Wheat farmers in MP advised to go for late sowing
With the threat of El Nino looming large over rabi crops, scientists have advised farmers to opt for late sowing of the wheat crop to neutralize the effect of the comparatively warmer winter in Madhya Pradesh this year.
“It’s too early to predict the impact of the comparatively warmer winter on the yield of wheat. However, we have advised the farmers to go for late sowing and also to sow different varieties of wheat to neutralize the effect,” Dr SV Sai Prasad, the head of Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI) Indore regional station, told HT.
In MP, the sowing of wheat usually starts from October 15 and the yield depends on the extent of winter rains. The cold wave in month of January promotes stem production in the wheat crop which further helps in enhancing the wheat output.
The regional meteorological centre (RMC), Bhopal, has predicted a relatively warmer winter in MP this year with temperatures expected to remain 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above the normal mark.
El Nino, the weather condition that affected the southwest monsoon, which lead to a shortfall of rains in late August and September, will also have an impact on the temperature.
The day temperatures during the first fortnight of October have been considerably higher than normal in many parts of the country, including in Madhya Pradesh.
The El Nino effect a rise in sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, which in turn, causes warming of weather in the Indian subcontinent. The effect of El Nino is expected to last until March 2016.
MP has emerged among the top three wheat-growing states of India. During the rabi season in 2013-14, the state registered wheat production of 16.5 million tonnes from an acreage of 5.6 million hectares.
The production further increased to 17.4 million tonnes during 2014-15 from acreage of 6 million hectares.
The state grows some of the finest varieties of wheat such as Sharbati, which retains lustre for a longer period and has high protein content. Another variety, Durum, is exported to various countries as it is suitable for making pasta.