India Region

Concern over Wheat production due to the ongoing heatwave

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27 February 2023, New Delhi: The wheat farmers across the northern states of India are in a panic state with the ongoing heat wave. The farmers are in fear of losing their crops like last year due to high temperatures. 

Agricultural experts say that if the increase in temperature continues, then there may be a decrease in the yield of wheat. The government has constituted a committee to monitor the situation. 

The move comes amid an estimate by the National Crop Forecasting Center (NCFC) that the maximum temperature in major wheat-growing regions, except Madhya Pradesh, during the first week of February was higher than the average of the last seven years. Even the Meteorological Department has forecasted above-normal temperatures in Gujarat, Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

Implication for Wheat

As per IMD, maximum temperatures are likely to remain 2-3 °C above normal till 9th March and likely to remain below normal from 10th to 16th March in North India.

Dr. Ashok Singh, Director IARI told Krishak Jagat, “Given the maximum and minimum temperature forecasts for March, there is a low probability of terminal heat conditions till the 16th of March which is a critical period for grain filling in wheat. The daily mean temperatures are not likely to cross 32 °C.” 

Effect of rising temperature on Wheat

Union Agriculture Secretary Mr. Manoj Ahuja said, “A committee has been constituted to monitor the situation of rise in temperature on wheat crop. The committee will issue advisories to the farmers for adopting micro-irrigation. The committee is headed by Agriculture Commissioner and has members of Karnal-based Wheat Research Institute and representatives of major wheat-producing states.”

The secretary, however, said that early-sown varieties will not be affected by the rise in temperature and even heat-resistant varieties have been sown in larger areas this time. The production of wheat in the crop year 2022-23 is estimated to be a record 112.1 million tonnes. Due to heat wave conditions in some states, wheat production had marginally reduced to 107.74 million tonnes last year. Wheat is a major rabi crop, harvesting of which has started in some states.

Government panel to study the effect of rising temperature

The government has decided to set up a committee to monitor the impact of high temperatures, India’s agriculture commissioner will head the committee and officials from major wheat-producing states of the country and government scientists will also be on the panel. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the maximum temperature in some states last week reached 39 degrees Celsius, which is 9 degrees Celsius above normal.

Also Read: Union Budget 2023: An Overview of the Focus on Agriculture

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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