Agri Business

Wheat continues to gain acreage as farmers plant more in Rajasthan, M.P.

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on December 20, 2019 Published on December 20, 2019

Favourable climatic conditions aid the planting trend

The area under wheat continued to rise in the ongoing Rabi planting season as farmers have brought a larger area under the cereal crop.

The latest data from the Agriculture Ministry revealed that wheat acreage till date has increased by over 11 per cent to 277.91 lakh hectares (lh) over the corresponding period last year (250.02 lh).

Farmers in Madhya Pradesh have increased wheat acreage by 21.59 lh and in Rajasthan by 4.96 lh as favourable climatic conditions due to the extended monsoon have aided planting.

Bumper crop?

Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand have also seen an increase in acreage, while the area has dropped marginally in Bihar and Punjab, among others.

The increase in area has brightened the prospects for a bumper wheat crop. “We expect the output to exceed 105 million tonnes this year, depending on the climatic conditions in February and March,” said GP Singh, Director of the Karnal-based ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research.

Singh expects the total acreage to increase by 1-1.5 million hectares over the normal of 30.5 million hectares for the season. Wheat output in the country stood at 102.19 million tonnes in 2018-19.

The wheat crop witnessed an attack by the Fall Armyworm in parts of Karnataka. “It is an isolated case of FAW attack on wheat in Karnataka but things are under control now,” Singh said. Rice acreage has edged up at 12.35 lh, with key growing States such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh reporting an increase in acreage.

Pulses have also seen a marginal increase this season as farmers have shifted from gram or chana in Madhya Pradesh, which has reported a decline of 6.81 lh.

However, the total area under gram across the country is up by 2.58 lh at 89.28 lh as Rajasthan and Maharashtra have reported a rise in acreage. Lentils, kulthi, uradbean and moong have seen a marginal decline this season.

Oilseeds, coarse cereals

Among oilseeds, the area under mustard has seen a marginal decline at 63.92 lh (65.32 lh). States such as Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have witnessed an increase in the area under winter oilseeds.

The acreage of coarse cereals, too, has spiked, primarily due to a larger area under jowar at 25.03 lh (21.07 lh), while the area under maize declined marginally to 11.06 lh (11.41 lh).

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Published on December 20, 2019
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