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Wheat News: Wheat, chana sowing area may drop in MP.

Indore: Unfavourable weather conditions and low area under cultivation in parts of Madhya Pradesh are likely to hit yield of major winter crops, triggering concerns about the output of wheat, chana (gram) and coriander.

A decline in production of winter crops would spoil government's effort to keep a check on rising prices of essential commodities while consumers will have to shell out more on their household budget. In Indore, the maximum temperature rose to about 33 degrees Celsius on December 30 as against the past week normal temperature of 20 to 24 degrees.

Frequent change in climatic conditions has added to the woes of the farmers who are already worried about poor soil moisture that is likely to hit yield this season.

Joint director, agriculture department, Indore, Satish Chandra Agrawal said "Looking at the present scenario the yield for chana is expected at 10-12 quintals per hectare as compared to 18-20 quintals under favourable conditions while wheat yield may fall to 25 to 30 quintals per hectare as against average of 40 quintals."

Madhya Pradesh ranks fourth in terms of wheat production in the country. According to the agriculture department data, acreage for wheat in the state fell by 13% to 48 lakh hectares while chana is sown on 27 lakh hectares, down by 4% as compared to the same period a year ago.

"Most of the crops are in the flowering stage and weather will play a very crucial role. Any steep fluctuation in temperature will spoil the standing crop," said Bhagatram Patidar, whi is a farmer from Shahdol district in Madhya Pradesh.

Farmers in Madhya Pradesh have sown chana, wheat, coriander and masur (lentil) in their fields and harvesting operations are likely to commence from February.

Assistant vice-president at Inditrade, Chowda Reddy said "Prices of winter crops may rise in the New Year because of low output this season."

According to the data from National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, spot chana prices at Indore market have risen by over 30% to Rs 4,496 per quintal since the start of the year.