Winter crop sowing up 16% on year | The Financial Express

Winter crop sowing up 16% on year

As on November 1, wheat stocks with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other government agencies were around 22 million tonne (mt), against a buffer of 13.8 mt for January 1 and last year’s level of 41.9 mt.

Winter crop sowing up 16% on year
Officials said that wheat sowing is being keenly watched this season

Even as wheat stocks with the government are hovering around the buffer, sowing of the key rabi cereal is progressing on a brisk note. Wheat has been sown in 0.75 million hectare (mh) in this season for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) so far, compared with 0.14 mh reported a year ago, the agriculture ministry data showed.

As on November 1, wheat stocks with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other government agencies were around 22 million tonne (mt), against a buffer of 13.8 mt for January 1 and last year’s level of 41.9 mt.

Currently, wheat sowing activities are mostly in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir. However, farmers in Punjab and Haryana are yet to commence wheat sowing as harvesting of paddy was delayed because of surplus rains received during end of September and early October.

Average area under wheat crop for the last few years is 30.4 mh.

These are, however, still early days to make an assessment of the rabi crop as sowing would continue through December.

Also Read: Wheat sowing off to brisk start amid concerns over stocks

Meanwhile, the total area under all the winter crops was reported at 9.74 mh as on Friday, up 16.6% from the year-ago level. The five-year average rabi crop area is 63.3 mh.

Other major rabi crops are mustard, gram (chana) and coarse cereals. Farmers seeking to use higher soil moisture from surplus rains received earlier this month.

Areas under oilseeds such as mustard and groundnut have been reported 15% more than the previous year at 4.7 mh, compared to 4 mh reported in the same period last year. The major chunk of oilseeds sown is mustard, which had been sown in 4.5 mh compared to 3.8 mh covered during the same period last year.

Pulse sown areas have been reported to be higher by 27% at 2.9 mh so far against 2.7 mh in the year-ago period. Areas under gram, which had a 50% in the country’s pulses production was reported at 2.2 mh against 1.9 mh reported a year ago.

Officials said that wheat sowing is being keenly watched this season, as the output had declined by around 3% to 106.8 million tonne (mt) in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) because of heat-wave prior to harvesting in March.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Agricultural University has urged farmers to sow wheat by November 15 for maximising yields. This move is expected to protect the crop against any sharp spike in temperature during February and March, considered the flowering stage of the crop. Wheat is expected to be sown in 3.5 million hectare in Punjab.

Coarse cereals such as jowar and bajra were sown in 0.76 mh against 0.86 mh in the previous year while rice has been sown in 0.44 mh against 0.6 mh a year ago, according to agriculture ministry data.

In September, the government had set a food grain production target of 328 mt for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) which is 4% more than a record foodgrain output of 315.7 mt in the previous year.

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First published on: 05-11-2022 at 02:30 IST