Heat stress negatively affects crop yield and its impact has increased over time. Researchers in India study this situation with utmost priority. Consequently, Dr Ghanshyam Kumar Pandey, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at SRM University-AP has co-authored a paper with Pratap S Birthal and et. al titled “Benefits of irrigation against heat stress in agriculture: Evidence from wheat crop in India” in the journal Agricultural Water Management, Vol 255, having an Impact factor 4.02.
Applying the fixed effects regression technique to the highly spatially disaggregated district-level data from 1966–67 to 2011–12. This paper has assessed the impact of heat stress on wheat production in India and concurrently evaluated the role of irrigation in offsetting its harmful impact. The study has brought out three key highlights:
(i) Heat stress negatively impacts crop yield, and the impact has increased over time.
(ii) Irrigation, besides its contribution towards improving crop yield, also moderates the harmful impact of heat stress, but over time its effectiveness has declined.
(iii) The measure of heat stress built on multiple aspects of excess temperature (i.e., intensity, persistence, and frequency) explains variation in crop yield better than working on a single aspect of it.
Given the increasing scarcity of irrigation water and rising temperature, these findings suggest the need for exploring technological and policy options for improving irrigation water use, efficiency, and breeding of crops for heat tolerance and low water footprints.
This research paper is written in collaboration with ICAR-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, PUSA, New Delhi. Dr Ghanshyam’s future projects are focused on climate change and agriculture, and the effect of climate change on the livestock sector in India.
Read the full paper here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2021.106950