USDA expects sharp rise in wheat output

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SummaryMore than sufficient monsoon rainfall received last year has increased India's wheat crop area, which may result in sharp rise in wheat output

More than sufficient monsoon rainfall received last year has increased India's wheat crop area, which may result in sharp rise in wheat output, US department of agriculture (USDA) said in a report. As per the report, area under wheat crop in India is expected to be close to 30 million hectare (mh) in the 2013-14 rabi season.

“Higher planting has been reported in most states on optimal soil moisture conditions and timely harvest of the preceding kharif (summer) crops,” USDA stated in its latest report.“Wheat planting conditions have been generally favourable throughout the major growing states with adequate soil moisture conditions and adequate irrigation water availability in the major reservoirs and irrigation systems,” it said in its crop outlook report. Most wheat growing regio-ns have seen a decline in temperatures in recent weeks, providing favoura-ble early growing conditions for the crop, it stated.

Meanwhile, according to ministry of agriculture data, wheat has been sown in more than 28.69 mh till now. The area under wheat crop this season has increased by more than 1.8 mh compared to normal sowing period. “More areas under wheat is reported from Madhya Pradesh, UP, Rajasthan and Gujarat while less area has been sown in comparison to normal period in Punjab,” a ministry statement said.

As for wheat production, the USDA report said it will "largely depend on winter rains and warmer temperatures during the grain filling and ripening stages in February and March”. “Till now, the crop looks good and the winter spell will be conducive for its development,” Indu Sharma, director, Directorate of Wheat Research, told FE. Sharma said if weather conditions remain good, wheat production is expected to exceed last year's 92.46 million tonne. The previous record of wheat output was 94.88 million tonne in 2011-12.

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