Indian crop plantings progress
Planting of rabi (winter) crops in India is progressing well, says the Ministry of Agriculture. By the end of December, wheat was sown on 24.9 million ha, compared with 26.3 million ha at the same time last year. The total wheat sowing in 2007-08 is expected to be 27.5 million ha, which would be higher than the average of 26 million ha, but lower than last year's record of 28 million ha. Some crop area was lost due to moisture stress and initial higher temperatures in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. But the states of Punjab and Haryana had higher areas due to farmers responding favourably to the increased minimum support price for wheat. The Ministry outlined a three-year plan in 2006 for increasing the wheat area (Agrow No 506, p 18).