Panel set up to monitor impact of heat wave on wheat crop

By FE Bureau

To monitor the impact of hot and dry weather conditions prevailing currently on standing wheat crops, the government on Monday announced setting up a committee to monitor the situation. Sources said that the agriculture commissioner will chair the committee which will have members from Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, a Karnal-based institute, and representatives from key wheat growing states.

According to an agriculture ministry official, spike in temperature would not have any impact on early-sown varieties of wheat and heat resistant varieties such as DBW187, DBW 303 and DBW 222 have been sown in large areas. The committee is also likely to advise farmers on use of micro irrigation in case of heat wave during the grain formation stage next month.

For the current crop year (2022-23), the government has estimated a record wheat harvest of 112.18 million tonne (MT). Total area under wheat crop has risen by only 0.13 million hectare (MH) to 34.32 MH in current crop year from the year-ago period.
Harvesting of crops begins in Madhya Pradesh in the third week of March while in Punjab and Haryana harvesting commences from April 1. Despite anticipating a record output of wheat in the 2021-22 season (July-June), the standing crop was adversely impacted because of excessive heat wave in the middle of March last year just prior to harvesting season which resulted in shriveled grain.

The wheat production in 2021-22 crop year (July-June) had declined marginally to 107.7 MT from 109.6 MT in the previous year.

This article has been republished from The Financial Express.