Farmers in Maharashtra have completed planting on 139.10 lakh hectares for the current kharif season, representing 92% of total planting operations, according to the latest planting report from the Department of Agriculture. The average area of kharif cultivation in the state is 151.33 lakh hectares along with sugar cane.
Last year, the state had completed planting on almost 137.23 lakh hectares by August 10. Excluding sugarcane, the planted area was around 136.01 lakh hectares, which represents almost 95.80% of the total planting operations.
According to the report, crops have been damaged in the Konkan, Kolhapur, Amravati, Pune and Nagpur divisions. Due to prolonged monsoon interruptions and subsequent heavy rains, various pests and diseases have attacked.
Soybean farmers, especially in Marathwada, are concerned about the mosaic virus, as well as the pink and American worm infestation.
The department of agriculture has issued notices regarding preventive measures that must be taken to address the pest problem. Soy producers in Amravati, Latur and Osmanabad districts have reported the mosaic virus attack. Corn growers in the state have also faced fall armyworm infestation.
Pink and American worm infestation in cotton fields remains a major problem. Some cotton fields in Marathwada and Vidarbha have reported infestation of this pest.
The state Agriculture Commissioner recently chaired a high-level meeting of various experts on the topic of virus attacks on tomato crops, as Maharashtra growers have reported significant crop losses due to the mosaic virus attack. in the last two years. The government has also reported fall armyworm infestation in jowar, powdery mildew on cotton, camel larvae on soybeans, and weevils on rice crops in some parts of the state.
Meanwhile, soybeans have now overtaken cotton to become the number one crop in the state and have been planted on 44.73 billion hectares. Last year, soybeans were planted on some 42 billion hectares.