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Applications of agro meteorology in agriculture

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1 Applications of agro meteorology in agriculture
Dr. Rajasree.G, Dr. P. Rajasekharan & Dr. Shalini Pillai. P Kerala State Planning Board, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

2 Agro Meteorology Agro meteorology is the study and use of weather and climate information to enhance or expand agricultural crops and/or to increase crop production.

3 Meteorological factors
Agro meteorology Meteorological factors Hydrological factors Agriculture Forestry Animal husbandry

4 Role of agro meteorology
Estimating crop production Determining maturity dates Modifying environment

5 Crop-weather relations in agriculture

6 Applications-agro meteorology
Crop-weather relationships Complexity Multifactor interaction-with soil, micro climate etc. Assist in effective crop management

7 Crop –weather relations
The surface air temperature influences the nut development, copra and oil yield in coconut. Pre-monsoon and monsoon rainfall accounts for 37 per cent of yield variability in Ist crop of rice. Some pests severe in coconut during summer, others in rainy season. High maximum and minimum temperatures and relative humidity favourable during the establishment phase in rice. High maximum temperature is favourable during the ripening period., Huda et al. (1975) . At Coimbatore and Aduthurai, additional rainfall was found to be detrimental to the rice crop during sowing, tillering and flowering periods, while it was found to be beneficial during elongation ( Sreenivasan and Banerjee, 1978).

8 Crop-pests-disease relations
Gall midge incidence in rice -positively correlated with rainfall and negatively correlated with maximum temperature (Thomas et al., 1975). Favourable conditions for the infestation of rice gall midge were found to be Tmax of 35.2oC, Tmin of 19.8oC with a RH of 89.94% and mean rainfall of 4.5 to mm (per 5 day period) In Northern Kerala, blast disease is very severe in winter when the minimum temperature goes below 20oC (Premnathan et al., 1999). High stem borer infestation was noted in paddy planted from October to November and low infestations in crop planted from June to October. The pest infestation is negatively correlated with rainfall and minimum temperature and positively with maximum temperature

9 Plant Disease Triangle
Amount of Disease Environment Leaf wetness Temperature Pathogen Amount of inoculum Virulence For plant disease to occur, the three legs of the triangle must be present and interact suitably. If any of the three factors is altered in some way, changes in the progression of a disease epidemic can result. Crop Susceptibility, health

10 Potential impacts of changes in moisture on plant disease
Pathogens dependent on free moisture for infection are likely to be more successful eg. root pathogens Increased moisture in the form of free water on leaves, increased relative humidity in the atmosphere and plant canopy, and excessive soil moisture will tend to favor plant pathogens. Photo on left, leaf wetness sensor in an onion canopy. Center photo is an electronic weather monitor used on farms. Right photo are snap bean plants with varying amounts of root rot. Beans 3rd from left have the least root rot. Far left beans have the most. Leaf wetness sensor & weather monitor Healthy and diseased bean roots

11 Potential impacts of changes in moisture on plant disease
Higher atmospheric water vapor concentrations favor fungal spore production, accelerating epidemic development Once infection is initiated, many pathogens can cycle rapidly in the field producing a disease epidemic. Higher moisture levels can increase the rate of cycling for many pathogens. Late blight of potato and tomato sporulates only during periods of high humidity. The leaf on the left shows late blight lesions under low relative humidity, the middle photo shows sporulation around the perimeter of lesions under high relative humidity. The photo on the right shows a potato field killed by late blight.

12 Insects and the Environment
Insects are cold-blooded Development rates rise and fall with temperature Temperature is the most important factor influencing: Development Reproduction rate Survival Distribution Many entomologists believe that temperature effects are the most important environmental effects mediating the growth of insects. In general the rate of many aspects of an insects life are determined by temperature. In addition the speed of insect dispersal through flight or other means can be impacted. Generally, the higher the temperature the more rapidly insects develop and spread.

13 Crop-Weather-Pest interactions
Leaf Roller ( Cnapholocrocis medinalis)Attack in Rice Negative correlation with minimum temperature, evening relative humidity & rainfall Positive correlation with sunshine hrs & maximum temperature

14 Pest & disease Surveillance & forewarnings
Weather ~ Pests & disease complex Pests & disease surveillance Forewarnings Prophylactic measures

Cultivars Selection • Choosing windows for Sowing/harvesting operations • Irrigation scheduling – optimal water use • Mitigation from adverse weather events such as frost, low temperature, heavy rainfall – at critical crop stages • Nutrient Management : Fertilizer application • Plant Protection : Pesticide/fungicide spraying schedules • Feed, Health and Shelter Management for Livestock [Optimal temperature for dairy/ hatchery

16 Aberrant weather conditions

17 Aberrant weather conditions
Flash Floods East Fort, Thiruvananthapuram East Fort, Thiruvananthapuram

18 Extreme climate events
Drought Floods

19 More intense and longer droughts have been observed over wider areas since the 1970s


21 Cold wave Frost damage is the number one weather hazard, on a planetary scale, as far as agricultural and forest economical losses are concerned Papaya Mustard Ice Jatropha Frost damage to the different crops (Hisar, ) 21

22 20 lakhs birds died in May & June 2003
Heat Wave (2003) - Damage to Poultry Andhra Pradesh 20 lakhs birds died in May & June 2003 Highest in E. Godavari-7 Lakhs; W. Godavari – 5 lakhs Egg production decreased in the state by 25% Total Loss by 27 Crores 22

23 Climate Change

24 Climate change Vs. Agriculture
Agricultural productivity sensitive to climate induced changes - Direct effect ( Temp, Rainfall, CO2 Concentration - Indirect effect (Changes in soil moisture and distribution and frequency of infestation by pests and diseases)

25 Climate Change effects- Agriculture
+5 to -11% change in rice productivity of Western Ghats Maximum temperature likely to rise by 10C to 30C in southern region Mean sea level 1.3 mm/year along Indian cost. Fish stocks may face extinction or may move towards high latitude. Source: Climate change in India-A 4x4 assessment, MoEF, GoI, 2010

26 Climate change & crop productivity
Topt Tmax Yield (t/ha) 280C 320C % decrease (28 – 320C) Rice 25 36 7.55 6.31 2.93 54 Soybean 28 39 3.41 3.06 10 Dry bean 22 32 2.87 1.39 100 Peanut 40 3.38 3.22 2.58 20 Sorghum 26 35 12.24 11.75 6.95 41 Source : ICRISAT, 2009

27 Climate change adaptations in Agriculture
Climate Change Mitigations in Agriculture

28 Focus of Climate Change adaptations in Agriculture
Reduce vulnerability to Climate Change Climate resilience through Community & farm level management Technology Markets and institutional policy

29 Climate Change adaptation strategy for agriculture
Farm level adaptation Changes in inputs, irrigation practices, tillage, crop choice, crop rotation, diversification, harvesting & processing Social adaptation Social network, group actions, SHGs, local water management techniques, traditional water conservation measures Technology adaptation Micro irrigation, Water harvesting, Flood mitigation, land drainage Policy adaptation Policy of institutions dealing with water allocation, planning & management, regulations of local bodies

30 Crop Based Approaches Crops and varieties that fit into new cropping systems and seasons Development of varieties with changed duration Varieties for high temperature, drought, inland salinity and submergence tolerance Crops and varieties that tolerate coastal salinity and sea water inundation Varieties which respond to high CO2 Varieties with high fertilizer and radiation use efficiencyiciency 30

31 Crop-Crop Diversity for adapting to increased pest incidence
Creation of crop diversity by the introduction of another crop is known as crop- crop diversity The insitu culturing of natural enemies lead to reduction of insect pests in diversified crop conditions. Sorghum, groundnut and blackgram as intercrops with pigeonpea: Cluster bean, cowpea and greengram with castor reduced the incidence of the insect pests. These results can go as component of Low External input IPM modules Creation of crop diversity by the introduction of another crop is known as crop- crop diversity The insitu culturing of natural enemies lead to reduction of insect pests in diversified crop conditions. Sorghum, groundnut and blackgram as intercrops with pigeonpea: Cluster bean, cowpea and greengram with castor reduced the incidence of the insect pests. 31

32 Intercropping - the best way to Adapt to climate change by small holders

33 Climate change mitigations in agriculture
Agriculture responsible for 1/3rd of GHG emissions in India Mitigation efforts should focus on reducing GHG emissions through ; Financing Technology Stringent policies Mitigation

34 Applications-agro meteorology
Climate Change- tools for future strategy Long term trends in weather parameters Production trends Designing future production strategy

35 Long term climate trends vs. Cassava production
The seasonal rainfall influence on cassava production in Kerala Materials Monthly rain fall data ( IITM) Cassava production – ( DES, GoK)

36 Long term climate trends vs. Cassava production
SW monsoon influenced the cassava production declining trend in SW monsoon, increasing trend in Post monsoon RF, decrease in RF in June & July, Increase in RF in Aug & Sept North- East Monsoon & Pre – Monsoon rains had no effect

37 Weather products & services in agriculture

38 Weather forecasts High Precision Weather forecasting
Regional specific forecasting Linking with Agro Advisory Services

39 Decision support systems
Crop-weather- pest-disease- management information to the farming community Web based services farmer services

40 Crop-weather insurance
Weather Based Crop Insurance aims to mitigate the hardship of the insured farmers against the likelihood of financial loss on account of anticipated crop loss resulting from incidence of adverse conditions of weather parameters like rainfall, temperature, frost, humidity etc. Weather based Crop Insurance uses weather parameters as ‘proxy’ for crop yields in compensating the cultivators for deemed crop losses. National Agriculture Insurance Company- Weather based Crop Insurance scheme

41 Application of agro meteorology
Crop-weather calendars Crop- weather- farm operational calendar Crop-weather-pest management calendar Crop-weather-disease management calendars

42 Crop- farming activity calendar

43 Special initiatives of KSPB


Lack of sufficient network to draw weather data Absence of agroclimatic zone wise advisory service Absence of sufficient location specific research data Issues in dissemination Technical problems of forecast

46 "ANTARIKSH" PROJECT Initiated in 2004 by State Planning Board
A multi institutional collaborative project jointly undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation, CUSAT and State Planning Board linking with KAU and Dep. of Agriculture aimed at augmenting current meteorological network in Kerala so as to provide full fledged crop weather advisory services to farmers Initiated in 2004 by State Planning Board

47 ANTARIKSH-Objectives
Strengthening Weather Network in the State Dissemination of weather data Weather Advisory Services Generation of location specific data for research and development purpose Data Support for Weather Insurance Development of crop weather information system

48 So Far …. ISRO developed AWS for the first time with indigenous technology Established 56 AWS Set up a portal CUSAT prepared reports KAU generating crop weather information systems Developed Block level/AEU wise forecasting models



51 Agro Ecological Approach
The concept of agro-ecological delineations was developed by FAO (1976, 1978) with strong emphasis on comparable agro-climatic parameters to delineate agriculturally potential areas suitable for particular crops or combination of crops so that optimum production potential is achieved. The analysis of agro-ecology of the Kerala State based primarily on climate, geomorphology, land use and soil variability resulted in delineation of five agro-ecological zones and twenty three agro-ecological units..

52 AEZ Based Planning AEZ Farming System Approach
Schematic Production Support Weather Advisory Support PTD/FLD/OFT (KVK) Extension Support (Including IT + Field visit) Water Management (Ponds + ……..) Livelihood improvement Marketing at higher levels Future Agricultural Development in Kerala AEZ

53 Special Initiatives of KSPB
Agro Ecological Planning Project Multi institutional-6 institutions NBSS & LUP, Bangalore Kerala Agri. University Kerala Univ. of Veterinary & Animal Sci. CWRDM, Loyola College C-DAC , Pune i


55 Development of local specific weather forecasting
Kalavastha Portal (developed by C-DAC, Pune)




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