairman Davish Jain.
The three-week delay in the monsoon season did not impact sowing, as farmers had prepared land ahead of the seasonal showers.
A survey conducted by SOPA teams visiting major growing regions showed crop damage in the Latur, Beed and Oshmanabad districts of Maharashtra, due to a dry spell for 30-35 days during the plant germination period, affected productivity.
Further, observations were made for extensive crop damage owing to water logging in Mandsaur, Neemuch and Ratlam districts of Madhya Pradesh. In Baran, Pratapgarh and Jhalawar districts in Rajasthan, crop was reported to be damaged due to heavy rains, Jain said.
Therefore, overall acreage under soybean, according to SOPA, was recorded at an abysmal 10.76 million ha for 2019, compared to 10.84 million ha in the previous year.
Led by a sharp decline in yield on account of floods during the flowering season, soybean output in MP is estimated to decline by a staggering 31 per cent to 4 mt this year, as against 5.8 mt last year.
Soybean yield in MP is estimated to decline to 772 kg per ha this year against 1,075 kg last year. However, the yield in Maharashtra is seen increasing to 971 kg in 2019, as against 944 kg in 2018.