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Heat Stress To Build Up In March Over North India, May Impact Wheat Crop

February 10, 2023 5:00 PM |

North India remained largely rain deficit in December 2022  and the seasonal shortfall was carried forward in January as well, albeit to a lesser extent.  The initial days of February have witnessed dry weather conditions over most parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Factually, the eastern states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha have observed a total 'washout' on account of winter showers, between December and February. 

The absence of rain is reducing atmospheric moisture levels and builds up heat stress.  Rains are unlikely over these parts, even over the next 2 weeks or even longer. Rising heat potential is construed as detrimental for all the 'Rabi' crops in general and wheat in particular.  Production estimates for the season 2022-23 may take a harsh beating, if not, a repeat of last year. 

Rabi season 2021-22 was struck with double whammy of  deluge and heat. Inclement weather conditions with heavy rains and hailstorm battered most parts of North India, in January 2022. While, rains receded conspicuously in February, heat wave clamped the entire region in February and March 2022. Ensuing heat wave reduced production drastically, shrinking procurement, which fell to 18,792 MT, a sharp drop from the previous year record of 43,444 MT. 

Rabi crop will be ripe enough and ready for harvest, anytime from 2nd half of March and later. Various weather agencies have predicted sharp rise in the mercury levels in the coming days, more so, during late February and March. Excess heat around this time will adversely impact the grain size and in turn over all  production. Vast fields of  Rabi crops run the risk of getting smacked due to prolonged and frequent spells of heat wave.

Image Courtesy: NCMRWF

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