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Area Under Rabi Crops Increases 6%; Wheat Acreage Rises 5.4%

The absolute increase in wheat area over the previous year has narrowed for the first time after rising almost every week since the start of the sowing season.

Shivam Dwivedi
Early wheat planting helped keep the lead over the previous year.
Early wheat planting helped keep the lead over the previous year.

Farmers have planted rabi crops in more than 70% of the normal area (633.80 lakh hectares), which is 6% higher than the previous year. Higher acreage and potentially favourable weather throughout the season may contribute to another bumper harvest for the country.

The total rabi acreage as of December 2 was 450.61 lh, up from 423.52 lh in the same period last year, according to the Agriculture Ministry's weekly update. Wheat, the most crucial winter cereal, has been planted on 211.62 lh, up 5.4% from 200.85 lh.

The absolute increase in wheat area over the previous year has narrowed for the first time after rising almost every week since the start of the sowing season. Wheat area increased by 20,000 hectares from the previous year until October 28, but it spiked to 14.53 lh as of November 25, and it now stands at 10.77 lh.

"Early wheat planting helped keep the lead over the previous year. It appears that the acreage will be equal to or slightly higher than last year when the season ends, as both major influencing factors favour wheat," as per SK Singh, an agriculture scientist. He stated that the weather and prices are both favourable.

The India Meteorological Department said on December 1 that many parts of north-west India, a key producing region for wheat, mustard, and chana (gramme), may experience a warmer winter season, owing to likely subdued activity of western disturbances.

Though temperatures may vary daily, "normal to above normal minimum temperatures" are expected in many parts of the region, according to IMD's forecast for the main winter season (December-February).

Pulses acreage increased to 112.67 lh as of December 2 from 108.57 lh the previous year. Winter-grown chana acreage was 79.82 lh versus 75.80 lh.

The area under oilseeds has also increased to 83.07 lh from 75.55 lh, while mustard acreage has increased to 76.69 lh from 69.32 lh, according to the data. Winter paddy acreage has increased to 10.62 lh from 9.53 lh, while coarse cereal acreage has increased to 32.63 lh from 29.02 lh.

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