wheat field sky
NEW DELHI, INDIA — India’s wheat production forecast for 2018-19 has been increased by 1 million tonnes to 95 million tonnes on reports of higher yields in the northern part of the country, according to a May 9 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A weather forecast released on April 16 by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted a normal monsoon season, which would provide an optimal environment for grain production.

Consecutive near-normal monsoons in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 crop years (July-June) supported bumper harvests for most crops in India, the report said.

The Indian government’s grain production forecast is even more optimistic than the USDA’s.

“Sources report that the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has set a food grain (wheat, rice, coarse grains and pulses) production target of 283.7 million tonnes for 2018-19 crop year, a significant 6-million-tonne increase over the current record estimate of 277.5 million tonnes in 2017-18,” the USDA said.

The Indian government production target for 2018-19 includes: 113 million tonnes of rice, which would break the record of 111 million tonnes set in 2017-18; 100 million tonnes of wheat, higher than the record of 98.5 million tonnes set the past two years; and 24 million tonnes of pulses, just barely higher than last year’s mark of 23.9 million tonnes.