If the prevailing high temperatures continue through March, then the rabi wheat crop will be impacted and yields will at best be on a par, or even lesser marginally, than last year's low, warns a report.
In Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for around 30% of wheat production, the eastern part is expected to have relatively good yields due to timely sowing after the kharif paddy harvest.
But the western U.P. may see a marginal decline due to late sowing if the high temperatures persist in March, research agency Crisil said on Wednesday.
In Punjab and Haryana, which together contribute 25% of annual wheat production, late-sown wheat is in the flowering stage, while the early-sown lot is in the milking stage and high temperatures are detrimental to grain formation in both these stages, the report added.
Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh which produces 20% of annual wheat, the late-sown wheat is at the milking stage now. But Bihar, which contributed 5% of production, has seen early sowing and the crop there is at the grain formation/maturation stage, which could mean relatively less impact.
Though such abiotic factors are difficult to be managed very effectively, the report says, farmers in Punjab, Haryana and western U.P. are already spraying crop nutrients like bio-stimulants and specialty fertilisers which should help them cope with the heat wave to some extent.
Even though wheat prices have been trending down for the past 20 days, if these high temperatures persist for the next 20 days, there can be price pressures, Pushan Sharma, a director at the agency, said.