Area under coverage for wheat has fallen 5 per cent to 86.02 lakh hectares so far in the ongoing rabi (winter-sown) season, according to the agriculture ministry data. The sowing area of wheat stood at 91.02 lakh hectares in the same period last year. “About 86.02 lakh hectares area coverage has been reported compared to 91.02 lakh hectare during the corresponding period of last year. Thus 5.01 lakh hectare less area has been covered compared to last year,” the ministry said. Area under coverage for wheat is so far lower in Uttar Pradesh (3.87 lakh hectares), Punjab (2.28 lakh hectares), Haryana (2.14 lakh hectares) and Gujarat (0.71 lakh hectares). The higher wheat area is reported mainly from Madhya Pradesh (3.44 lakh hectare) and Rajasthan (0.68 lakh hectare). The government has banned exports of wheat and is offloading wheat in the open market from its buffer stock to boost domestic supply and control retail prices of wheat and atta (wheat flour).