Heat to damage wheat crop, warns Indian Institute of Wheat & Barley Research

By Sutanuka Ghoshal

High atmospheric temperatures this month may cause damage to the wheat crop, the Indian Institute of Wheat & Barley Research (IIWBR) has warned.

In an advisory issued on Friday, the institute that functions under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR-IIWBR) asked farmers to also regularly inspect their wheat crops for the yellow rust disease.

It said in case of a sudden rise in temperature, farmers should use light irrigation and spray potassium on the wheat plant to reduce the damage. But watering the plants should be stopped if there is strong wind, as the crop may fall otherwise, causing more damage.

“We are seeing that temperature is rising in the wheat growing regions intermittently and is continuing for two to three days. To avoid any damage, we have issued an advisory in advance,” ICAR-IIWBR director Gyanendra Singh told ET. “Farmers who have the facility of sprinkler irrigation can irrigate their field with a sprinkler for 30 minutes in the afternoon in case of a rise in temperature,” he said.

The government in its second advance estimate has projected a record wheat production of 112.18 million tonnes this season, up 5% from last year.

Last year, India’s wheat output had fallen to 106.84 million tonnes from 109.59 million tonnes in 2021 due to a severe heat wave.

Wheat is mainly grown in UP, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Bihar, MP and Chhattisgarh. The crop is harvested in April.

This article has been republished from The Economic Times.