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Agriculture Dept Predicts Wheat Yield to Exceed 160 Lakh Tonnes Despite Rain Loss

In the current rabi season, the total wheat yield in Punjab is likely to exceed 160 lakh tonnes. Based on crop-cutting experiments, the state agriculture agency has estimated yield.

Shivam Dwivedi
Agriculture Dept Predicts Wheat Yield to Exceed 160 Lakh Tonnes Despite Rain Loss
Agriculture Dept Predicts Wheat Yield to Exceed 160 Lakh Tonnes Despite Rain Loss

It is fewer than the prior output forecasts of a bumper crop, when the yield was expected to exceed 175 lakh tonnes before the March 25 rain, high-velocity winds, and hailstorm.

 

The yield is predicted to reduce by 15 lakh tonnes, representing an 8% loss. Last year's wheat crop suffered a 15% yield loss due to a rapid jump in temperatures in March, when the crop was nearing maturity. State food and civil supplies department, which is in charge of wheat procurement, has set a total wheat purchase target of 115-120 lakh tonnes. Initially, the food department made plans to procure 132 lakh tonnes of wheat.

"Despite the vagaries of weather leading to crop flattening in over 40% of the total area, the crop has recovered, and yield is reasonably good this time with an average yield of 4,724 kg per hectare," said Gurvinder Singh, director agricultural. Wheat was grown in excess of 34.9 lakh tonnes this season.

He expects a thorough report on all 2,000 crop-cutting experiments in the coming week to provide a clear picture of wheat yield. The vehicle tracking system (VTS) being installed by the state food and civil supplies department to trace the transportation of wheat from mandis to storage sites or railheads is causing a delay in the lifting of purchased harvest from mandis. The slow lifting rate has resulted in an oversupply of freshly produced crop in the mandis.

Only 23.72 lakh tonnes of crop purchased in mandis have been hauled to date, out of 73.07 lakh tonnes purchased. This has resulted in approximately two-thirds of the purchased crop remaining in the mandis. Tarn Taran and Amritsar districts dominate the numbers, with 96% and 92% of the purchased crop awaiting harvest, respectively. Ferozepur comes in second, with 84% of the purchased crop still waiting to be cleared from the mandis.

 

On Sunday, 6.87 lakh tonnes of crop landed at the state's mandis, bringing the total arrivals to 75.32 lakh tonnes. According to state agriculture department authorities, harvesting has been accomplished in more than 60% of the farmed area thus far. Despite a value drop enforced by the Centre, farmers are offered a minimum assistance price of Rs 2,125. The state administration has opted to own the value cut, and farmers have received full payment.

61 incidences of stubble burning have been documented in the state since the start of the wheat harvest. Bathinda and Gurdaspur each have eight cases, Patiala has six, Sangrur has five, and Amritsar, Faridkot, and Jalandhar each have four.

There have been no reports of agricultural residue burning in the districts of Fatehgarh Sahib, Moga, Ropar, Mohali, and Malerkotla during the current harvest season. The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) registers burning cases at the state remote sensing centre in Ludhiana.

 

"The cases are expected to rise as the harvest nears its end," said an officer with the PPCB on condition of anonymity. Stubble burning is far more common during rice harvest than during wheat harvest, according to a recent trend.

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