With the onset of south-west monsoon, the sowing of rain-fed kharif crops including cotton has begun in several parts of the country, union ministry of agriculture has said.
Monsoon during June-September period this year is expected to remain above normal at 106 per cent. So far, cotton sowing has been completed in 0.98 million hectares compared to 1.43 million hectares by this time last year, the agriculture ministry data showed.
Cotton planting has already been completed in northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. But, the area under cotton has gone down this year in these states mainly on account of the threat of pests such as whitefly, which resulted in huge losses last year.
Moreover, the threat of pink bollworm may result in lower cotton sowing in major growing states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka this year.