Wheat planting remained lower by 37% at 9.69 lakh hectare till last week of the ongoing rabi (winter) season of the 2019-20 crop year, but the acreage under oilseeds was higher during the period, according to the agriculture ministry's latest data.
According to the latest data released by the ministry, farmers have planted wheat in an area of 9.69 lakh hectare till last week of this season, compared with 15.35 lakh hectare a year ago.
Sowing of wheat and other rabi crops begins from October, while harvesting from April onwards. Wheat is the main rabi crop.
Wheat acreage was lagging at 74,000 hectare in Madhya Pradesh till last week of this season, when compared with 6 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.
In Punjab, farmers planted wheat in 4.20 lakh hectare as against 4.68 lakh hectare a year ago, while that in Haryana in 1.16 lakh hectare as against 1.19 lakh hectare in the said period.
Wheat planting, however, in Uttar Pradesh was covered in more area at 1.73 lakh hectare till last week of this season as against 94,000 hectare a year ago, the data showed.
Among other rabi crops, area sown to pulses also remained lower at 27.85 lakh hectare till last week of this rabi season, as against 39.93 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
Coarse cereals were also planted in lesser area at 12.39 lakh hectare as against 13.54 lakh hectare in the said period.
However, the planting of oilseeds was undertaken in more area at 41.24 lakh hectare till last week of this rabi season as against 39.65 lakh hectare a year ago.
Rice planting area remained similar to the previous year's level of 5.77 lakh hectare in the said period.
Total acreage under all rabi crops was down by 15% at 95.35 lakh hectare till last week of this season, as against 112.24 lakh hectare in the year-ago period.
An agriculture ministry official said the prospects of rabi sowing looks bright because of better soil moisture on account of good monsoon and reservoirs are also full.
The agriculture ministry has set the production target for foodgrains at a record 291.1 million tonne for 2019-20 crop year (July-June), comprising 147.9 million tonnes in kharif (summer) season and 143.2 million tonnes during rabi (winter) season.