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IMD Issues ‘Heat Stress’ Advisory to Wheat Farmers; Max Temp Likely to be 3-5°C Higher than Normal

Farmers in Punjab, Rajasthan, and Haryana should inspect their wheat crops for heat stress, according to the India Meterological Department (IMD), which warned that maximum temperatures in several parts of the country are likely to be 3-5 degrees Celsius higher than normal.

Shivam Dwivedi
Higher temperature might lead to an adverse effect on wheat as it is approaching the reproductive growth period
Higher temperature might lead to an adverse effect on wheat as it is approaching the reproductive growth period

Temperature likely to be 3-5 degrees Celsius above normal over most of northwest, west, central, and east India for the next five days, according to the IMD. Maximum temperatures in Gujarat, Telangana, Odisha, and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have already reached 35-37 degrees Celsius.

"This higher day temperature might lead to an adverse effect on wheat as this crop is approaching the reproductive growth period, which is sensitive to temperature. High temperatures during flowering and maturation reduce yield. The impact on other standing crops and horticulture could be similar," according to the IMD.

Last year, a March heatwave harmed wheat crops and reduced yields across northern and central states. The IMD has also advised farmers this year to "check if the crop appears to be under stress" and provide light irrigation. Add mulch material between two rows of vegetable crops to conserve soil moisture and temperature to reduce the impact of higher temperatures."

According to a senior scientist at the IMD, weak western disturbances are creating ideal conditions for a heatwave to develop. Western disturbances are weather phenomena that occur during the winter when an extratropical storm originating in the Mediterranean causes rain in north and northwest India due to westerly winds.

"Basically, western disturbances control the weather in the northwest. Even last year, there were few western disturbances that resulted in clear skies, which is favorable for heatwaves," he said, adding that "this year, too, whatever western disturbances have come have only affected the Jammu region, and other Himalayan states are affected by the heat."

The situation is unlikely to improve for the next five to seven days, according to Kumar, who added that it was too early to predict how temperatures would be affected next month when summer arrives.

Wheat output is expected to reach a record high of 112.18 million tonnes in the crop year ending in July. The central government has established a panel to monitor heat stress on wheat and mustard crops and advise farmers on how to deal with it.

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