March-April 2022 heat wave caused wheat yield loss up to 25% in Punjab

CRIDA report points out extremely high temperatures during March adversely affected many crops

The heat wave during March and April 2022 caused wheat yield loss up to 25% in several districts of Punjab, as per a report by the prepared by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), Hyderabad. It also led to losses in wheat yield in another major-producer Haryana by 10-15%, the report points out.

The report ‘Heat wave 2022 — Causes Impacts and way forward for Indian Agriculture’ mentioned that several districts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan were adversely affected due to the unusual heat wave experienced in March 2022.

Citing the CRIDA report in its ‘Price Policy for Rabi Crops: The Marketing Season 2023-24’, the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has stated that in 2022, India recorded extremely high temperature during March that triggered an early onslaught of heat waves. These heat waves engulfed several states across north, central and east India from March to May.

Extreme temperatures during March and April caused dry winds, high evapotranspiration and moisture stress that adversely affected the rabi crops, particularly wheat. Furthermore, the late-sown wheat crop, covering about 6-7 million hectares, was affected unfavourably, CACP has mentioned quoting the CRIDA report.

Rise in temperature caused yellowing and shrivelling of wheat grain and an early maturity that resulted in yield loss up to 25% in Punjab and up to 10-15% in Haryana. Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan also faced yield loss in wheat due to rise in temperatures.

Other crops such as chickpea, maize, and mustard were adversely affected due to extreme temperatures. Intense extreme weather events are being observed across India which pose a stiff challenge for achieving sustainable agricultural growth, CACP said in its rabi price policy for 2023-24.

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