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Scorching spring heat to hit UP wheat yield, says expert

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Lucknow, Feb 26 (UNI) Unprecedented spring heat coupled with absence of retreating monsoon this winter and erratic power supply was likely to hit wheat production in Uttar Pradesh during the current Rabi season, Chandrika Prasad, Director General of Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Research Council said here today.

Maximum temperatures exceeding 30 degree celsius during the spring time (February and March) always hamper wheat crop, he told UNI here.

In the state, however, this year the spring time maximum temperatures were hovering between 35 and 37 degree celisius and the absence of retreating monsoon in winter was likely to hit the wheat production markedly, he said.

At least five to seven per cent of the staple Rabi crop sown in early December last and 20 to 25 per cent of wheat sown later was likely to be hit by the abnormal spring weather, he added.

''The damage may be in the qauntum of 15 to 17 lakh tonnes of wheat,'' claimed Mr Prasad.

At present wheat in the state had been sown on 90 lakh hectare land and the targetted output fixed at 300.96 metric tonnes.

The expert said that the loss will not only be in terms of quantity but also quality of wheat, reflective through the size, shape and colour of the grain.

Mr Prasad further said that erratic power supply leading to under functioning of tube wells and drying up of acquifers was likely to further compllicate matters.

The agro expert advised the Rabi farmers to minimises the damage to the weather-beaten crop through mild irrigation at regular intervals, eventually scaling down the impact of heat on the crop.

UNI ARS AS PG RK1728

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