Wheat yield may fall on delay in sowing

Written by Commodities Bureau | New Delhi, Nov 11 | Updated: Nov 12 2008, 06:05am hrs
Concerned that delayed monsoon showers could harm wheat output, the government on Tuesday advised farmers to plant wheat as early as possible to get maximum yields. As per a long-term study done by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the loss can be as much as 40% if wheat was sown late, i.e. in the second half of December, a government statement said.

Wheat yields have been found to go down by about 50 kg per hectare a day if it was sown very late in northern India. The loss is lesser, at about 36 kg per hectare per day, in the southern and western wheat-growing regions of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Calculated at the current MSP, the loss on account of very late sowing could be Rs 10,000 to Rs 17,000 per hectare. Indian farmers have just started sowing wheat for the 2008-09 marketing season that starts in April.

As per latest government data, till last week wheat has been sown on around 2.26 million hectare, up from 2.10 million hectare planted during the same period last year. The beginning has been good, but it remains to be seen if the momentum is maintained all through the season, a senior industry official said.

Government data revealed that in the main growing provinces of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, wheat sown in the middle of November, would get a per hectare yield of 4.5 tonne.