The Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) has said farmers of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Punjab should ensure proper moisture content for the wheat crop as harvesting will peak after April 10.

The Indian Meteorological Department has already predicted a harsher summer in the April-June period. IIWBR said that farmers of central and peninsular India should ensure proper moisture content (12-13 per cent) at the time of harvesting and make arrangements for safe storage. “Farmers from North-East and North-West India are advised to apply light irrigation as per requirement of crop to ensure that proper soil moisture is maintained for maturity,” it said.

Further, IIWBR’s director Gyanendra Singh said in case the maximum temperature goes beyond 37°C, farmers can spray 0.2 per cent muriate of potash (by dissolving 400g of MOP in 200 litres of water per acre) or 2 per cent KNO3 (4Kg in 200 litres of water per acre) at post-anthesis stage of wheat to avoid desiccation of crop and also to mitigate heat stress.

Avoiding 2020 repeat

In hill zones such as Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, farmers should be vigilant about yellow rust or brown rust and spray Propiconazole 25EC. 1 ml of Propiconazole 25EC should be mixed in one litre water and 200 ml of fungicide mixed with 200 litres of water should be sprayed in one acre of wheat crop, it said.

Asking farmers to apply only light irrigation on late-sown crop, it said that irrigation in the crop be stopped 8-10 days before harvesting.

The government has been focussing a lot to avoid repeat of 2022 situation in case temperature goes up as two years back wheat was shrivelled at many places due to sudden rise in temperature that led to lower yield and production. This year, the government already distributed a large number of climate resilient varieties to ensure there is no yield loss.