Weather Based Agro Advisory

Daily Rainfall Situation

Advisories for untimely heavy rains and hailstorm

Unprecedented weather conditions especially heavy rainfall with winds and hailstorms prevailed across several states such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, etc. damaging field and horticultural crops. As per India Meteorological Department (IMD), the extended hailstorm has been attributed to moisture laden winds from Bay of Bengal colliding with winds blowing from Arabian Sea from Central India. This unusual spell of hailstorm across 28 districts in Maharashtra has damaged considerable area of rabi crops. For instance, the extended hailstorm has adversely affected most parts of Marathwada, Western Maharashra, North Maharashtra and Vidarbha. Baramati, Pune, Beed, Latur, Osmanabad, Nashik, Akola, Buldhana, Nagpur, Chandrapur, Amravati, Yavatmal, Washim, Jalgaon, Nanded, Nadurbar and Dhule are among the worst hit. Horticultural crops have been affected the most. The farmers cultivating grapes, oranges, melons and bananas have suffered severe damages. Hailstorm in parts of Marathwada and Vidarbha after winter, especially in February and March is not unusual but it displayed higher intensity this time.

Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, unseasonal rains accompanied by hailstorm lashed parts of Malwa and Mahakoshal regions of the state and caused extensive damage to rabi crops of wheat and gram.  The most-affected districts where damage to gram, masoor and wheat crops were severe are those areas where hail storm was accompanied by high wind velocity. The districts where the crops suffered considerable damage due to hailstorm are Seoni, Chhindwara, Burhanpur, Dewas, Shajapur, Jhabua, Vidisha, Indore, Neemuch, Raisen, Balaghat, Hoshangabad, Sagar, Sehore, Betul, Katni and Bhopal. The areas more prone to the disturbance include Jabalpur, Chambal, Sagar, Rewa and Shahdol divisions. 

Recently harvested crops lying in the field have been also severely damaged. Horticultural crops especially grapes, pomegranate, orange, banana, sweet orange, papaya, sapota etc in Maharashtra and elsewhere have faced the brunt. This unexpected occurrence of natural vagary is likely to have production losses (damage to standing rabi crops). In view of its seriousness, the matter was discussed in the G. B. Meeting of the ICAR held today (i.e. on 12th march, 2014).

Teams of Scientists from various ICAR Institutes located in the affected areas have been constituted to visit some of the affected areas to take stock of situations and suggest appropriate short-term advisories in consultation with and involvement of KVKs and SAUs. This will also be used as a case study to document the management and intensity of extreme events of rare nature for future learning and suggest short and long term measures/strategies to cope with such extreme events. Based on the field visits of these teams to the affected areas and their interactions with the farmers and officials, recommendations/advisories have been evolved for immediate action. Short term advisories are as below:

General points for field crops

  • Drainage/removal of stagnated water from farm fields where standing crop is still there, either through land modifications or pumping out water. Drained water can also be collected in ponds, if feasible.
  • In order to compensate for the production losses due to this damage, possibilities of making best and timely use of available in-situ soil moisture and surface water (stagnated) be explored for raising short duration crops including forages and vegetables. Early sowing of greengram/black gram with seed treatment/zero-till sowing after paraquat/glyphosate application.

General points for Horticultural crops

  • Damaged banana and papaya should be uprooted and new plantations established.
  • Uprooted plants of mango, pomegranate and acid limes be replanted for which planting materials should be made available.
  • Damaged branches of mango, pomegranate, acid lime should be pruned and preventive measures taken for infection by pathogens by application of appropriate fungicides.
  • Fruits which experienced mechanical injury should be immediately sprayed with suitable pesticides to avoid further infection by pathogen and saprophytes.
  • As a long term strategy, wind breaks should be created for preventing damage of crops in future.

Advisories for important field and horticultural crops

Wheat, chickpea, safflower
  • Opening of field channels to reduce surface ponding


  • Open trenches to drain out excess water from field.
  • Apply Dithane M 45 0.2% on earheads immediately after cessation of rains
  • If maize/sorghum is at harvesting stage, harvest mature cobs immediately and dry to avoid fungal growth. If maize/sorghum is at dough stage, earthing up may be carried out.
  • Harvest the produce if it is ready
  • Proper drying and storage of produce
  • Proper drying of grain/cobs and fodder for 4-5 days and later store the produce.


  • If sugarcane is at grand growth phase and lodged, drain off excess water, lift the lodged canes and prop up.
  • Earthing up may be done and booster dose of fertilizer @ 50 kg urea and 50 kg MOP /ha may be applied





  • Open field channels to drain excess water and avoid surface ponding
  • Timely picking of cotton
  • Protect picked cotton in storage from drenching and soiling
  • Drying of wet cotton and marketing and shifting to safer place for drying
  • Incessant rains may trigger grey mildew incidence –foliar spray with sulphur @ 25 g/10 l water to prevent its incidence
  • Protect boll rot with Carbendazim 0.1% spray immediately after cessation of rains

Horticultural crops


Mango, Sweet orange, Mandarin, banana, pomegranate, papaya, acid lime

Flowering stage:

  • Remove damaged parts, fungicidal spray, spraying of NAA 20 ppm + 1 % urea to prevent flower drop

Reproductive stage:

  • Drain stagnated water
  • Strengthen of field bunds
  • In horticultural crops where the trees have partially fallen or touching the ground, measures need to be taken to provide mechanical support
  • Damaged banana and papaya should be uprooted and new plantation should be done.
  • Uprooted plants of mango, pomegranate and acid limes be replanted for which planting materials should be made available.
  • Damaged branches of mango, pomegranate, acid lime should be pruned and preventive measures taken against infection by pathogens by application of fungicides.
  • Collection and grading of fallen fruits followed by washing, waxing and marketing

Onion and other vegetables

  • Drain out excess water
  • In onion, apply fungicide and micro nutrient sprays to rejuvenate the affected crop
  • In tomato, where the crop is damaged due to hailstorm, spray 1% potassium nitrate. Apply copper fungicides if fungal/bacterial diseases are noticed
  • In watermelon damaged due to hailstorm, fruit fly traps may be installed @ 10/ha

(Source: Natural Resource Management Division, ICAR)

Advisory on Crop Protection against frost (cold wave)

The following measures are suggested to protect the sensitive crops from frost damage:


Following protection measures are suggested for pulse crops:

  • Spray the crop with Thiourea @ 500 ppm (500 gm in 1000 litre water) or Sulphuric acid @ 0.1% (1 litre acid in 1000 litre water). Repeat the spray after 15 days if low temperature conditions persist/recurs.
  • Apply light and frequent irrigation to protect the crops from cold / frost injury. Dry soils are poor heat conductors, store less heat and therefore result in a higher risk of frost.
  • Create smoke cover over the field by burning waste materials/weeds and crop residues at night (Slow burning of farm waste around field preferably in north-west corner in the evening to create a smoke-screen over the field.
  • Keep the fields weed free as the weeds blocks the sunlight and heating of the soil during daytime.

Rapeseed and mustard:

Rapeseed and mustard are more sensitive at flowering/ early pod formation stage. The frost damage may be reduced by creating favourable growth conditions and providing adequate water and nutrients. To reduce further frost damage:

  • Spray 500 ppm Thiourea (500 gm in 1000 litre water) or 0.1% Sulphuric acid (1 litre acid in 1000 litre water) or 0.2% Dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) solution. Repeat the spray after 10-15 days, if required.
  • Light and frequent irrigation is recommended.
  • Create smoke cover over the field by burning waste materials/weeds and crop residues at night.
  • Keep the fields weed free.
  • Loose soil surfaces reduce conduction of heat to the surface at night and therefore tend to have lower surface temperatures than compacted soils. Thus it is advisable not to cultivate the soil if frost is expected.


Many vegetable crops, mainly capsicum, chillies, brinjal and tomato are susceptible to chilling/frost.

  • Since seedlings are most sensitive to frost injury, cover the nursery beds with plastic sheets / straw thatches in the evening to protect seedlings from frost. Covers should be removed during the day as air humidity would be higher under the cover and this would increase the danger of certain plant diseases.
  • Apply light and frequent irrigation to vegetables.
  • Well-hilled potatoes are less prone to frost damage to tubers as the covering of plant parts beneath the soil surface with a layer of soil is a way of protecting against frost.
  • Row covers made of clear or black plastic can be used to create an insulated barrier overnight.
  • Clear plastic mulches that increase heat transfer into the soil improve heat storage and hence provide better freeze protection. Wetting the soil before covering with clear plastic provides the best protection.
  • Clouds and fog are well-known for their ability to reduce radiative heat loss from the surface. Therefore, foggers that use high pressure lines and nozzles to make fog droplets provide good protection under calm wind conditions.
  • Heaters with fans may also be used to protect high value crops in small areas. The best results are obtained when the air is calm.
  • In case of vegetables where the damage has exceeded 30% or more, it is recommended to re-plant the crop by raising the seedling nursery again. Fresh nurseries may be used to transplant the main crop during February. Appropriate varieties of these crops may be chosen while raising nurseries in consultation with the local horticulture experts. Such nurseries may be raised under shade nets and Borax @ 0.1% may be sprayed on the seedlings.

Long term measures

  • In regions prone to frequent frosts, raising of permanent wind breaks / shelter belts on the windward side is advised.
  • Grow genotypes of different flowering/maturity span to avoid failure of all crops.

(Source: Natural Resource Management Division, ICAR)

Thunderstorm Watch

  • Thunderstorms has been observed at isolated places over west Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Maharashtra, north interior Karnataka, Odisha and West Bengal & Sikkim between 0830 hours IST of yesterday to 0830 hours IST of today.

Main Weather Observations

  • Rainfall: (From 0830 hours IST of yesterday to 0830 hours IST of today): Rain/thundershowers has occurred at isolated places over Rajasthan, Gujarat, East Madhya   Pradesh,   interior   Maharashtra, Odisha, GangeticWest Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Kerala and mainly dry over rest parts of the country.
  • The amounts of rainfall (in cm) recorded   at   0830   hours   IST of today are: Gandhinagar­5,   Mahabaleshwar­2 and Keonjhargarh, Bhubaneshwar, Ahmedabad. Osmanabad and Punalur­1each.
  • Temperatures : Minimum temperatures are below normal by 2­5° C at many places over western Himalayan region, Punjab, Haryana & Delhi, interior Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, south Andhra Pradesh; at a few  places over Rajasthan,Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat region, Bihar, interior Odisha and at isolated places over Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, south interior Karnataka and interior Tamilnadu. They are above normal by 2­3° C at a few places over northeastern states and West Bengal & Sikkim at a few places over West Bengal & Sikkim and nearly normal over rest   parts   of   the   country.   Yesterday,   the   highest   maximum   temperature of   42.0°C was recorded at Bhira (Maharashtra).
  • Kalpana­1: Cloud imagery at 0830 hours IST shows convective clouds over some parts of south Bay of Bengal and south Andaman sea. Low/medium clouds are seen over rest parts of the country outside Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Karnataka.


Latest available satellite picture as on 21st November 2013 at 0230 Hrs (IST). Precipitation forecast for for 21st to 28th November 2013   (Source: NOAA /NCEP).

Weather Forecast for next 3 days (upto 0830 hours IST of 24thApril, 2014)

  • Rise in maximum temperatures by 2­3°C over plains of northwest and adjoining central India.
  • Latest available satellite picture (Fig.1) indicates the current cloud condition across Indian region.
  • The climate outlook for the period of seven days i.e. 21st to 29thApril 2014 (Fig.2). Rain/thundershowers would occur at isolated places over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu&Kashmir and Kerala states and extreme southwest peninsular India.

Weather Outlook for subsequent 4 days from 24thApril to 28thApril, 2014

  • Rain/thundershowers would occur at isolated places over Chhattisgarh, Odisha, northeastern states and extreme south peninsular India.
  • A fresh western disturbance would affect western Himalayan region from 25th onwards.
  • Weather would be mainly dry over rest of the country.

Agricultural activities

  • Dry weather prevailed in West Bengal state during past few days. Maximum temperature ranged from 37.2 to 39.9°C and minimum temperature ranged from 21.0 to 26.9°C. Agricultural operations like final sowing operations for summer vegetables like radish, palak, brinjal, tomato, spices including onion, coriander, chilli and intercultural as well as harvesting of wheat, beet, banana, weeding and irrigation going on and for early sown sunflower harvesting and second top dressing of nitrogenous fertilizer and weeding in boro rice, intercultural operations in sesame, sowing of pumpkin and field preparation for sowing of summer vegetables crops are in progress. Vegetables and spices including chilli and all gourds are at flowering to fruiting stage, banana is at flowering to fruiting stage, rabi maize is at maturity stage, chilli, radish, brinjal are at maturity to harvesting stage, onion in some parts vegetative stage and other parts in maturity stage, moong is at seedling stage, boro rice milking stage, sunflower is at early sown varieties are in maturity stage and sesame is at vegetative stage. Low intensity of seath blight in boro rice was noticed.
  • Dry weather prevailed over Andhra Pradesh state during past few days. Agricultural operations like irrigation in late sown crops and picking of tobacco is in progress. Paddy is in grain formation stage, groundnut is at maturity to harvesting stage, tomato is at fruit development to harvesting stage, chilli is at harvesting stage, sunflower is at seed filling to harvesting stage, onion is at bulb stage and  tobacco is at harvesting stage. Low intensity of leaf folders, blast & sheath rot in paddy, leaf blight, aphids and mites in maize, late leaf spot, leaf miner in groundnut, thrips and helicoverpa in pomegranate and root knot nematodes in citrus were noticed.
  • Mainly dry weather prevailed over southern parts in Karnataka state during past few days. Both the temperatures have increase. Agricultural operations like irrigation in summer vegetables and summer ploughing operations are in progress. Mango is at fruiting stage. No pests and diseases were noticed.  Hot and dry weather prevailed over northern parts in Karnataka state during this past few days. Agricultural operations like back ploughing or summer ploughing is in progress. Moderate intensity of leaf curl in onion and fruit borer in brinjal crops was noticed.
  • (Source:Email:, CRIDA, Hyderabad )

    Updated on 21-04-2014 05:35 PM