The ongoing spell of cold wave and rains in parts of Madhya Pradesh will only benefit the late sown wheat crop while the early sown crop will suffer heavy yield loss, say experts.
With day temperatures at record high in November and December, the period when wheat is sown in Central India, the tillering or vegetative growth of early sown crop has been badly affected, said ML Meena, state agriculture director.
“Erratic weather will impact the overall yield of wheat crop as vegetative growth has been affected, but the recent spell of rain in parts of the state will boost the productivity of the late sown variety,” he said.
“The wheat sowing area in the state has come down to 53 lakh hectares from 59 lakh hectares last year.”
The cold wave and rain in parts of the state will only benefit the late sown crop, said Krishanpal Singh Mourya, a farmer from Nimarkhedi village in Khandwa district.
“The tillering of early sown crop had suffered due to unusually high day temperatures so the yield will be hit,” he told Hindustan Times.
Last year, farmers in Nimar region had got wheat yield of more than 50 quintals per hectare but this year’s yield could come down by about 30-40%, he said.
Farmers in several places in the region have uprooted the wheat crop and opted to sow maize or other crop once they realised that wheat will give very poor yield, he added.
In October last year, scientists had advised farmers to go for late sowing of wheat to neutralise the effect of comparatively warmer winter in the state this year.
The problem is that many farmers look at the availability of water rather than the temperatures before sowing the crop, say experts.
In Madhya Pradesh, wheat sowing usually starts from late October and the crop duration is about 120 days. While November and December had seen record high temperatures, the day temperatures during early January had also been considerably higher than normal in many parts of the state.