Increased heat unlikely to harm wheat crop, says IMD

The increase in maximum temperatures would not affect the harvest-ready wheat crop, the IMD (India Meteorological Department) stated on Monday. Extreme heat is anticipated to hit India from April to June, with the central and western peninsular regions bearing the brunt of the impact, according to the IMD Director. He stated that there is no heatwave warning for wheat-producing states other than Madhya Pradesh.

“Temperatures in Madhya Pradesh are currently around 37-40 degrees Celsius, and they are expected to rise to 42 degrees next week.” There would be no effect because 90% of the wheat harvesting in the state has already taken place,” he stated. Even if temperatures rise above 35 degrees, there will be no effect in Punjab, Haryana, or Uttar Pradesh, he stated.

India produced 1,105.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2022-23. Uttar Pradesh contributed 30.40%, Madhya Pradesh 20.56%, Punjab 15.18%, Haryana 9.89%, and Rajasthan 9.62%. In 2022, India saw an early series of heat waves that hampered wheat output, prompting the government, the world’s second-largest wheat producer, to implement an export ban.

Wheat planting normally occurs in October, with harvesting beginning in April in many places. Maximum temperatures are expected to rise by 2-3 degrees Celsius across much of the country over the next week. Temperatures are predicted to be 2-3 degrees Celsius above average in several parts of north India, as well as on the east and west coasts, and near normal elsewhere.

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