Dry cold winter and rabi crop
- January 23, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Dry cold winter and rabi crop
Subject : Economic Geography
- The India Meteorological Department has forecast “scattered to fairly widespread rainfall accompanied by thunderstorm activity” over Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh though a fresh western disturbance is expected to bring more rain over northwest India.
How will this impact the Rabi crops?
- This year wheat is shown in more areas (341.13 lha) than that in the previous year (339.87 lha), so the expectation for this year is a bumper production of wheat.
- Moreover, the wheat stocks in government warehouses on January 1 at a six-year-low.
- The crop has a risk of Heavy rains, hailstorms and the early onset of summer, which can affect the production of wheat.
But there are two positive scenarios:
- There are more-than-adequate public stocks of rice to meet the public distribution system’s requirements.
- The international wheat prices are eased considerably.
- The wheat that was sown before mid-November is in the “boot” stage (by mid-january), where the earheads (which bear the flowers and eventually grain) are forming at the top of the plants. Heading (when the earheads fully emerge from the stem) and flowering (pollination) happen within 90-100 days from sowing, which is followed by about 25 days of early kernel formation (“milk” stage) and another 15 days or more of grain-filling (“dough”).
- Rain at this stage will provide growth momentum to the crop by cooling the canopy and enabling natural nitrogen fixation.
- The rain will:
- Reduce the usage of fertilizers
- Remove dust and pollutants from the leaves
- Save irrigation costs
Mustard crop situation:
- Farmers have planted an all-time-high area of 91.56 lh under mustard, compared to 84.47 lh in 2021-22.
- The dry and cold winter has not been beneficial for mustard.
- Mustard, which is generally sown by October-end, starts flowering after 50-60 days and forming siliqua (pods containing seeds) over the next 35-40 days.
- The severe cold wave conditions are believed to have caused frost damage to the crop in many areas.
- A wide range of temperatures (high temperature in daytime and drop to lowest point in night time) in these areas harm the mustard crops.
Chana crop situation:
- Chana is the second biggest rabi crop by area, with farmers sowing 110.91 lh.
- That’s down from last year’s 112.65 lh, but higher than the normal area of 98.86 lh.
- Sowing stretches from end-September (in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh) to October (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat) and the first fortnight of November (Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab), with the crop duration also extending from 100-110 days to 120-130 and 130-140 days in these three regions.
- There has been no loss from frost, as flowering will start only towards end-January/ early-February and pod-setting 25-30 days after that.
- The crop condition is good, but rain will be helpful at this point.