India's monsoon rains forecast to be average in August, September

Summer crop planting in India is down 4.7% year-on-year, but rainfall is expected to hit the average
calendar icon 3 August 2021
clock icon 4 minute read

"As per most parameters, we expect monsoon rains to be normal in August and September this year," Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), told a news conference.

Reuters reports that the IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96% and 104% of a 50-year average of 88 cms (34 inches) for the four-month season beginning in June.

In August, monsoon rains are likely to be "below normal to normal" in the central region, Mohapatra said, where soybean and cotton are grown.

Farmers generally start planting rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, sugarcane and peanuts, among other crops, from June 1, when monsoon rains typically arrive in India. Sowing usually lasts until July or early August.

Indian farmers have planted summer-sown crops on 84.8 million hectares, down 4.7% year-on-year, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare.

The area planted with soybean covered 9.3 million hectares, down 3.4% from a year earlier.

After lashing the southernmost Kerala coast on June 3, the monsoon spread to two-thirds of India by the end of the first half of the month, nearly 15 days earlier than expected. And then it tapered off in the third week of June. While monsoon rains were still 10% above average in June, they turned 7% below average in July. Overall rains have been 1% below average so far in the season that began in June.

In June, the IMD said India was likely to receive average monsoon rains this year, boosting expectations for larger farm output amid a devastating second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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