heat is a temperature-sensitive crop that requires a cool temperature, especially in March when it is at its final stage
On April 13, 2022, the Punjab government said the Centre has agreed to revise its wheat procurement norms for shrivelled grains. This happened just a day after Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann urged the Centre to do so.
The country saw its hottest March in 122 years which has significantly reduced the yield of the harvested crop. Wheat is a temperature-sensitive crop that requires a cool temperature, especially in March when it is at its final stage.
But a record rise in temperatures damaged the crop in most areas. The rise in night-time temperatures or minimum temperatures also had a negative impact on the yield. The harvest also looks different and shrivelled as a result of the excessive heat.
The extreme heat in March and April has increased the shrivelled grain percentage from sixper cent set by the Food Corporation of India to 12-20 per cent.
The situation got more tricky when many procurement agencies refused to buy the crop on MSP (minimum support price) due to the quality concerns associated with the crop. All this finally resulted in the Punjab government seeking relaxation in the norms for shrivelled grains.
According to many farmers, wheat production has gone down to 15-16 quintals per acre from the usual yield of over 20 quintals per acre. Only those farmers who sowed their crops early in October have had a good quality harvest.
Those who sowed the crop in the usual season beginning from November and December or those who sowed it late have harvested low yields. The effect of heat on the crop is not limited to Punjab and Haryana and can be seen across the wheat-growing belt. There have been reports of low yield in states like Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra.
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