The first sowing advisories specific to Maharashtra for the khariff season 2016-17 was issued by the agrimet department of the Indian Meteorological Department recently.
The advisories were issued mainly for Marthwada and Vidharbha regions, which have been witnessing good rains over the last few weeks.
Sowing advisories are issued taking in consideration the progress of monsoon as well as amount of rainfall received by the region.
While monsoon has been active in southern part of the country, its progress in Maharashtra has been sluggish and delayed.
This year, the Monsoon entered Vidharbha before becoming active in Konkan.
On Monday, the IMD declared that the monsoon had officially entered Mumbai, Pune and other parts of the state also. Districts of the Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra have received deficient rainfall over the last fortnight. Marthawada and Vidharbha have received normal rainfall.
The forecast for the next seven days have talked about normal rains for most parts of the state while Vidarbha is expected to receive excess rains.
Dr Nabanshu Chattopadhyay, Director General of IMD, said sowing instructions had been issued for soyabean, cotton and pulses for Marthwada. For Vidarbha, the IMD has asked land preparations be done for sowing of crops like jowar, cotton, pulses and other khariff crops.
No sowing advisories has been issued for the western Maharashtra, as these districts have not received enough rainfall yet.
The delayed monsoon has narrowed down the time window for sowing, which has increased the stress on the rural economy.
Major crops like soyabean, cotton, rice, pulses need to be planted by the end of June failing which farmers are advised to shift to alternate crops.
After successive years of drought, predictions of a good monsoon have buoyed the hopes of farmers but the
sluggish progress of the monsoon has again raised concerns.