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Climate change may affect cotton productivity

Jul 05, 2021
Climate change may affect cotton productivity

Mumbai, Maharashtra

As per the study of the Institute for Sustainable Communities done across three regions of Maharashtra, a mismatch in rainfall and temperature patterns are likely to affect the productivity of agro produce like soybean, cotton, wheat and gram.

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) conducted a study titled ‘Climate Change Impacts on Maharashtra Agriculture’, examining the week-wise 30-year averages of historical rainfall and temperature data (covering 1989-2018) and predicted the same (covering 2021-2050) for eight districts across Khandesh, Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of the state.

According to the study, Maharashtra faces an increasing risk from climate change which is likely to impact the production of four major crops - soybean, cotton, wheat and gram, grown in the state.

The late onset of monsoon and intermittent dry and wet spells impacted the germination of soybean and cotton. The excess rainfall during the mid-Kharif season led to an increase in fungal diseases, weeds and pests. This might impact the production of pods in soybean and boll formation in cotton.

Additionally, waterlogged soils and humid conditions will promote rot, leading to a loss of soil nutrients and fertilisers from the soil. The overall impact of excessive rainfall during the fruit formation and maturity stage for both the Kharif crops (soybean and cotton) will affect the yield and quality of the produce.

The predicted challenge for wheat cultivation is high temperatures at the time of grain ripening and grain filling. Grain weight goes down with a rise in temperature. Gram cultivation will see a sudden increase in temperatures during pod filling, causing pods to fill less.

The impact of high temperatures, rainfall and humidity will make outdoor work difficult for the farmers. Additionally, increased incidences of heat stress and humidity will have a bearing on farming operations like weeding and harvesting.

Source - Institute for Sustainable Communities Press Release

Image Source: Unsplash 

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