Wheat requirement in the US will increase manifold by 2050 to meet the demands of the growing population, especially since wheat is largely considered to be a staple diet in most of the households in the country. However, wheat yields in the US are being hit by rising temperatures.
Researchers have affirmed that different factors, including global warming, adverse weather conditions and rising sea levels have been affecting earth in quite a negative way. Researchers and agriculture scientists have been conducting studies to know the possible impact of the same to crop production.
Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences-published research unveiled that extremely high temperatures in the spring and cold temperatures in the fall are considered to be the main reasons behind the loss of yields in wheat field.
Study’s lead researcher Jesse Tack, of Mississippi State University, was of the view, “The overall effect of warming on yields is negative, even after accounting for the benefits of reduced exposure to freezing temperatures”.
As per the researchers, the effects of global warming can be offset to a limit through increased rainfall in the spring. For the research, the study researchers assessed Kansas wheat variety field trial results from 1985 to 2013 and also, the normal climate conditions.
After going through the data, the researchers came to know there is a need of high-yield and heat-resistant wheat varieties. G20 agricultural ministers who launched the Wheat Initiative affirmed that by 2050, the world population will be 9 billion.
In that scenario, the demand is expected to increase by 60%. In order to meet the additional requirement, there is a need that annual wheat yield must increase. With passage of time, wheat yield will decline.
Modern strains of wheat have been found to be more vulnerable to changes in temperature than previously existing varieties. Therefore, the researchers have also suggested that there is a need to better under the type of wheat needed that can withstand extremes of weather.