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Wheat News: India May See A Bumper Wheat Harvest this Year

As higher planting, cold waves in the past two weeks and a forecast for more rainfall, India may see a bumper wheat harvest this year. After worries that a moderate winter would hit yields, the chilly weather have boosted crop prospects.

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Wheat News: Wheat cultivation area down by 7.23%

According to the Agriculture Ministry data, area under wheat cultivation has dropped by 7.23% to 259.37 lakh hectare so far in the ongoing Rabi season due to lack of soil moisture.

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Wheat News: Alert on yellow rust on Punjab wheat crop.

The state Agriculture Department has sounded an alert on yellow rust on the wheat crop.
The state Agriculture Department has told district agricultural officers to constitute special surveillance teams to keep tabs on any occurrence and subsequent spread of the disease.

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

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.

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Centre expects record wheat output this year

Second advanced estimate had pegged India's total wheat production in 2015-16 at 96.76 million tonnes
The current bout of unseasonal rain has not done much damage to the standing wheat crop and the government is confident wheat production in 2015-16 will surpass last year’s record output of 95.85 million tonnes.

“Damage to the crop is limited to a few areas. The current low temperature will further boost productivity. My assessment is that wheat production this year is going to be very good, maybe more than last year,” agriculture secretary Siraj Hussain told reporters here on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a top agriculture department official from Punjab, India’s premier wheat producing state, said wheat crop worth Rs 3,000 crore was damaged due to the recent unseasonal rain.

“Both the state and Central agencies procure wheat worth Rs 15,000 crore from the state (Punjab). About 15-20 per cent of wheat crop seems to have got damaged, which would result in a loss of about Rs 3,000 crore,” the Press Trust of India quoted Punjab agriculture minister Sardar Tota Singh as saying.

The government’s second advanced estimate had pegged India’s total wheat production in 2015-16 at 96.76 million tonnes.
“Wheat crops that have fallen flat due to heavy rains and winds... could recover if the current weather continues,” said Hussain.

D V Prabhu, joint director (research) at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, said: “The recent rains have rather been beneficial to wheat crop. We expect wheat production to be a record 97-98 million tonnes.” According to him, total production could even touch 100 million tonnes “if good weather prevails till harvesting”.

Standing crops in about five million hectares in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal have been damaged by the recent unseasonal rains, according to the government’s data placed before Parliament.

Hussain has said the government is focusing on raising the productivity of pulses and oilseeds, which India is heavily dependent on imports. He also called upon farm scientists to work towards developing varieties to achieve self-sufficiency in production of these two commodities.

To ensure better price to farmers, Hussain said the government would set up a common national market and allow farmers to sell their produce freely anywhere in the country.


India's Wheat Export May Decrease This Year

India's wheat exports may decrease this year due to rise in supplies from Australia, Russia and Europe that has pulled down global prices and made shipments from India non-viable.

In comparison, French wheat is available at $210. Indian wheat is usually in demand in the Gulf and African countries for milling and in southeast Asian countries for animal feed. "French milling wheat is now the flavour of the season," said Tejinder Narang, a grain analyst in New Delhi.

"The price of French wheat climbed down from $245 to $210 free-on-board (fob) with the depreciation of the euro." According to him, French 'feed' wheat is available still cheaper, at $200 a tonne.

February-March is usually the time when trading companies like ITC, Cargill, Olam, Louis Dreyfus, Glencore, Emmsons, Noble, Midstar, Concordia and Bagadiya Brothers start signing forward contracts for delivery in April. This has not been the case as of now.

The weakening euro and a stronger rupee have both enlarged the spread of disparity. Even the US soft red winter wheat is quoted cheaper than Indian variety, at around $232 fob.

"This year, commitment for a new crop for shipments from March till May has been nil. Compared to it, in the previous year it was 2.5-3 lakh tonne," said Rajnikant Rai, COO of ITC's agribusiness.

"The government will end up buying again 30-32 million tonne of wheat in April-May 2015 unless there is some dramatic reversal in the market or the rupee depreciates to 65-66 to a dollar, a possibility that appears to be remote," he said.

Source : Economic Times

Wheat Acreage Raised By 1.5 Per Cent In This Rabi Season

Area under sowing for wheat has increased to 161.57 lakh hectares in the ongoing Rabi (winter sowing) season as compared to 159.11 lakh hectares in last year. On the other side, the acreage of pulses and oilseeds has decreased than the last year. Acreage for pulses is at 95.93 lakh hectare in this rabi season against 107.06 lakh hectare in last year.

This decline in acreage continued for oilseed which is 65.07 lakh hectares this season as compared to 70.21 lakh hectare last year.

Morever, as per data received from Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture showed decrease in rabi acreage which is 360.94 lakh hectares this year against 378.92 lakh hectare last year.

In the rabi conference held in September, the Centre asked the state governments to focus during the rabi season on 3.37 million hectare that was left unsown due to delayed monsoon in the kharif season.

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