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

  • Thunderstorm has been observed at isolated places over Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana & Delhi, Rajasthan, Assam, Manipur and Kerala during 0830 hours IST of yesterday to 0830 hours IST of today.

Main Weather Observations

  • Rain/thundershowers has occurred at many places over Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh; at a few places over Uttrakhand and at isolated places over north Punjab, west Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and interior Karnataka.
  • The amounts of rainfall (in cm) recorded at 0830hours IST of today is Banihal and Batote-3 each; Kalpa and Pahalgoan-2 each and Kupwara, Srinagar, Quazigund, Kukarnag, Katra, Shimla, Solan, Dehradun, Tehri and Najibabad-1each. Weather remained mainly dry/dry over rest of the country.
  • Minimum temperatures are below normal by 2-4°C at many places over Maharashtra; at few places over Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and at isolated places over Uttarakhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. They are above normal by 2-4°C at many places over Madhya Pradesh; at a few places over Rajasthan and at isolated places over Uttarakhand, Bihar, Gangetic West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, south interior Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu and nearly normal over rest parts of the country.
  • Kalpana-1: Cloud imagery at 0830 hours IST shows low/medium clouds over some parts of Western Himalayan region, east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, northeastern states and peninsular India.


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 6thApril, 2014)

  • Maximum temperatures would rise by 1-2°C over central India during next 23days.
  • Meteorological Sub-division wise detailed 3 day rainfall forecast is given in the following page.
  • 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. 3rd to 11th April 2014 (Fig.2). Rain/thundershowers would occur at isolated places over Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Northeastern states, Tamilnadu, Kerala, south Karnataka and south Andhra Pradesh.

Weather Outlook for subsequent 4 days from 6th to 10th April, 2014

  • Rain/thundershowers would occur at many places over Jammu & Kashmir and at a few places over Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand.
  • Rain/thundershowers would occur at a few places over northeastern states on 6th and at many places on 7th &8th.
  • Under the influence of approaching easterly wave rain/thundershowers would occur at many places over Tamilnadu and Kerala and at a few places over south Karnataka and south Andhra Pradesh from 6th.
  • Weather would be mainly dry over rest of the country.

Agricultural activities

  • Light rainfall received in the Jammu region of Jammu & Kashmir state during past few days. Maximum temperature remained below normal by 1 to 5.0°C and ranged from 23.6 to 29.0°C and minimum temperature remained variable and ranged from 11.0 to 15.5°C. Agricultural operations like early sown mustard harvested and harvesting of normal sown mustard is in progress. Control measure in wheat, gap filling of summer vegetables by reseeding as well as transplanting was taken up and land preparation for summer pulses and in some pockets sowing of pulses crop is in progress. Moderate intensity of yellow rust in wheat crop was noticed.
  • Dry weather prevailed in the Kerala state during past few days. The maximum temperature ranged from 37.8 to 40.0°C and minimum temperature ranged from 22.4 to 25.4°C. Agricultural operations like weeding, manuring and irrigation and mulching is to retain moisture content in coconut, arecanut and pepper garden are in progress. Mild intensity of sheath blight in paddy, red palm weevil in coconut, stem borer, cashew, white stem borer in coffee, spindle bug in arecanut, fungal disease in rubber and sigatoka, yellowing in banana was noticed.
  • Dry weather prevailed in Tamil Nadu state during past few days. The maximum temperature was appreciably above normal and minimum temperature was below normal at few places and remains normal. Agricultural operations like picking of cotton and chillies crops are in progress. Low to moderate intensity of eriophyid mite, rhinoceros beetle, wilt, red palm weevil in coconut, fruit borer, chillies head borer sunflower crops were noticed.

(Source:Email:, CRIDA, Hyderabad )

Updated on 03-04-2014 05:35 PM