Wheat acreage down 4% in 2017-18; production may drop

Area sown to wheat has declined 4.27 per cent to 30.42 million hectare in the current rabi season of 2017-18, which may lead to fall in production from last year’s record 98.38 million tonne(MT).

Farmers had sown wheat in 31.78 million hectare in the 2016-17 crop year (July-June).

According to official data, wheat acreage has fallen because of less area coverage in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand.

Maximum drop in wheat acreage by 1.1 million hectare was reported in Madhya Pradesh this year, the data showed.

According to industry experts, the fall in acreage could lead to decline in the overall wheat output in 2017-18, going below the last year’s level.

Taking into account an average yield of 3.1 tonne wheat per hectare, total production would be in the range of 94-96 MT, they said.

The agriculture ministry has kept a target of 97.50 MT wheat output in 2017-18 crop year and is hoping better production at an all time high of over 100 MT.

Wheat harvesting will begin next month. The government is yet to come out with its estimate on wheat output.moneycontrol

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