Tracking the fields: Wheat acreage almost 10% more than last year

Wheat growing rose by almost 10 per cent during the week ended November 11 as against the same period last year with higher acreage reported from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh among the major wheat-growing states.

Usually, in the full season, wheat is planted in 30.5-31 million hectares every year and in 2022 the talk is that acreage might rise by 10-15 per cent due to favourable market conditions.

The rise in acreage under wheat and other main rabi crops like mustard has created a temporary shortage of main fertilisers like DAP and urea in the market with farmers hurrying to plant crops early to take advantage of residual soil moisture.

However, the government and fertiliser company officials have said nutrient supplies are adequate.

Mustard has been planted in around 5.53 million hectares, which is around 15 per cent more than in the same period last year, while gram (chana) has been sown in about 3.95 million hectares, marginally more than in the same period last year.

Till Friday, rabi crops were planted in around 18 million hectares, 5.51 per cent more than in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, wheat prices have touched a new high of almost Rs 2,700 per quintal in North Indian markets due to high demand and no release of government stocks through open market sales.

Sources said according to the current stock position of wheat with the government in the central pool, it could liquidate 2-3 million tonnes, which will help in cooling the market, but the question is when it will do it.

Flour millers have been asking for such liquidation for some time now.

In a related development, news agency Reuters reported this week among the measures considered by the government to rein in soaring wheat prices was doing away with the 40 per cent tax on imports.

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