Kharif maize area unch on year at 7.9 mln ha.

Area under kharif maize in India was just 0.1% lower on year at 7.9 mln ha. Maize acreage in the country was higher than the normal area of 7.4 mln ha for the season, which is based on the average of last five years. Sowing was higher on year in key growing states of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana, while it was down in Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Haryana. Acreage was also higher in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka, despite reports of armyworm pest attack in some pockets of these states. Announcement of higher minimum support price by the Centre for maize encouraged growers to bring more area under the coarse grain in top producing states. However, patchy distribution of monsoon rains led to a fall in acreage in some regions.