Wheat acreage in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s largest producer of winter-grown cereal, has jumped 36 per cent to 75.91 lakh hectares (lh) as of Friday from 55.82 lh a year ago. This has, in turn, resulted in the country’s overall sowing of all crops registering a 15 per cent growth in the ongoing rabi season so far.

As of December 3, the area under wheat in Uttar Pradesh was nearly 4 per cent higher at 57.89 lh a year ago. The total rabi acreage across the country was 6 per cent more.

Wheat acreage has increased by 25 per cent to 255.76 lh from 203.91 lh a year ago, the Agriculture Ministry said, releasing the weekly rabi crops sowing update. The total area sown under all rabi crops has increased to 526.27 lh (457.80 lh).

UP farmers buoyant

Other States which have reported higher acreage of wheat include Madhya Pradesh (13.48 lh), Rajasthan (5.32 lh), Gujarat (2.61 lh), Maharashtra (2.43 lh), Bihar (2.24 lh), Punjab (1.32 lh) and Haryana (1.28 lh).

“There is no data error. In fact, the area in UP has jumped as farmers are enthusiastic to go in for wheat as prices in the open market are ruling at a record high. We expect a good harvest since the weather has so far been positive for the crop,” said an Agriculture Ministry official. The government has pinned all its hopes on the wheat crop as the Central Pool stock of the cereal has dropped to 21.05 million tonnes (mt) as of November 1, the lowest in the past six years.

Wheat production and procurement by the government will determine the quantum of the grain to be distributed under the National Food Security Act as the Government increased rice allocation by cutting wheat entitlement of beneficiaries in many States. The procurement of wheat dropped to 18.79 mt in this year, the lowest since 2007-08 when it was 11.13 mt.

Paddy acreage up

The production of wheat had declined to 106.84 mt in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) from 106.84 mt in the previous year, according to official estimates, while private traders and flour millers pegged it at below 100 mt. Prices of wheat have been increasing almost on daily basis since January 2022, despite the government banning export since May.

Meanwhile, the winter-sown paddy area has increased to 11.86 lh (10.42 lh) and that of pulses to 127.07 lh (123.77 lh). The area under chana (gram) is marginally higher at 89.42 lh (87.28 lh) and masur (lentil) at 15.29 lh against 14.86 lh.

The coverage for coarse cereals has gone up to 36.39 lh from 32.05 lh. Among coarse cereals, the area under maize area has increased over 50 per cent to 10.48 lh.

The area under oilseeds has increased to 95.19 lh from 87.65 lh a year ago after data from Haryana was collated this week. Until last week, the oilseeds acreage was 83.07 lh. Mustard, the main oilseeds crop in the rabi season, rose to 87.95 lh as of December 9 from 80.78 lh year-ago. The mustard coverage was 76.69 lh until December 2.