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Higher yields will push wheat output to record high: IIWBR

Higher yields in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat could lift wheat output to a record high, said GP Singh, Director of the Karnal-based Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR).

This is even as the prolonged winter has delayed the harvest in Punjab and Haryana by a week.

Singh said the wheat harvest is currently on in Madhya Pradesh, where the yields are 5-10 per cent higher. “It will be a record crop and we stick to our earlier estimate of 105 million tonnes (mt),” he said. However, if there’s any heavy rainfall in the days ahead, it could impact the harvest and quality.

The Agriculture Ministry, in its second advance estimates, has pegged the wheat output at 99.12 mt.

In Punjab and Haryana, the harvest is expected to commence a week after Baisakhi. “The crop condition is good and the prevailing night temperatures are hovering in the range of 16-17 degrees Celsius, while the maximum temperature is around 33 degrees. Once the minimum temperature crosses 20 degrees, the crop will mature fast and will be ready to harvest,” Singh said.

Procurement begins in MP
Meanwhile, the new wheat crop at the mandis in Indore is being sold at ₹1,825-2,200 a quintal, depending upon the quality of the crop. Mill quality wheat is being sold at ₹1,825-50.

“Amid enthusiastic crop reports, demand from the millers is comparatively weak,” said Manoj Kala, a trader.

Currently, about 18,000- 19,000 bags of wheat are being offloaded at the mandis in Indore on a daily basis and this is expected to rise in the coming days.

Madhya Pradesh started procuring wheat from farmers registered with the designated government agencies from March 25, at the rate of ₹1,840 a quintal. However, the pace of public procurement is yet to gain momentum because of lack of information among farmers and the government machinery’s unpreparedness at authorised procurement centres, said Ravi Sharda, a wholesale wheat trader.

Madhya Pradesh has announced a bonus of ₹160 per quintal to farmers selling their produce either at mandis or through government procurement centres.

IMD forecast
The Indian Meteorological Department, meanwhile, has forecast that the western disturbances will continue to move across North-West India during the first 10 days of April.

Disturbances with varying intensity continued their run into March and are now threatening to bring thunderstorms, lightning and the odd hailstorm into April as well, which could possibly pose a challenge to the wheat crop.

An early indication of how the unstable weather can prove dangerous was came on Sunday from Nepal, downstream to the East and bordering Bihar, where thunderstorms claimed 25 lives and injured 400.
Source: The Hindu Business Line

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