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Early warming raises fear of decline in wheat yield

Last modified March 07, 2016 10:49

The Tribune. Chandigarh, 03 March 2016

An early increase in day temperature could lead to decline in wheat yield in Haryana and Punjab. According to the met department, the day temperature remains above 31 degree Celsius, while the night temperature lurks from 13-15 degree Celsius. The weather report has left farmers and agriculture experts a worried lot.

The Agromet Advisory Bulletin issued by the Department of Agriculture Meteorology of Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar, does not show any respite from heat in the coming days. Wheat has been sown on 23 lakh hectares in Haryana and nearly, 35 lakh hectares in Punjab this year. The varieties sown are already in the kernel formation stage. “An average temperature of 18 degree Celsius (maximum 24 degrees and minimum 12 degree Celsius) is ideal for the crop at this stage,” said Suresh Kumar Gahlawat, Additional Director in the agriculture department. He said only late sown varieties in the cotton belt run the risk of fall in yield. Haryana and Punjab produced 52 quintals of wheat per hectare in 2013-14, when a bumper crop of 95.93 lakh metric tons was recorded in the country. With the crop largely free from yellow rust infection this year, farmers as well as agriculture experts were expecting bumper wheat crop, before the early warming raised their concerns. “If temperature continues to rise, the grains would ripen before gaining weight leading to fall in yield,” said Gurjeet Singh Mann, a progressive farmer from Kirpal Patti in Sirsa.

 

However, Dr Ravish Chatrath, principal scientist in the Crop Improvement Department of the Institute of Wheat and Barley Research at Karnal, said the night temperature was still good and the highest temperature of 30 to 31 degree Celsius was witnessed only for a few hours during the day.

 

Source: Agriculture Today, AgriNews, <sanjay.km15@gmail.com>

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