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Favourable Rains Boost Wheat Plantings for 2014 Rabi Season Crop

19 February 2014

INDIA - Planting of the 2014 Rabi season cereal crops, mainly wheat and rice, was completed by December.

Favourable rains from September to December over much of the country, except north-western areas which experienced below-average rains, improved soil moisture allowing farmers to start planting early reports FAO.

However, a period of generally dry weather has prevailed since the start of January.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) the cumulative rainfall for the country as a whole during the first two weeks of January has been 40 per cent below the Long Period Average (LPA).

However, most of the wheat and paddy is irrigated in this season and the abundant rains in the second part of the monsoon season have helped replenish water reserves for irrigation.

According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture by 17 January, 31.4 million hectares were planted under wheat, 6 per cent more than in the corresponding time in 2013.

Early official target for the 2013/14 Rabi wheat crop is set at about 92.5 million tonnes, similar to last year’s bumper harvest.

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