The wheat production in Haryana is expected to dip by 10% to 15 % due to unseasonal rains and hailstorm, which adversely affected the crop.
Agriculture department officials estimate that as against the target of 115 lakh metric tonnes (MT) in 2015, the wheat production in the state is likely to be in the range of 100-108 lakh MT. In 2014, the wheat production was around 118 lakh MT.
Officials said that till January 2015, they were expecting the wheat production to go up to 120 lakh MT, about 5 lakh higher than the target of 115 lakh MT. “However, the hailstorm and unseasonal rains in February, March and April have upset the calculations,’’ they said.
The yield per hectare could also take a hit this time. In 2014, the average wheat yield was 47 quintal per hectare while in 2013, it was about 44 quintal per hectare.
This time, the estimated average yield was about 46 quintal per hectare.
For instance, Palwal which emerged as the worst-affected district after the recent girdawari, had in 2014 recorded an average yield of about 45 quintal per hectare while Mahendergarh, which too has been affected badly this time, registered an average yield of about 50 quintal per hectare in 2014. “This is likely to get affected this time,’’ said an official.
Scientists at Karnal-based Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR), however, say that foodgrain scenario was not grim. IIWBR principal investigator (quality improvement) RK Gupta said though adverse climatic conditions have affected the wheat crop in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, luster loss, broken grains and high moisture content do not make foodgrains inedible or nutrition-deficient. “High moisture content becomes issue for storage as it may be more prone to fungal infection. Luster loss or broken grains lead to slight reduction in flour or maida production for the flour industry,” he said.
Gupta said that the institute had started getting random samples for examination to count protein, starch and moisture content.
Since procurement in Haryana has picked up rapidly in the past few days, the agencies are upbeat over the progress. “As compared to about 48 lakh MT in 2014, the wheat arrival in mandis in 2015 till April 26 was about 44 lakh MT for the corresponding period,’’ said an official.
Around 13 lakh acre of wheat cultivation was damaged due to the recent unseasonal rains and hailstorm in Haryana. According to the final girdawari report, about 3 lakh acre suffered 75% to 100% damage; about 2 lakh acre suffered 50% to 75% damage and about 8 lakh acre suffered 25% to 50% damage.
The maximum crop damage occurred in Palwal district (about 3 lakh acre) followed by Mahendergarh, Hisar, Bhiwani and Rewari (about 1.50 lakh each). The area under wheat cultivation this year is about 62 lakh acre and about 13 lakh acre for mustard crop. Revised compensation for wheat, paddy, cotton and sugarcane would be Rs 7,000 per acre for 25% to 50% damage, `9,500 per acre for more than 50% damage and `12,000 per acre for over 75% damage.