Despite estimating drop in the overall wheat area, acreage under the winter crop is set to cross the targeted area in Punjab and Haryana in the ongoing Rabi sowing season 2010-11.
Experts attribute increase in area under wheat crop to farmers’ inclination towards the winter crop which is bringing an assured price and marketing.
Till now, 34.65 lakh hectares and 23.48 lakh hectares have come under wheat in Punjab and Haryana respectively, officials said.
Both states are eyeing a total wheat output of 269 lakh Metric Tonne (MT) in Rabi season 2010-11, up by 5 per cent over last year’s production.
Close to 99 per cent wheat sowing is complete in Punjab while over 95 per cent of targeted area has been brought under the crop in Haryana, officials of Agriculture departments of both states said here.
“Area under wheat in Punjab will cross 35 lakh hectares mark this season,” a senior official of Punjab Agriculture department said here today.
Punjab had projected 35 lakh hectares under wheat for current Rabi season against 35.22 lakh area brought last year.
Similarly, acreage under wheat in Haryana is also estimated to surpass targeted area of 24.65 lakh hectares.
Haryana had fixed 1 per cent lower area under wheat crop for this season against 24.92 lakh hectares covered by wheat in last Rabi season.
Both states contribute over 60 per cent of wheat output to Central pool.
Farmers who traditionally grow wheat here do not want to switch over to other crops like gram, pulses, oilseeds etc. Wheat is always a best option for them (farmers).
This is because they can get remunerative price from the wheat crop and they do not have to bother about its marketing which otherwise is a big problem in other rabi crops,” wheat experts said.
In current sowing season, a few cotton growing areas like Bathinda, Mansa in Punjab and Fatehabad, Sirsa, Hisar in Haryana have still not been covered with wheat.
“Wheat sowing is expected to complete in a few days in these cotton belts,” an official said. Punjab, the food bowl of the country, has projected wheat production of 154 lakh MT against 151.69 lakh MT output achieved in last season, a senior official of Punjab Agriculture Department said.
Haryana has set a wheat output target of 114.62 lakh MT in current season, which will be almost 10 per cent higher than last year’s wheat production of 105 lakh.