With the total acreage surpassing the rabi season’s usual area of 635.86 lakh hectares (lh) in the three months since sowing began in October, chances of a bumper harvest are high.

Total area under all crops has seen a 4.46 per cent jump to 645 lh as of Friday, against 617.43 lh in the year-ago period, the Agriculture Ministry said releasing the weekly update. Wheat coverage has gone up by 3.6 per cent to 325.10 lh (313.81 lh).

The higher area under wheat has been reported in Uttar Pradesh (by 3.59 lh), Rajasthan (2.52 lh), Maharashtra (1.89 lh), Gujarat (1.10 lh), Bihar (0.87 lh), Madhya Pradesh (0.85 lh), Chhattisgarh (0.66 lh) and West Bengal (0.21 lh).

Though some officials suspect any substantial increase in wheat area by end of the current season due to early planting of the crop, experts said that last year over 17 lh area were reported in January. Similarly, more than 66 lh area got covered under all crops only in January 2022, an expert said.

Of the 97 lh area targeted under wheat in Uttar Pradesh, planting has reached nearly 95 lh so far, while in Madhya Pradesh the sowing area stands at 84 lh against the target of 89 lh. Bihar is another State where 21 lh has been covered under wheat so far, against the 25 lh target.

As per the official data, rabi-grown paddy acreage has increased by 20.6 per cent to 16.53 lh as of December 30 compared with 13.70 lh in the year-ago period. Pulses acreage has risen to 153.09 lh ( 150.10 lh), while coarse cereals have increased to 46.67 lh (44.85 lh). In case of oilseeds, the area has surged to 103.60 lh from 94.96 lh year-ago, registering a 9.1 per cent growth.

Acreage of mustard has increased 8.8 per cent to 94.22 lh from 86.56 lh and chana (gram) is a tad higher at 105.61 lh from 105.18 lh. The area under masur (lentil) is up 8 per cent at 17.94 lh from 16.61 lh and that of maize by 21.2 per cent to 17.65 lh from 14.56 lh. Coverage of barley, which is mainly used by the distilleries for beer manufacturing, has jumped 11.6 per cent to 7.31 lh from 6.55 lh.