The late wheat harvesting has hit the summer moong crop badly this year. Only 40,000 hectares area will be dedicated to the crop this year compared to 78,000 hectares dedicated the crop in 2011.
The target fixed for 2011-12 was over one lakh hectares. While 35,000 hectares area has already been dedicated to moong,the remaining 5,000 will be brought under it with the clearing of wheat crops.
Punjab had offered subsidy of Rs 12 per kg on purchase of certified seeds of pulses. The state is promoting two varieties of summer moong SML 832 and SML 668.
Agriculture experts advise that summer moong should be sown by the second week of April to protect the crop from early monsoon in June. The delayed sowing of summer moong could also delay the sowing of paddy crop, experts added.
Sources in the agriculture department informed that there was a huge demand for the moong dal seed this year but late wheat harvesting discouraged many farmers.
Harvesting got delayed by over two weeks due to the cool spell during March and early April. Farmers in many areas were left with only 40 days before paddy season, said a senior agriculture officer.
Summer Moong became the official crop of the state ever since the Punjab Preservation of Sub Soil Water Act,2009 came into force three years ago which states that farmers cannot sow paddy before June 10.
The Act resulted in fields remaining vacant for two months. The moong dal was officially introduced in the state to fill up the vacancy by the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) in 2010.
Summer Moong was a big hit among farmers as it added to the income of farmers, said Dr Naresh Gulati,Deputy Director of ATMA.