New Delhi: The sowing of rabi or winter crops has been completed in 87% of the seasonal area and that of wheat, the main crop of the season, is above normal for this time of the year, shows data released by the farm ministry on Friday.
Though sowing of wheat was delayed initially, the data shows that farmers have managed to plant the crop despite the cash crunch following the government’s demonetization exercise.
According to latest estimates, the area under winter crops has crossed 55.5 million hectares, or 87% of the normal area of 63.8 million hectares.
Wheat has been planted in 27.8 million hectares so far, or nearly 92% of the normal seasonal area, the data shows.
Wheat sowing is 1.4% higher than the normal area for this time of the year.
However, the delay in planting wheat and a warmer-than-usual winter may impact yields, especially in areas such as western Uttar Pradesh.
The government has set a target of producing a record 96.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2016-17, following a normal south-west monsoon this year.
Winter pulses have been sown in 13.8 million hectares so far, the data shows, over 7% higher than the normal area sown by this time of the year.
However, planting of rice is lagging by 30% due to lower area covered in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on account of a weak north-east monsoon.
Overall, winter sowing is normal, but farm incomes have been hit as the cash crunch has affected wholesale trade and led to lower prices of horticulture produce and recently harvested crops such as cotton, pulses and soybean.