Wheat yield may fall due to high temperatures

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Ludhiana, Mar 26 (UNI) The wheat yield is likely to fall in Punjab and Haryana due to the abnormal temperatures experienced during the month of March.

Temperatures, both minimum and maximum have been comparatively high in March, which is the reproductive phase of the wheat crop, Dr G S Bains, head of the Agro Meteorology Department of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) said here today.

Dr N K Dhaliwal of the same department pointed out that since February 17 the day temperatures have remained three to four degree celsius above normal in Punjab. This has affected the seed formation as March is the reproductive phase of the crop, she added.

''Even minor changes in temperatures during the 'grain filly period' can effect the wheat yield'', Dr Bains added saving the fall in wheat production in all countries was due to global warming.

The PAU had in 2006 predicted a fall in wheat production due to the high night temperatures in the month of February. The production did fall in that year but last year the production again went up in Punjab as the temperatures were normal.

Dr Bains said presently they were not in a position to predict the exact fall in the yield of the crop as this was the task of the other departments of the University.

However, the Inter-governmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that a 0.5 degree celsius rise in winter temperatures would reduce the wheat yield by 0.45 tonnes per hectare in the country.

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