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 have been observed over Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamilnadu and Kerala between 0830 of yesterday to 0830 hours IST of today.

Main Weather Observations

  • Rain/thundershowers have occurred at a few places over east Rajasthan, west Madhya Pradesh & Kerala and at isolated places over east Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh & Vidarbha. Weather remains mainly dry over rest parts of the country. The amount of rainfall (cm) recorded at 0830 hours IST of today is Tuticorin-3, Punalur-2 and Washim and Jagdalpur-1 each.
  • Minimum temperatures are above normal by 2-4°C at a few places over West Bengal & Sikkim and Gujarat states. They are below normal by 2-4°C at many places over Madhya Pradesh; at a few places over Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan & Vidarbha and nearly normal over rest parts of the country.
  • Yesterday, the highest maximum temperature of 43.7°C was recorded at Rentachintala (Andhra Pradesh).
  • Kalpana-1: Cloud imagery at 0830 hours IST shows convective clouds over some parts of south Arabian Sea. Low/medium clouds are seen over western Himalayan region, east Uttar Pradesh, northeastern States, West Bengal & Sikkim, east Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra 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 26thApril, 2014)

  • Rise in maximum temperatures by 2-3°C over central and adjoining northwest & east India during next 48 hours.
  • Strong dust raising winds is likely to prevail over Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan during next 48 hours.
  • 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. 23rd April to 1st May 2014 (Fig.2). Rain/thundershowers would occur over western Himalayan region, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and northeastern states.

Weather Outlook for subsequent 4 days from 26thApril to 30th April, 2014

  • Rain/thundershowers would occur at a few places over northeastern states.
  • Rain/thundershowers would occur at isolated places over western Himalayan region, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and extreme south peninsular India.
  • Weather would be mainly dry over rest of the country.

Agricultural activities

  • Light rainfall received in Haryana state during past few days. The maximum temperature varied between 29.6 to 36.1°C and minimum temperature recorded ranged from 16.5 to 20.8°C. Agricultural operations like harvesting of wheat crop, field operations for vegetables like lady's finger, guar, cowpea, cucurbit crops and early sown of cotton crop is on progress. Low intensity of pod borer in gram crop was noticed.
  • Light rainfall received in Aurangabad and Osmanabad districts and dry weather prevailed in remaining parts of Marathwada region of Maharashtra state during past few days. Both maximum and minimum temperatures were near normal. Agricultural operations like ploughing, mulching in newly planted fruit crops, irrigation to summer crops, vegetable and fruit crops is in progress. No pests and diseases were noticed.
  • Dry weather prevailed in western part of Madhya Pradesh state during past few days. Maximum temperature and minimum temperatures are near normal. Agricultural operations like irrigation and urea application in summer crops like moong, urd and vegetables and harvesting of wheat are in progress. No pests and diseases were noticed.

(Source:Email:, CRIDA, Hyderabad )

Updated on 23-04-2014 05:35 PM