Wheat yields in Punjab higher than last year but below normal average: govt

Punjab farmers have harvested wheat yields that are higher compared to last year but still below the normal average for the state.

This is the broad picture from the recent crop cutting experiments (CCE) conducted by the Punjab government’s Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Department.

The department had, as on April 26, conducted a total of 2,356 CCEs across the state to assess yields of wheat crop now being harvested and brought to the mandis. “We have received the results from 1,126 experiments. The average wheat yield (based on 1,126 out of the 2,356 CCEs) works out to 47.2 quintals per hectare,” an official told The Indian Express.

This yield is more than the 42.17 quintals/hectare average of the 2021-22 crop, but less than the 50.08 quintals, 51 quintals and 51.88 quintals harvested, as per the CCEs, in the preceding three years.

In other words, the damage to the standing wheat from the unseasonal rain this March hasn’t been as much as it was from the heat wave of March 2022. Both these extreme weather events took place at the crucial grain formation-cum-filling stage of the crop.

The relatively less hit to yields is also reflected in procurement trends. Government agencies have so far procured almost 105 lakh tonnes (lt) of wheat from Punjab in the ongoing rabi marketing season (April-June). This is more than the 96.45 lt bought during the entire 2022 marketing season, but way below the record 132.22 lt of 2021.

“Yields have been better than last year. They could have been above normal if the unseasonal rains, accompanied by heavy winds, had not led to lodging (bending over) of the crop that was nearing maturity,” the official pointed out.


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