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The country's wheat production is expected to touch an all-time of over 100 million tonnes in the current 2017-18 crop year (July-June) due to likely increase in acreage and yields, Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak said today. In the 2016-17 crop year, wheat production had reached a record 98.36 million tonnes. The previous high was 95.85 million tonnes in 2013-14. The government has kept a target of 97.50 million tonnes wheat output for the current year.
Sowing of wheat, the main rabi (winter) crop, begins from October and harvesting from March. "Rabi sowing is progressing well. We are hoping wheat production to touch over 100 million tonnes this year," Pattanayak told PTI. Wheat acreage is lower so far, but the area will be covered up. Sowing got delayed as fields were not free for planting of the wheat crop, he said. The Secretary said the wheat acreage is lower largely in Uttar Pradesh. However, the sowing window is till January-end, so it will be covered. "The UP government has said the wheat acreage will be covered because weather is conducive and has enthused planting," he added. As per the agriculture ministry's data, area sown to wheat remained lower by 4.77 per cent at 283.46 lakh hectare till last week of the rabi season compared to 297.67 lakh hectare in the year-ago period. Besides UP, less coverage of wheat was reported in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and West Bengal till last week of the season, the data showed. Wheat is sown in an average area of 201.74 lakh hectare.
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