Hit by frost, M.P. wheat quality suffers

M. R. Subramani Recently in Indore | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on February 22, 2011


A woman farmer reaping the wheat crop at a field. (file photo): Sushil Kumar Verma   -  Business Line

Mr Uday Singh, a 65-year-old farm worker, of Kitodah village in Indore district of Madhya Pradesh is cleaning up the land of his owner that wears a look of a dried one.

“This is the effect of frost that has affected many farms in this area,” he says, collecting wheat straw for his landlord's cattle. “Our wheat crop is only half of normal and we fetched lower rates because of poor quality,” Mr Singh says.

Around middle of last week, wheat on the farm bordering Ujjain was sold around Rs 1,100 a quintal. “The buyers said it is only of milling quality and therefore, the low price,” he said.

Elsewhere in Dewas, 30 km from Indore, Mr Ramchandraji Patel, a farmer holding 12-acre is somewhat happy having sold the wheat from his farm at Rs 1,450 a quintal.

“The kernel is lighter and hence, a lower price. Otherwise, I would have got Rs 1,550 a quintal,” said Mr Patel.

Some 10 km from there at Dhonk Khurd village, Mr Daud Patel, says his wheat on five acres has been affected by the frost that affected many crops in December.

According to Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Department officials, 46 of the 50 districts in the State have been affected by frost.

“At least 50 per cent of the wheat crop in and around our area has been affected,” says Mr Singh. Both the Patels, too, report significant damage to wheat crop.

Madhya Pradesh accounts for a little over 13 per cent of the area under wheat in the country and its contribution to the production is eight per cent. This year, wheat has been covered on 42 lakh hectares and production was expected to top seven million tonnes.

“There is damage in 2-3 lakh hectares of wheat,” said Mr R.G. Rajak, Assistant Director of Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Department. However, farmers and a section of traders are of the view that the damage could be higher.

Traders are reporting higher arrivals compared with last year but say the crop's kernel is light. This could lead to lower yield.

Madhya Pradesh mainly grows the Lokwan variety and it is important to whole wheat flour production in the country.

“If Madhya Pradesh wheat is lower, it could have an impact on chakki atta (whole wheat flour) production,” said a miller in South India.

On Tuesday, the Lokwan was quoted around Rs 1,250-1,300 a quintal, down Rs 5 from last week on higher arrivals.

Our Karnal Correspondent reports: Some buying and good quality stock lifted the prices of dara wheat variety by Rs 30, which ruled at Rs 1,230 a quintal against the levels of Rs 1,200 quoted last weekend. For the finer quality, it was around 1,255-1,260 a quintal, on Tuesday.

Around 500 quintals of dara wheat arrived from Uttar Pradesh and about 100 quintals were offloaded by the local stockists. Around 700 quintals were procured from the Food Corporation on India by the flour millers.

Aaj Tak, desi wheat variety dropped on low demand and was quoted at Rs 2,350 a quintal against the levels of Rs 2,400 quoted last weekend.

Flour Prices

Despite an uptrend in wheat prices, flour prices ruled steady and quoted at Rs 1,250-1,255 for a 90-kg bag. On the other hand, Chokar prices dropped by Rs 25 and ruled at Rs 540 for a 49-kg bag against the levels of Rs 565 quoted last weekend.

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Published on February 22, 2011
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