Importance and Scope of Meteorology in Agriculture
Weather and climate is a resource and considered as basic input or resources in agricultural planning, every plant process related with growth development and yield of a crop is affected by weather.
Similarly every farm operation such as ploughing harrowing, land preparation, weeding, irrigation, manuring, spraying, dusting, harvesting, threshing, storage and transport of farm produce are affected by weather.
The scope of Agril Meteorology can be illustrated through the following few applications.
1. Characterization of agricultural climate:
For determining crop growing season, solar radiation, air temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity etc. are important climatic factors on which the growth, development and yield of a crop depends Agro-meteorology considers and assess the suitability of these parameters in a given region for maximum crop production and economical benefits.
2. Crop planning for stability in production:
To reduce risk of crop failure on climatic part, so as to get stabilized yields even under weather adversity, suitable crops/cropping patterns/contingent cropping planning can be selected by considering water requirements of crop, effective, rainfall and available soil moisture.
3. Crop management:
Management of crop involves various farm operations such as, sowing fertilizer application. Plat protection, irrigation scheduling, harvesting etc. can be carried out on the basis of specially tailored weather support. For this the use of operational forecasts, available from agro met advisories, is made
e.g. 1) Weeding harrowing, mulching etc are undertaken during dry spells forecasted.
2) Fertilizer application is advisable when rainfall is not heavy wind speed is<30 km/hr and soil moisture is between 30 to 80%
3) Spraying/dusting is undertaken when there is no rainfall, soil moisture is 90% and wind speed is<25km/hr.
4. Crop Monitoring:
To check crop health and growth performance of a crop, suitable meteorological tools such as crop growth models. Water balance technique or remote sensing etc. Can be used.
5. Crop modeling and yield –climate relationship:
Suitable crop models, devised for the purpose can provide information or predict te results about the growth and yield when the current and past weather data is used.
6. Research in crop –climate relationship:
Agro-meteorology can help to understand crop-climate relationship so as to resolve complexities of plant process in relation to its micro climate.
7. Climate extremities:
Climatic extremities such a frost floods, droughts, hail storms, high winds can be forecasted and crop can be protected.
8. Climate as a tool to diagnose soil moisture stress:
Soil moisture can be exactly determined from climatic water balance method, Which is used to diagnose the soil moisture stress, drought and necessary protective measures such as irrigation, mulching application of antitranspirant, defoliation, thinning etc. can be undertaken.
9. Livestock production:
Livestock production is a part of agriculture. The set of favorable and unfavorable weather conditions for growth, development and production of livestock is livestock is studied in Agril. Meteorology. Thus to optimize milk production poultry production, the climatic normal are worked out and on the suitable breeds can be evolved or otherwise can provide the congenial conditions for the existing breeds.
10. Soil formation:
Soil formation process depend on climatic factors like temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind etc, thus climate is a major factor in soil formation and development.