ITC Rai: Growth in wheat sector is promising but February-March weather is critical for production.

Although wheat acreage in the top four producing states, where yields are relatively higher, was slightly higher than a year ago, the industry expects harvest to begin in March and is not speculating on production because of the risk of adverse weather conditions for the grain. in the execution phase, said Rajnikant Rai, CEO of ITC Agribusiness. Area under wheat this season was higher at 239.79 lakh hectares (lh) in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana till December 29 compared to 237.37 lh a year ago. 1 percent. These four states share more than 75 percent of the country’s total wheat production and 93 percent of Central Pool procurement. Speaking to Business Line, Rai said, “One percent plus or minus is not a big deal. Because the crop yield also depends on the weather of the next two months.

The government has set a target of 114 million tonnes (mt ) of wheat production this season. In 2022-2023, the Ministry of Agriculture announced a harvest of 110.55 million tons, while in 2021-2022 it was 107.74 million tons, private business and industry set a maximum of 105 million tons as last year’s harvest forecast. continued that at least one rain in winter is critical for wheat. The ideal rainy season is late January or early February, he said, adding that the temperature at maturity also plays an important role in yield or production.

After crossing the season’s normal area of ​​307.32 lh, the all-India wheat area has reduced the deficit by about 4 lh compared to last year till December 29. According to the latest data, the area under wheat cultivation reached 320.54 Lh against 324 Lh. a one percent decrease from a year ago. The deficit was 2 percent as of December 22.

On the country’s total wheat area, Rai said the higher area in some states could also be due to timing, as conventional planting compared to last year’s delayed sowing could give a different picture. “Wheat sowing is ongoing in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and is expected to continue till mid-January. Data from the Ministry of Agriculture shows that the cultivated area in Uttar Pradesh was 96.73 lh on December 29, 94.96 lh a year ago, 84.63 lh this year, 83.95 lh in Madhya Pradesh last year34. flat 23.53 LH in Haryana. But Rajasthan reported a wheat area of ​​28.4 lh, down 3 percent from 29.37 lh, and Bihar reported a 7 percent lower area of ​​18.64 lh compared to 19.98 lh.

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