Centre forms panel to monitor impact of rising temperatures on wheat crops, experts fear dip in output if heat persists | India News

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NEW DELHI: Amid concerns over impact of rising temperature on overall output of wheat and mustard, the government has set up a committee to monitor the situation and issue advisories to farmers on adopting micro irrigation to minimize the damage and avoid the repeat of last year when the output had declined due to early onset of heatwave.
Though there won’t be an impact of rise in temperature on early-sown varieties and heat resistant varieties of wheat, it is estimated that the standing crop which was sown in December-January will be impacted to an extent of 5-10% if the heat conditions worsen ahead of harvest. Increase in temperature may also impact the production of mustard between 4-6%.
“The temperature rise will affect the yield of both mustard and wheat. But it’ll affect wheat more intensely. In the wheat-sugarcane cycle most of the wheat is sown in the December-January window which amounts to 60% of the total wheat crop. The wheat sown late is either in the boot or milking stage and therefore higher temperature will result in shriveling of grains,” said farm expert, Sudhir Panwar.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday predicted that the north-west, central and west India may record three to five degrees above normal maximum temperatures over the next five days.
Many parts of the country, coinciding with the wheat and mustard growing zones such as PunjabHaryana, western UP and Madhya Pradesh, are already recording higher than normal temperatures. The wheat crop normally enters the grain fill stage in March and any unusual rise in temperature could cause yield damage.
Panwar, former member of the Uttar Pradesh planning commissionsaid, “If predictions on temperature turn correct, it will result in a 10% lower yield in wheat and 4-6% in mustard.”
The government’s move on setting up a committee comes in the backdrop of a forecast by the Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC) that maximum temperature in major wheat producing areas barring Madhya Pradesh was higher-than-normal of the last seven years during the first week of February.
The committee will have members from agriculture ministry and also from Karnal-based Wheat Research Institute and representatives from major wheat growing states.
The ministry has estimated wheat production at a record-level of around 112 million tonnes (MT) in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June cycle). Its output had declined marginally to nearly 108 MT in the previous year due to early heat wave conditions in some states.



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