Riding on good rains that the country received during the just-concluded monsoon season and sufficient water storage in reservoirs, farmers have planted over 100 lakh hectares (lha) till last Friday — up 18 per cent from 85 lha covered in the corresponding week last year.

Two crops that have witnessed significant spurt in acreage are wheat and pulses. Madhya Pradesh accounted for almost all the increase in wheat acreage, which stood at 17 lha as compared to less than 10 lha in the same period last year.

Higher prices in pulses

What prompted farmers to cover more area under pulses, however, was the prices which are ruling higher than the minimum support price for most pulses.

Apart from Madhya Pradesh, farmers in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan also planted more pulses so far as compared to the same week last year. At 36 lha, the area is nearly 50 per cent more than same week last year.

Gram has been planted on 25.10 lha as against 17.48 lha in same period last year.


Oilseeds flat

Farmers have planted oilseeds in over 32.83 lha which is more or less same as same week last year. Rapeseed-Mustard, the main rabi oilseed crop, has been planted on 31.15 lha (31.17 lha).

So is the case with rice, which has been planted over 5.87 lha so far. Coarse cereals, on the other hand, registered a dip in area with its coverage at 8.85 lha (11.65 lha).

Storage levels

Meanwhile, water storage in 123 Central Water Commission-monitored reservoirs stood at 145.66 billion cubic metres (BCM) as against 153.79 BCM in the corresponding week last year. Though cumulative water storage is less than last year, which had an extended monsoon season, quite healthy as compared to the average storage over the last 10 years.