Wheat acreage has dropped by 4 percent
AgriNation News Network
New Delhi | 13 Feb 2018
Wheat crop production is likely to fall in the current rabi season of 2017-18 owing to the decline in the sown area of wheat. According to the official data, the sown area of wheat has dropped by 4.27 per cent to 30.42 million hectare that is likely to lead to fall in production below last year’s record of 98.38 million tonne(MT).
The sown area of wheat was 31.78 million hectares in the 2016-17 crop year (July-June). The wheat acreage has decreased in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand.
The maximum drop in wheat acreage by 1.1 million hectares has been registered in Madhya Pradesh.
Another reason for likely drop in the wheat yield is the paucity of rains. According to Prashant Sarnaik of Cofco International Ltd, ” the absence of rains in the core wheat belt and high temperatures will not help the rabi crop”.
The agriculture ministry has kept a target of 97.50 MT wheat output in 2017-18 crop year but according to industry experts, considering an average yield of 3.1 tonne wheat per hectare, total production would be in the range of 94-96 MT in crop year 2017-18.
Last week, in a reply to West Bengal MP Ahmed Hasan’s question in Rajya Sabha, Union Agri Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, “In India, the impact of climate change on agriculture is expected to be more, particularly in crops like wheat. Yield decline are likely to be caused by shortening of growing period, negative impacts on reproduction, grain filling, decrease in water availability and poor vernalisation”.
The government is yet to come out with its estimate on wheat output.