Empirical evidence of direct impact of extreme temperatures on wheat yield in major wheat growing region of India.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Kamal Kumar Murari1,2, Sandeep Mahato2 and Thiagarajan Jayaraman2, (1)IITB-Monash Research Academy, Powai, India, (2)Tata Institute of Social Sciences, School of Habitat Studies, Mumbai, India
Exposure to extreme temperatures during the grain filling stage of winter wheat may lead to reduction in the yield. Over the last decade, there has been an increasing trend of exposure to extreme temperature conditions, particularly during crop growing season. The Indo Gangetic plain (IGP) is a particular concern since an optimal temperature for wheat production already exists in the region. This is also a major concern for global wheat production since the region accounts for about 15% of the global wheat production. Previous studies conducted in this region have found a strong impact of extreme temperatures causing an early occurrence of senescence, defined as the last developmental stage of the plant. The early occurrence of senescence period induces shortening of growing season length, which is a critical grain filling stage. However, the direct effect of extreme temperatures on the yield data has not yet been looked at, which reflects the impact of extreme temperature at different growth stages including anthesis (flowering) and the grain-filling stage. Here in this study, we explore the relationship of extreme heat conditions on the yield using fixed-effect panel data model for the districts in the IGP region. The first result indicates approximately 16% reduction in wheat yield with 1˚C rise in mean growing season temperature. There is a significant negative trend between the yield and the fourth quartile of extreme temperature (>34˚C) days. Furthermore, we establish a scope of existence of a nonlinear relationship between temperature and yield, which needs to be further examined.