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Rain pushes summer crop planting to record

Farmland acreage growth at 7%.

Plentiful monsoon rain spurred Indian farmers to plant summer crops across a record swathe of farmland 7% bigger than last year, promising a bumper harvest in Asia’s third-biggest economy, despite the rapid spread of COVID-19.

Farm Ministry data shows growers sowed 108.2 million hectares (267.4 million acres) with crops such as rice, corn, cotton, soybeans and sugarcane.

Planting began on June 1, when the monsoon rain typically hit India, where nearly half of farmland does not receive irrigation.

“We’re confident that food production will cross the target of 298.32 million tonnes in the 2020-21 crop year,” said Farm Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, praising farmers for the record acreage. Such a harvest would outstrip the previous year’s record output of 295.67 million tonnes.

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Between Friday and June 1, farmers planted a greater acreage of every single summer crop than last year, the data showed.

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