India Coordinated Research Project on Agrometeorology
relations between weather and crop production
systems for generating information on appropriate
use of inputs, management of pests and diseases,
and for developing strategies to manage aberrant
weather conditions for improving crop production,
the Indian Council of Agricultural Research
(ICAR) launched All India Coordinated Research
Project on Agrometeorology (AICRPAM ) during
May 1983 with the Coordinating Unit at Central
Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA),
Hyderabad. Hitherto, the project has 25 cooperating
centres under its umbrella in State Agricultural
Universities (SAU’s) across the country
in different agroclimatic regions. The cooperating
centre of AICRPAM at Dr.Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi
Vidyapeeth, Akola (Maharashtra), Dryland Agriculture
Research Centre, started in 1995.
- To study the agricultural climate in relation
to its variability and effect on crop production.
- To study crop-weather relationships for
the major crops of the agro-climatic region.
- To study the influence of weather on the
incidence and spread of pests and diseases
of field crops.
- To develop agro-climatic and crop data base
jurisdiction of Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi
Vidyapeeth, Akola is entire Vidarbha region
which is located in eastern Maharashtra and
comprises eleven districts viz. Buldana, Akola,
Washim, Amravati, Yavatmal, Wardha, Nagpur,
Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli.
It lies in between 17° 57’ - 21°
46’ N Latitude and 75° 57’ -
80° 59’ E Longitude having total geographical
area of 97.23 lakh ha which is 31.61% of Maharashtra.
Forest cover is 26.86 lakh ha (28%).The region
is agro-climatically heterogeneous and geographically
much of this central Indian region is in the
rain shadow area with around 90% of area under
rainfed farming. The region is classified under
agroclimatic zones (NARP) viz. Central Vidarbha
(AZ-97) and Eastern Vidarbha (AZ-98). As per
planning commission, districts of Akola, Washim,
Buldhana, Amravati, Yavatmal,Wardha and Nagpur
fall under agroclimatic zone – western
plateau and hills region whereas as Bhandara,
Chandrapur, Gondia and Gadchiroli districts
fall under eastern plateau and hills region.
Annual rainfall varies from 700 to 950mm in
the western parts to more than 1250mm in the
eastern parts. Normally the southwest monsoon
sets in from 11th June and active monsoon rains
commence during 18th-25th June. Rains are mostly
received from South-West monsoon during June
to September. Post monsoon and winter rains
during October to February are uncertain. The
highest rainfall occurs during July and August.
However, rains are meagre after first fortnight
of September with withdrawal occurring by first
week of October. Total rainy days range in between
47 to 65. The coefficient of variation of monthly
rainfall is 40 to 50 per cent even for the wettest
month i.e. July indicating the uncertainty of
rains during the season with scarcity and semi-scarcity
conditions. Critical dry spell occurs across
from second week of July, second/last week of
August or first week of September with duration
of 15-25 days. Generally agricultural drought
occurs once in four years.
The region experiences sub-humid to humid conditions
in monsoon season, semi-arid in winter season
and arid in summer season. Hot summer and moderately
cool winter characterize the Vidarbha region.
Cold wave with moderate intensity at least once
or twice is the characteristics of winter. Vidarbha
region has a net cultivated area of 49.71 lakh
hectares with 10.97 lakh ha being cultivated
for more than once due to irrigation facilities
(14.08%) or favorable weather conditions. Agriculture
in the region is mainly rain dependent and is
a challenged area. Most of the area under nutritious
cereals (87%), pulses (98%), oilseeds (99%),
and cotton (99%) is rainfed.
Akola, AICRPAM project
cooperating centre, is located in Eastern Maharashtra
Plateau at 20° 42’ N Latitude, 77°
02’ E Longitude and elevation of 305 m
amsl (elevation at Agromet observatory). The
region is classified as hot moist semi-arid
climate with medium and deep clayey black soils
(shallow loamy to clayey black soils as inclusion),
medium to high AWC and LGP of 120-150 days.
Akola centre receives an average (1971-2000)
annual rainfall of 811 mm in 43 rainy days.
The average rainfall during monsoon season (June
to September) is 687 mm and ranges from 352
to 1155 mm. Peak rainfall occur during 2nd week
of August. Day temperature varies from 28.9°C
(1st week of January) to 42.7°C(2nd week
of May), while night temperature varies from
10.2°C (3rd week of December) to 27.5°C
(3rd week of May to 1st week of June). The mean
daily relative humidity during monsoon, winter
and summer is 73, 54 and 36 percent, respectively.
The atmospheric relative humidity at the evening
hours is as low as 8 per cent during severe
hot days of summer. The rate of evaporation
reaches up to 25.4mm per day during May. The
wind speed reaches to 35.3 km per hour during
the same month. There is sufficient dew deposition
in the winter season, which starts from September
and continues up to first fortnight of January.
Seasonal dew deposition ranges between 3 and
7mm with the total dew night range as 40 to
100. The major crops grown in the region are
cotton, soybean, pigeonpea, green gram and black
gram during kharif season and chickpea, safflower
and sunflower during rabi season.
Constraints for Agricultural Production
- Uneven distribution of
rainfall during southwest monsoon season
- Limited rainfall during rabi
- High temperatures and low humidity
during break monsoon in the crop season
- Low temperatures during transition
and rabi periods prolong crop duration of long duration
Rainfall characterization was carried out for
Vidarbha zones. The eleven districts of Vidarbha
region are grouped under western, central and
eastern zone. Buldana, Akola, Washim and Amravati
districts are broadly grouped in western zone.
Yavatmal, Wardha and Nagpur come under central
zone; and Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur Gadchiroli
districts and parts of Nagpur district are grouped
under eastern zone. Vidarbha region is divided
into four agro-climatic zones, primarily based
on the annual rainfall. They are as below:
Assured rainfall zone
It covers about 33 per cent of Vidarbha. It
includes entire Buldana and Akola district and
parts of Washim, Amravati and Yavatmal district.
The isohyets range from 650 to 700 mm on the
western side to 900 mm on eastern side with
coefficient of variation as 25 per cent. Total
number of rainy days range from 42 to 54. Average
rainfall over the zone is 754 mm with 48.7 rainy
rains (June-September) amounting to 659 mm account
for 87% of annual rainfall, winter (October-January)
7.3% and summer (February-May) 5.7%. Mean maximum
temperature of monsoon, winter and summer seasons
are 33.0, 31.2 and 37.9°C, respectively.
The corresponding values of mean minimum temperature
are 24.0, 16.0 and 20.0° C. The records
of extreme highest and lowest temperature are
48.5 and 1.0°C, respectively.
ii. Moderate rainfall zone
It covers entire Wardha district, most parts
of Yavatmal , Nagpur district excluding eastern
part and western part of Chandrapur district.
The isohyet range is 900mm towards west and
up to 1250mm towards east. Total number of rainy
days is 52 to 62. Average rainfall over the
zone is 962 mm with 57.7 rainy days. Monsoon
rains amount to 829 mm and account for 86% of
the annual rainfall, whereas the winter and
summer take the share of 9.2 and 4.8%, respectively.
Mean maximum temperatures of monsoon, winter
and summer are 31.8, 29.3 and 37.9°C, respectively.
The corresponding minimum temperature values
are 23.6, 16.4 and 22.5°C, respectively.
iii. Moderately high rainfall zone
It is the smallest zone restricted to hilly
areas of Satpuda ranges covering only Dharni
and Chikhaldara tahsils of Amravati district.
The mean annual rainfall is 1076 mm in Dharni
and 1460 mm in Chikhaldara district which is
received in 56 to 77 rainy days, respectively.
The entire area has higher altitude with predominant
forest. Monsoon rainfall is 1006 and 1337mm
in Dharni and Chikhaldara, respectively, which
comes to 93 and 92% of annual rainfall. It has
a higher coefficient of variation. Average maximum
temperatures of monsoon, winter and summer are
31.8, 29.3 and 37.0°C, respectively. The
corresponding minimum limits are 29.6, 16.4
and 22.5°C, respectively.
iv. High rainfall zone
This zone includes entire Bhandara, Gondia and
Gadchiroli districts; Chandrapur district excluding
western part and Nagpur district excluding its
eastern part. The isohyet limits are 1250 mm
on the western side to 1750 mm on the extreme
eastern side. The total number of rainy days
range from 59 to 75. Average rainfall over the
zone is 1500 mm with 66.9 rainy days. Monsoon
rainfall is 1313 mm (88%). Winter and summer
rainfall accounts for 7.0 and 5.0%, respectively.
Mean rainfall during October is 56.8 mm which
promotes rabi crops in this zone. February rains
are 26.6 mm which again help the rabi crops.The
mean maximum temperatures for monsoon, winter
and summer seasons are 31.0, 29.3 and 37.0 °C,
respectively. The corresponding values of minimum
temperature are 24.0, 15.0 and 21.0 °C.
term rainfall trend in Vidarbha region
term (1871-2008) rainfall data (source: IITM,
Pune) of Vidarbha subdivision was analysed for
identifying long term trends and short term
variability in the time series. Ten year moving
averages of annual and southwest monsoon season’s
rainfall over 140 years showed cyclic pattern
with short period increasing and decreasing
trend upto 1960’s and later both annual
and seasonal rainfall values dipped below the
long term average.
variability of rainfall
39 years annual and seasonal rainfall(1971-2009)
of three locations in Vidarbha region representing
its western region (Akola), central region (Yavatmal)
and eastern region (Sindewahi) showed that both
annual and monsoon season rainfall are highest
in eastern region and lowest in western region.
The annual rainfall decreases from 1285 mm in
east to 1037 mm in the middle to 783 mm in the
west. Similar pattern is observed in case of
rainfall during southwest monsoon season and
it is lesser by 457 mm in the west compared
to east. However the coefficient of variability
(CV) was nearly same across all the region.
Among the seasons, rainfall during rainy season
was least variable and rainfall during summer
and winter seasons were highly variable in all
changes in rainfall at three Vidarbha locations
|Decadal averages of
rainfall over the past four decades at Akola(western
region), Sindewahi(eastern region) and Yavatmal
(central region) showed that decadal changes in
rainfall are not similar across all three locations.
Akola and Sindewahi witnessed significant decline
in decadal average annual rainfall from the decade
1991-2000 onwards while Yavatmal showed cyclic
pattern with increasing and decreasing trends
in alternate decades. The decadal average rainfall
of southwest monsoon showed cyclic pattern at
Sindewahi and Yavatmal and declining trend 1991-2000
onwards at Akola. At Akola and Sindewahi, annual
rainfall declined by 140 and 155 mm, respectively
in the present decade (2001-2009) compared to
Extreme rainfall events
Contrary to the observations of increase in
rainfall extremes in the recent decades across
the country due to climate change, high rainfall
events of 75-100 mm and more than 100 mm are
showing decreasing trend over four successive
decades at all three locations of Vidarbha (Akola,
Yavatmal and Sindewahi).
rainfall variation at Akola
|Monthly rainfall variation
analysis of Akola indicated a decrease in June
and July rainfall in the last two decades (1991-2000
and 2001-2008) and increase in September rainfall
during the same period.
variability analysis (1971-2008) in different
seasons of Akola
|Rainfall trends in summer
season exhibited increasing trend, while monsoon,
post monsoon and winter season showed decreasing
trend across the period 1971-2008.
Temperature variability analysis (1971-2008) in
different seasons of Akola
|Annual maximum temperature
showed declining trend of 0.02°C per year
while minimum temperature showed an increasing
trend of 0.015°C per year. Minimum temperature
showed insignificant increasing trend all through
annual, SW monsoon, winter and summer seasons.
|During the last decade
(2001-08) annual, monsoonal and winter minimum
temperatures as well as winter maximum temperature
showed upward trend.
Rainfall data of 38 years
(1971-2008) was analyzed to assess the frequency
of occurrence of meteorological droughts
at Akola. The analysis brought out that
there was no drought occurrence in 19 years
(50% of years) and meteorological drought
of different intensities occurred in 19
years i.e. mild drought in 14 years (37%),
moderate drought in 4 years (10%) and severe
drought in 1 year (3%).
From the water balance
computations of Akola region, it was found
that probability of raising crops of durations
of 13, 16-17, 24-26 and 26-28 weeks with
water requirements of 260,360,500 and 510
mm, respectively is 60, 50, 40 and 30 percent
respectively , under rainfed conditions.
Rainfall erosion index
computed for the Vidarbha region showed
that 92 per cent of annual index values
were concentrated in the four SW monsoon
months with July month recording the highest
Detailed phenology and
thermal requirement of soybean at different
growth stages were quantified. Thermal use
efficiency in terms of grain production
was higher under early sowing (26 MW) conditions.
Crop water use, water requirement satisfaction
index, and water productivity decreased
with later sowings. Over the soybean crop
growing period weather variables viz., rainfall,
temperatures, humidity and heat unit accumulation
showed positive correlation indicating role
of respective parameter in seed yield production.
Detailed phenology and
thermal requirement of castor at different
growth stages were quantified. Heat use
efficiency with respect to both seed and
biomass production was found to be highest
for early sown crop (26 MW, 6 July) and
it decreased with delay in sowing. Crop
water use, water requirement satisfaction
index, rainwater use efficiency and water
productivity decreased with delay in sowing.
In rainfed chickpea higher
seed and fodder yields in early sown crop
(40 MW, 1 October) compared to later sowing
conditions (8 (41 MW) and 15 October (42
MW)) were due to higher heliothermal conditions
in vegetative stage, higher light interception
and higher soil moisture status during pod
formation and seed development stages.
Microclimate in cotton
based intercropping system with green gram,
black gram and soybean as intercrops was
monitored. Radiation interception and its
absorption measured in different cotton
based intercropping systems showed that
highest interception (74%) of radiation
was noticed in cotton+soybean intercropping
Considering the experimental
data on bacterial leaf blight (BLB) in cotton
for the period 1993-2003, the weather parameters,
minimum temperature (X1), morning relative
humidity prevailed at two weeks lag period
(X2), bright sunshine hours (X3) and morning
as well as evening relative humidity at
one week lag period (X4 and X5) were identified
to be influencing intensity of BLB in cotton
crop. The regression equation developed
for estimation of disease intensity explains
78 per cent variability.
,R2 = 0.78
Weekly updating the website
under agromet advisories
respective to Maharashtra-Akola centre maintained
by AICRPAM Coordinating unit,CRIDA,Hyderabad.
|Dr. Mahendra Nagdeve
Chief Scientist, AICRP for Dryland Agriculture
Dr.Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi
Phone: (91)-(0724) 2258115, 2258569
|Dr. Anil Karunakar
Agrometeorologist, AICRP on Agrometeorology
Dr.Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth,
Phone: (91)-(0724) 2258115, 2258569
information on this website does not warrant or assume any
legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness
or usefulness of any information. The information is for noncommercial
purpose such as teaching, research and extension. By using
governing this website.