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Wheat Acreage Declines By 2% as Farmers Shift to Oilseeds

Wheat sowing in the current rabi season dropped 2.4 per cent to 248.67 lakh hectares (lh) as of December 10 from the year-ago period, mainly due to farmers shifting to other crops in Haryana, Gujarat and Bihar. Other wheat-growing States recorded either the same area as last year or higher.

Ayushi Raina
Wheat Acreage Declines By 2%
Wheat Acreage Declines By 2%

Wheat sowing in the current Rabi season fell 2.4% to 248.67 lakh hectares (lh) as of December 10, as farmers are shifting to other crops in Haryana, Gujarat, and Bihar. Other wheat-growing states recorded either the same area as last year or higher. 

"The shift to mustard from wheat is extremely obvious this year due to the high prices of the oilseed crop since last year. The government should take a cue from this trend in its crop diversification strategy because pricing is the key incentive to urge farmers," said AK Singhal, a grain and pulse trader in Hapur. He anticipates wheat acreage in Uttar Pradesh to be slightly lower than last year's total of 99 lh at the end of the season. It has already reached 73.55 lh, which is somewhat higher than the previous year. 

Over 82 per cent of the normal sowing area of 625.14 lh under all winter-sown crops has been covered and it is up by two per cent from the year-ago period. Total area under all crops recorded at 513.25 lh (503.63 lh). 

Mustard Production: 

Mustard/rapeseed acreage has increased by 23.8% to 81.66 lh from 55.97 lh. The government set a target of 75.8 lh with a production of 12.24 million tonnes (mt) for 2021-22, which will almost certainly be exceeded. In 2020-21, mustard output was 10.1 mt. Total area under oilseeds has climbed to 88.5 lh (72.13 lh), mainly because of higher area under mustard. 

Cumulative rainfall from October 1 to December 10 was 51% more than usual for the country as a whole, with almost 85 percent of the area receiving normal or higher rainfall during this period. 

The area under pulses is slightly higher this year, at 129.74 lh (129.28 lh). The normal area for the season (five-year average) is 146.14 lhGram (chana) acreage has grown by about 2% to 92.89 lh from 90.68 lh. 

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