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Climate Adaptation

Heat to Scorch India’s Wheat Supplies, Adding Food-Shortage Worries to World

  • Crop yields likely shrank 10% to 50% this season, survey shows
  • ‘No one can guarantee the weather. It’s like gambling for us.’
An Indian farmer carries wheat crop on the outskirts of Jammu. 

An Indian farmer carries wheat crop on the outskirts of Jammu. 

Photographer: Channi Anand/AP Photo

A blistering heat wave has scorched wheat fields in India, reducing yields in the second-biggest grower and damping expectations for exports that the world is relying on to alleviate a global shortage. 

Temperatures soared in March to the highest ever for the month on record going back to 1901, shriveling India’s wheat crop during a crucial growth period. That’s spurring estimates that yields have slumped 10% to 50% this season, according to almost two dozen farmers and local government officials surveyed by Bloomberg.