At 390 lakh ha, rabi planting inching close to last year’s level

Crop sowing during the current rabi season is inching closer to the acreage covered last year with the shortfall being 1.5 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year, according to sowing data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday.
Farmers across the country have so far covered close to 390 lakh hectares (lh) against 396 lakh ha in the same period the previous rabi season.
Wheat area trails
Wheat sowing is in a bit of a bother, however. The area under wheat, at 156.8 lh, is 7.5 per cent lower than the 169.57 lh covered during the same period last year.
The lag in wheat acreage may be attributed to unfavourable weather conditions such as low soil moisture and higher-than-normal temperatures.
Though rabi crops are not directly dependent on rains, a good monsoon leads to higher moisture content in soil and benefits the sowing.
Oilseeds too down
There is a similar shortfall in the acreage of oilseeds at 63.41 lh, a drop of nearly 7 per cent from last year’s 68.15 lh.
The coverage of pulses and rice, on the other hand, has been relatively better.
While the pulses area is at 117.83 lh (up 6.46 per cent), rice accounted for 10.56 lh — a good 35 per cent more than the 7.15 lh in the same period last year. The rise in pulses acreage may be attributed to measures taken by the government to support domestic prices, market sources said.
Coarse cereals seem to be in season too. Compared to 39.73 lh last year, they have been planted on 41.24 lh this year, up nearly 4 per cent, the data indicated.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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