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STATUS OF COTTON CROP 2021-22: A CASE STUDY IN MAHARASHTRA

 Introduction:

BKC Aggregators has been working in area of weather-focused advisories to the farmers through an app named FASAL SALAH. Through this app, Farmers get advisories based on variety sown, date of sowing and weather forecast of their village. Farmers also send their crop pictures as prescribed. This App uses artificial intelligence for image processing of farmers sent pictures and crop modelling analytics, which BKC has established for calculation of yield and health of the crop well before the harvest. The service has been in successful operations with a large number of farmers.

 FASAL SALAH App, Our Crop monitoring technology is unique using bottoms up approach at field level and correlating ground realities with real-time crop vegetation index monitored via spectral analysis of high-resolution satellite images for different fields and crops. This enables to track positive and negative dynamics of crop development much more realistically.

This way it is more realistic way of crop yield estimation before actual harvest. Our technology has been field tested and awarded by Govt. of India (Winner of Great Agriculture Challenge 2019). 

 In Kharif season 2021-22, FASAL SALAH team carried out a study of crops grown in districts of Maharashtra. Idea was to look at the crop health by using the crop pictures sent by the farmers through FASAL SALAH App and satellite pictures, which later helps us to determine the crop yield.

 About:

Maharashtra is the 3rd largest state of India located between 16° N to 22° N latitudes and 72 .8° E longitudes. Arabian Sea guards the western boundary of Maharashtra, while Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are on the northern side. Chhattisgarh covers the eastern boundary of the state. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are on its southern sides. 

Net irrigated area in 1999-2000 was 25.7 lakh hectares (gross 33.7 lakh hectares). Principle crops grown in the state are rice, jowar, Bajra, wheat, tur, mung, urad, gram and other pulses. The state is major producer of oilseeds. Groundnut, sunflower, soybean are major oil seed crops. Important cash crops grown are cotton, sugarcane, turmeric and vegetables. The state has an area of 10.91 lakh hectares under various fruit crops like mango, banana, orange, grape and cashew nut etc.  

Agro and Sub Agro-Climatic Zones:

The state has been divided into 9 agro-climatic zones based on rainfall, soil type and the vegetation which is South Konkan coastal zone,  North Konkan coastal zone, Western Ghat zone, Transition zone - 1, Transition zone - 2,  Scarcity zone,  Assured rainfall zone, Moderate rainfall zone, Eastern Vidarbha zone.

Climate:

Major portion of the state is semi-arid with three distinct season of which rainy season comprises of July to September. There are large variations in the quantity of rainfall within different parts of the state. Ghat and coastal districts receive an annual rainfall of 2000 mm but most part of the state lies in the rain shadow belt of the ghat with an average of 600 to 700 mm. The rainfall variations from 500 to 3000 mm have been recorded with an average of 1000 mm distributed over 60-70 days.

Land Holdings:

In Konkan zone, mostly Laterite and acidic coarse, shallow soil is found. In western ghat zone light, laterite and reddish brown soil is found. In Transition zone - 1 &Transition zone - 2 mostly reddish brown to black and moderately alkaline soil is found. Montmorillonite clay soil is found in scare city zone.

Cropping Pattern:

Out of total cultivable land in Maharashtra about 60% land is under food grain crops, and Maharashtra contribute only 5.8% production of food grains in India because Jowar is dominating crop but its yield is low (583 kg/ha). Maharashtra is major producer of Jowar and Arhar contributing 46.09 and 29.11 %, respectively to the total production of India. It is second largest producer of Cotton (22.21%), Soybean (28.14%), and total cereals (13.56%) in the country.

 Weather Outlook:

                                      Indian Summery and Weather Forecast

 

·         The western end of monsoon trough is near its normal position and the eastern end is south of its normal position. The eastern end of monsoon trough is very likely to shift gradually northwards towards foothills of Himalayas during next 2 days

·         light to moderate rain with a few heavy spells are possible over Gangetic West Bengal, sub–Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, part of Nagaland, Bihar, East Uttar Pradesh, parts of Odisha, isolated pockets of Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, parts of Konkan and Goa Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

·         Scattered light to moderate rain may occur over Jharkhand, remaining parts of Telangana, Madhya Maharashtra, Gujarat region, southeast and East Rajasthan, parts of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, parts of Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep in next few days.

·         However, now it seems like that Delhi rains are once again likely to make a comeback with some heavier showers in between. These rains are likely to be isolated in nature tonight as well as tomorrow. 

·         Heavy rain is expected during this period over Delhi, Agra, Mathura, Gwalior, Guna, Shivpuri, Datia, Morena, Sheopur, Bhind and Ashok Nagar. Parts of Haryana and Rajasthan contiguous to the national capital will also receive intense intermittent showers.

·         The weather system will move west northwestward and reach East Madhya Pradesh in the next 24 hours. The low pressure area will move slowly before shifting over North Madhya Pradesh and Southwest Uttar Pradesh.

·         Major cotton growing areas like Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Hingoli, Nanded, Beed, Buldhana, Amravati, Nagpur, Akola, Yavatmal, Wardha, Chandrapur, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar showing excess of rainfall in last year and same scenario can be seen in the year of 2021.

Vegetation condition index (VCI):

VCI is used to identify drought situations and determine the onset, especially in areas where drought episodes are localized and ill defined. It focuses on the impact of drought on vegetation and can provide information on the onset, duration and severity of drought by noting vegetation changes and comparing them with historical values. VCI value is being measured in percentage ranging from 1 to 100. The range between 50% and 100% indicates above normal condition of vegetation whereas the values ranging from 50% to 35% indicate the drought condition and below 35% indicates severe drought condition.



·         Based on Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) Maharashtra state showing near normal condition in western side while eastern part of states showing normal condition during the second fortnight of July.

Standardized precipitation index (SPI):

 The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a widely used index to characterize meteorological drought on a range of timescales. On short timescales, the SPI is closely related to soil moisture, while at longer timescales, the SPI can be related to groundwater and reservoir storage. The SPI can be compared across regions with markedly different climates. It quantifies observed precipitation as a standardized departure from a selected probability distribution function that models the raw precipitation data. The raw precipitation data are typically fitted to a gamma or a Pearson Type III distribution, and then transformed to a normal distribution. The SPI values can be interpreted as the number of standard deviations by which the observed anomaly deviates from the long-term mean.

The SPI values for any given location and accumulation period, are classified into seven different precipitation regimes (from dry to wet), as shown in Table. As can be seen, increasingly severe rainfall deficits (i.e., meteorological droughts) are indicated as SPI decreases below 1.0, while increasingly severe excess rainfall is indicated as SPI increases above 1.0.




·         Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) shows near drought condition in majority of the district on compare with the normal during the second fortnight of July 2021.

·         Normal of rainfall in current year the index showing near unfavorable condition, while some district of Maharashtra states like Rajgarh, Ratnagiri and Satara showing above normal condition in normal year.

Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI):



·         NDVI depicts favorable condition throughout the state with respect to the previous year and normal year except for Dhule and Mumbai district during the first fortnight of July 2021.




·         Crop condition showing slightly low from last fortnight of July in majority of the district compared with the previous year 2021, Whereas it showing continue slightly lagging behind in Dhule, Mumbai and Mumbai suburban district.

·         When compared with the normal so majority of the district depicts favorable condition during the second fortnight of July 2021.

Soil moisture:

 



·         Soil moisture value in the 2nd fortnight of July is better than that of the previous year throughout the state except for Ahmadnagar, Aurangabad, and Jalgaon districts.

·         Soil moisture when compared with the normal so the all over the state showing standard condition.

Farmers Feedbacks

We at BKC Aggregators run an App called FASAL SALAH that connects us with lacs of farmers on one-to-one basis. We provide to the farmers weather linked advisories based on his soil, his variety, date of sowing using artificial intelligence Farmers also send their drop pictures for us to run ML programs to improve advisories further. FASAL SALAH is in  service of Maharashtra’s cotton farmers and address his farming problems on one-to-one basis aimed at increasing production of his crop.

Atul Dahake, a farmer at FASAL SALAH from Jalgaon district of Maharashtra told us that he has cultivated cotton in 3 acres this year, which is 1 acre lesser from previous year. Crop is completely healthy and no serious disease/pest incidence has been noted yet.

Another farmer Yogesh Dawane from Aurangabad district too reported that he has cultivated cotton in 2 acres this year and no diseases or pest above threshold has been observed. It is raining normally and weather condition is favorable too. 

Vishal khadse from yavatmal district told us that he has started cotton cultivation for the first time in one acre. He had sown the crop in mid-June and it is not attained optimum growth. Growth is slow but no report of pest incidence is seen till now.

When asked, Rijwan Sayyed from Wardha district who has sown cotton on 8th June told Fasal Salah that the crop condition is quite good and growth is also fine. His acreage is nearly same as of previous year. 

Conclusion:

 On the basis of NDVI crop health condition of Maharashtra State depicts normal condition during the month of July.

  • Crop helath condition in major cotton growing Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani, Hingoli, Nanded, Beed, Buldhana, Amravati, Nagpur, Akola, Yavatmal, Wardha, Chandrapur, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar showing appropiate condition as compared with the previous year and normal 2021.
  • On the basis of Vegetation condition of index (VCI) in Maharashtra state south and north western part showing neary dry condition but there is no major drought showing in till month of July 2021 .
  • Standarized Precepitation Index (SPI) in districts of Maharashtra depicts lagging behind compared with the last 5 year normal.
  • Last year, the moisture condition in Maharashtra was slightly inferior but this year majority of districts appears to be in better condition, in comparison to Previous year and normal conditions during the month of July 2021.

·         There is a major belt of maize and cotton in Dhule, Jalagaong and Nandurbar districts. The recent rains will be benefit these kahrif crops. It does not prove very beneficial for the short term kharif crops such as moong and urad. It may lead to drop in production of these two crops by around 30%.

·         In Maharashtra, cotton area so far is 7% lesser than the last year and Tur, Urad and Soybean area has been increased by 5%, 11% and 7% respectively from the last year.

·         But it is too early to comment about the crop position, processors say Maharashtra’s crop condition is better than that of the neighbouring state.


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