- Objectives of this chapter
- To introduce agrometorology (definitions, aims, scope and importance)
- to understand roles of agrometeorology in agriculture and its relation to other areas of agriculture
- to acquaint with recent developments in agrometeorology with historical development of climate change.
Meteorology and Agrometeorology
Meteorology (Gr. Meteoro = the earth’s surface/atmosphere); logy = indicating science) It deals:
- studies the characteristics, behaviour or phenomenon of the atmosphere.
- studies the changes of individual weather elements. (such as temperature)
- Also called Physics of the lower atmosphere.
- branch of applied meteorology, an applied science
- studies relationship between atmospheric conditions and agricultural production.
- concerns with the application of meteorology to the measurement and analysis of the physical environment in agricultural systems.
- concerns with physical condition in which animals and plants are grown.
Agrometeorology or Agricultural meteorology studies meteorological and hydrological factors in relation to agriculture. Agrometeorology studies the behaviour of the weather elements that have direct relevance to agriculture and their effect on crop production.
Weather and climate are the factors determining the success or failure of agriculture.
Weather: Physical state of the atmosphere at a given place and given time. Eg. Cloudy day
Climate: Long term regime of atmospheric variables of a given place or area. Eg. Cold season
Some importance of Agrometeorology:
- Helps in planning cropping patterns/systems.
- Selecting of sowing dates for optimum crop yield.
- For cost effective ploughing, harrowing, weeding etc.
- Reducing losses of applied chemicals and fertilizers; helps to avoid fertilizer and chemical sprays when rain is forecast
- Judicious irrigation to crops.
- Efficient harvesting of all crops.
- Reducing or eliminating outbreak of pests and diseases.
- Efficient management of soils, which are formed out of weather action.
- Managing weather abnormalities like cyclones, heavy rainfall, floods, drought etc.;achieved by weather forecasting.
- Mitigation measures such as shelterbelts against cold and heat waves, effective environmental protection. etc.
- Avoiding or minimizing losses due to forest fires.
Crops are to be sown at the optimum period for the maximum yield; helps to minimize the crop losses due to excess rainfall, cold/heat waves, cyclones etc. It helps in forecasting pests and diseases, choice of crops, irrigation and other intercultural operations through short, medium and long-range forecasts.
Some scopes are listed below:
- To study climatic resources of a given area for effective crop planning.
- To evolve weather based effective farm operations.
- To study crop weather relationships in all important crops and forecast crop yields based on
agro climatic and spectral indices using remote sensing.
- To study the relationship between weather factors and incidence of pests and diseases of
- To delineate climatic/agro ecological/agro climatic zones for defining agro climatic analogues so as to make effective and fast transfer of technology for improving crop yields.
- To prepare crop weather diagrams and crop weather calendars.
- To develop crop growth simulation models for assessing/obtaining potential yields in different
agro climatic zones.
- To monitor agricultural droughts on crop-wise for effective drought management.
- To develop weather based agro advisories to sustain crop production utilizing various types of weather forecast and seasonal climate forecast.
- To investigate microclimatic aspects of crop canopy in order to modify them for increased crop growth
- To study the influence of weather on soil environment on which the crop is grown
- To investigate the influence of weather in protected environment (eg. Glass houses) for
improving their design aiming at increasing crop production.
Areas of agrometeorology
- Weather monitoring
- Agrometeorological forecasting
- Weather crop relation
- Crop zonation and crop planning
- Climatic control
- Agricultural pest management (pest outbreak planning)
- Crop growth simulation modeling, drought management
Historical Developments and Recent Advancements
Modern Approach of Agrometeorology Agrometeorology deals with all the weather sensitive elements of agricultural production. Sowing – intercultural operation – harvest – storage – transport - distribution – consumption modern agrometeorlogy includes data acquisition techniques (ground observation, air crafts and satellite), data transmission techniques (internet), and data analysis.