After a brief spell of mild cold, minimum temperatures across North-West and Central India along with Maharashtra is expected to rise by 2-4 degree celsius during the first half of the week starting February 16 and not change significantly thereafter, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
"The minimum temperatures are in the range of 9-10 degree celsius now at isolated places over the plains of Northwest India and adjoining Central and East India. Minimum Temperatures are likely to rise gradually by 3-5 degree celsius over many parts of East India and by 2-4 degree celsius over many parts of Northwest and Central India and Maharashtra during first half of the week and no significantly change thereafter," the met said in its latest weather update.
Thereafter, from February 23 to March 01, the IMD said that minimum temperatures are likely to be near normal to above normal by 1-2 degree celsius over north India and near normal over rest parts of the country.
A abnormally, high temperature over the next one months or so could have an impact on the yield of standing wheat crop mainly in North India where it is poised to enter the crucial grain filling stage
As per experts, grain filling in wheat usually starts from End-February to March in North India. It usually lasts for a period of 28-30 days when as per crop scientists on an average 150 kilograms’ wheat grain gets formed in each hectare of land.
This makes around 4500 kilograms of wheat grains in nearly 30 days per hectare. This is also the average yield of wheat in states of Punjab, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh.
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Any unusual rise in temperatures will lower the period of grain filling in wheat from 30 days to say around 25-27 days which would mean that fewer quantities of grains and that much impact on the final yield.
Earlier, this week, the Centre in its second estimate said that wheat production in the coming rabi marketing season (FY-23-24) is expected to be at an all-time high of 112.18 million tonnes, up 4.12 per cent from last year on the back of a sharp increase in acreage.
Production of mustard and chana are also projected at record highs in the ongoing rabi season, the estimates show.
However, the forecasts particularly in case of wheat rests on the believe that weather in the coming few weeks will remain favorable to the standing crop and there won’t be any unusual rise in temperatures like last year which lead to a drop in output.
In 2012-22, the Centre first estimated wheat production at 111.32 million tonnes which was later scaled down to 107.74 million tonnes, a drop of around 3.58 million tonnes due to bad weather.