NABARD Grade-A Exam : Notes on Agriculture & Rural Development | Agro Meteorology, Weather Parameters, Crop-Weather Advisory

NABARD Grade-A Exam : Notes on Agriculture & Rural Development (with focus on Rural India)

The upcoming important exams are NABARD grade A and grade B, in which there is a section Agriculture & Rural Development (with a focus on Rural India) having high weightage of 40 marks. So, for the same, it becomes really important to have an in-depth knowledge of the various terminologies and practices involved in agriculture. Further its imperative to be aware of the present scenario of Indian Agriculture and the state of Rural Development in India. To help you with this, today, we are providing you with all necessary information related to the mentioned field which will help you to fetch some good marks.

Agricultural Meteorology
A branch of applied meteorology which investigates the physical conditions of the environment of growing plants or animal organisms. An applied science which deals with the relationship between weather/climatic conditions and agricultural production.
A science concerned with the application of meteorology to the measurement and analysis of the physical environment in agricultural systems. To study the interaction between meteorological and hydrological factors on the one hand and agriculture in the widest sense, including horticulture, animal husbandry and forestry on the other (WMO).

Importance to Crop Production
(1) Helps in planning cropping patterns/systems.
(2) Selection of sowing dates for optimum crop yields.
(3) Cost effective ploughing, harrowing, weeding etc. ; Judicious irrigation to crops.
(4) Reducing or eliminating outbreak of pests and diseases.
(5) Efficient management of soils which are formed out of weather action.
(6) Managing weather abnormalities like cyclones, heavy rainfall, floods, drought etc. This can be achieved by
(a) Protection: When rain is forecast avoid irrigation. But, when frost is forecast apply irrigation.
(b) Avoidance: Avoid fertilizer and chemical sprays when rain is forecast
(c) Mitigation: Use shelterbelts against cold and heat waves.
(7) Avoiding or minimizing losses due to forest fires.

Weather Parameters:
Weather is a phrase of climate representing atmospheric condition at a given place and at a given instant of time as against climate, representing atmospheric condition for a longer period of time over a large area. Components of weather and climate or simply weather elements include:
(1) Temperature 
(2) Solar radiation
(3) Humidity
(4) Cloud
(5) Pressure
(6) Wind
(7) Precipitation
The influence of weather and climate on crop growth and development and final yield is complicated by complexity of interactions with crops and the environment during the crop season. The influence of weather and climate on crop productivity can be summarized as indicated below:

Weather parameters with favorable influence
(1) Weather and climate are important factors in determining the success or failure of agriculture.
(2) All the agriculture operations from sowing to harvest of crops depend on the mercy of weather.
(3) Climate determines suitability of a crop to a particular region while weather plays a major role in the productivity of a crop in the region.
(4) The excess or shortage of elements of weather and climate exerts a negative influence on crop growth, development and final yield.
(5) The effect of weather and climate is complex as elements of climate operate simultaneously in nature.
(6) Due to complexity of environment in which a crop is grown, it is difficult to assign an optimum value of climatic element for maximum crop productivity.

Weather parameters with negative influence 
(1) Excessively and untimely rains.
(2) Scanty rains with prolonged dry spells.
(3) Heat and cold waves.
(4) Dust-storms, thunderstorms and hailstorms.
(5) High winds.
(6) Floods.

Factors controlling weather and climate.
Geographical factors influencing weather and climate are referred to as climate controls. They are:
(1) Latitude.
(2) Altitude.
(3) Land and water bodies.
(4) Mountains.
(5) Topography.

The distance from the equator, either from south or north, largely creates variations in climate. Based on latitude, the climate has been classified as tropical, subtropical, temperate and polar climates. The height from mean sea level adds to variation in climate. Temperature and pressure decrease with increasing height from mean sea level. Based on altitude, The climate is described as mountainous and valley climates. Nearness to large bodies of water also causes variation in climate. The climates are referred to as continental and maritime.

Crop-Weather Advisory
(1) Weather warnings issued by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Government of India
(2) Crop Weather Outlook: Considering the growing acceptance of farmers for the internet and mobile-based services, ICAR made an attempt to provide valuable agromet information to the users through a common platform - 'Crop Weather Outlook'. Key information available from this site are -Daily Weather Report, Monsoon Status, Districts of deficit rainfall
(3) Advisories & Forecasts from Indian Meteorological Department: The Agricultural Meteorology Division of IMD was established at Pune in 1932 and from its inception, the Division supports and participates in multi-disciplinary activities in this field. Forecasts and advisories for farmers are issued by IMD’s Forecasting Offices located at different State capitals.
(4) Advisories from State Agricultural Universities
(5) National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA): National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) is a network project of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) launched in February, 2011. The project aims to enhance resilience of Indian agriculture to climate change and climate vulnerability through strategic research and technology demonstration. The research on adaptation and mitigation covers crops, livestock, fisheries and natural resource management.

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