December 29, 2011
India's cold weather may aid wheat crops
The cold weather conditions in northern and central India might be beneficial to wheat crops.
However, ground frost conditions in many parts of the country could harm potato and other horticulture crops. The meteorological department has forecasted that cold wave conditions would prevail over parts of Punjab, Haryana, north Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Bihar and Jharkhand.
The wheat crop is in the tillering stage and the present weather would help in its growth period. "If the cold weather condition carries on till January 15 and beyond with no ground frost conditions, we can easily touch a production of 86 million tonne," said Dr Indu Sharma, head, Directorate of Wheat Research in Karnal. Usually, severe frost-like conditions occur in the first few days of January. Sharma said that over 80% of wheat sowing has been completed across India till date.
Low temperature in the past week has helped mustard and other oilseed crops. "The temperature is conducive for the crop which is in flowering stage. However, we expect the oil content to be less owing to delayed winter and rains across Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh," said Rajesh Bheda, chairman, Indian Oilseeds & Produce Export Promotion Council.