January 5, 2016


India wheat output remains bleak in 2016



Wheat output in India, the world's second-largest producer, is likely to fall below 90 million tonnes for the second consecutive year in 2015-16 due to an abnormally dry and warm winter, Business Standard reports.


Output recorded 88.95 million tonnes in 2014-15 due to poor monsoon and unseasonal rains in February to March, compared to the record of 95.85 million tonnes achieved in the previous year.


Sowing of wheat, a major rabi (winter) crop, begins in October and harvest starts from April.


According to a senior Agriculture Ministry official, wheat sowing is lagging behind as there is higher temperature stress because of the unusually dry and warm winter in the wake of two consecutive drought years, and this will impact wheat production by at least 5%.


Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) deputy director general (Crop Science) J S Sandhu said, "High temperature stress particularly reduces yield of wheat. We hope rains in the next 15 to 20 days can help recover some loss in yields."


High temperature leads to early maturing, which reduces crop yields. Rain this month would lower temperature and help in achieving good production, he added.

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