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Excess monsoon so far; July-Aug to get normal rains

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Excess monsoon so far; July-Aug to get normal rains
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New Delhi: As monsoon makes rapid progress, weather scientists Friday said the annual rains would cover the entire country ahead of schedule but were skeptical about showers in September.

"Monsoon has been very good so far having covered two- thirds of the country's land-mass," Laxman Singh Rathore, Director-General of India Meteorological Department, told reporters here.

Releasing an update on the monsoon forecast, he said the country would receive normal and fairly distributed rain in July and August. Rainfall is expected to be at 101% of the long-term average in July and 96% in August.

For the country as a whole, monsoon has been 28% excess since onset over Kerala on June 1.

Rathore, who has vast experience in agro-meteorology, said that early onset of monsoon has led to early sowing, particularly of coarse cereals in last year's drought-hit regions.

"Whenever there is timely sowing, we have seen that the production is good. Particularly with respect to drought-hit regions of 2012-- the semi-arid corridor which produces coarse cereals there has been early sowing," he said.

Also, the bright side for paddy crop is that with timely onset of monsoon nursery raising is in place. "This would facilitate early or timely cross planting," he said.

Rathore said for long-term crops like cotton, sugarcane and plantation crops the irrigation requirement has vanished due to good rains, which would lead to lower cultivation costs and healthy crop.

The weatherman said rainfall has been good in drought-hit with Marathwada getting 32% excess rains, Vidarbha (96), Madhya Maharashtra (82), north interior Karnataka (53), south interior Karnataka (41) and Saurashtra and Kutch 200% excess rains.

PTI

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