The prevailing weather conditions in the major food grain producing states of Punjab and Haryana would have an impact on the rabi crops if the warm and dry weather lasts for a longer period.
Farmers are keeping their fingers crossed as the loss of cotton crop due to the white fly pest attack in this kharif season has not been compensated as yet and they cannot afford to bear another crop failure.
As per the Met Department Reports, the highest average temperature during the month of January has been recorded this winter in the last fifteen years. This may adversely affect the rabi crop if the day temperature does not drop in a few days.
Wheat is the major rabi crop grown in these two states followed by mustard and barley.
The average day temperature for wheat during this part of the year should be 18 degrees Celsius but the prevailing average day temperature has been 22 degrees to 23 degrees Celsius, told Navtej Bains,a Senior Scientist in Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana. The night temperature is also higher by one or two degrees as it is between six and seven degrees Celsius.
In such situation, farmers have to increase the irrigation and closely watch the eruption of rust on wheat.
In Haryana, the crop in the districts of Mahendergarh, Rewari, Bhiwani and parts of Hisar may register an impact of the dry spell and warm weather as these pockets are rain fed.
Flowering of mustard and ear heading in barely can be curbed for want of adequate moisture and cool temperature, told Raj Singh, Head, Department of Meteorology, Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar.
The Direct at Wheat Research Institute, Karnal, Indu Sharma, told that the temperature plays a crucial role at the terminal stage for wheat crop.
"A cool climate in the month of February and March is significant for better yield of wheat. We can have a bumper wheat crop from these two states if the temperature comes down in the next few days", she added.
The two states have a combined 6.2 million hectare area under wheat and produced an average 27 million tonne of wheat in the recent years. The total area under wheat in our country in 2014-15 was about 31 million hectare that grew an estimated 95.6 million tonne wheat crop.