Delayed monsoon, irrigation and crop yields

Peer Reviewed
6 October 2022

Hardeep Singh Amale, Pratap Singh Birthal, Digvijay Singh Negi

Most of the empirical literature assessing the impacts of climate change on agriculture has modeled crop yields as a function of the levels or deviations in the growing-period rainfall. However, an aspect that has received little attention in the empirical literature relates to the relationship between the timing of monsoon rains and crop yields. Using a pan-India district-level panel dataset for 50 years, this article investigates two interrelated issues critical to understanding the impacts of weather-induced agricultural risks and their management. It first examines the impact of the timing of monsoon onset on crop yields and then assesses the role of irrigation in mitigating its effects. The article finds that the delayed onset of monsoon is detrimental to crops, and its effects are realized beyond the rainy season. The findings also demonstrate that irrigation helps mitigate the harmful effects of delayed monsoon. Finally, to link these findings to farm-level adjustments, the article shows that farmers explicitly adjust the timing of irrigation in response to delays in monsoon rains.

Publication reference
Amale, Hardeep Singh, Pratap Singh Birthal, and Digvijay Singh Negi. "Delayed monsoon, irrigation and crop yields." Agricultural Economics (2023).
Publication | 2 March 2023