Sowing of rabi crops continued to be lower than the previous year with wheat and mustard recording the highest shortfall because of low moisture in the soil, raising concerns on output.
With temperatures remaining higher than normal during the day in parts of the country, there could be a further impact on sowing unless winter sets in.
According to data furnished by department of agriculture, till last week, wheat was sown in around 25.93 million hectares (ha), almost 7.23 per cent less than the previous year.
Total area sown for all rabi crops was down at 52.07 million ha as on December 23 as compared with 54.01 million ha in the previous year.
Oilseeds have also seen a drop in area sown at 6.96 million ha, compared with 7.43 million ha in the year-ago period. Rice has been sown in around 1.21 million ha against 1.36 million ha in the year-ago period.
However, sowing of pulses and coarse cereals was better than the year-ago period.
Pulses area was slightly up at 12.59 million hectare from 12.47 million hectares, while that of coarse cereals increased to 5.29 million ha.