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Monsoon to hit Odisha by June 23 but farmers needn’t worry too much: Expert

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, June 12 :

The elusive monsoon is likely to visit Odisha around June 23 but that need not worry farmers too much, says agrometeorologist Prof Dr S Pasupalak of the Odisha University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT).

APTOPIX India MonsoonDr Pasupalak says while small parts of Odisha may get some rain around June  17-18 as a result of a low presure likely to formed on June 17, but the real monsoon spell would begin only in the last week of June.

Here is a detailed report that Prof Pasupalak has shared with OST:

Projected Monsoon, Crop Performance and Agromet Advisory For Odisha 

By Prof. S Pasupalak
Head, Department of Agricultural Meterology, OUAT, Bhubaneswar

1. What is the rainfall projection in the 3rd week of June 2014?

A cyclonic circulation is likely to be created on 17 June over the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and move west ward and weaken on 18 June. It would be extended 5.5 km above the surface and to be tilted South ward.

As a result, south coast (South of Jagatsinghpur) and south interior areas are likely to get moderate to heavy rainfall. Cumulative rainfall during the 3rd week of June may exceed 75 mm. However, the rest areas may get low to moderate rainfall (up to 35 mm).

2. When do we expect monsoon onset in Odisha?

The forecast rainfall during 3rd week is not widespread covering the entire state. Moreover, temperature of the areas after receiving the likely rainfall is still going to remain higher than normal.

The duration of the rainfall may not exceed 36 hours, whereas, monsoon onset is accompanied with continuous 3-day rainfall. The evaporation rate on the first day and subsequent days should be less than the day’s rainfall amount.

Moreover, the rainfall is not going to be contiguous to the neighboring states except partly with the Seemandhra (Andhra Pradesh). Hence, the rainfall would be pre-monsoon rainfall; however, the rainfall may be considered monsoonal for part of the state, if the system intensifies.

Different models indicate that low pressure/ depression in the Bay of Bengal induced rainfall may occur in 4th week of June 2014 which is likely to cover the entire state, proceeding from the coast towards the interior. It may start from 23rd June 2014 and may cause widespread heavy rainfall.

The cumulative rainfall spread over three days may exceed 100 mm at most places. The temperature as well as evaporation rate would drop sufficiently to have cool monsoon environment.

Hence, in all likelihood, effective monsoon onset for the agriculture is likely to be in the June 4th week.

Thus, this year’s monsoon onset is delayed, considering the normal monsoon onset day of June 10 ±6 days.

Prof S. Pasupalak, Agrometeorologist
Prof S. Pasupalak, Agrometeorologist

3. What is the rainfall projection in June 2014?

In the state of Odisha, June rainfall likely to be normal.

4. What is the rainfall projection in July 2014?

India Meteorology Department has predicted deficit July rainfall in the Central region in which Odisha is included.
However, other models predict it to be normal. Considering delayed start of agricultural operations and the requirement in July, a deficit of 20% may not be agriculturally deficit.

5. What is the rainfall projection after July 2014?

India Meteorology Department has predicted the deficit rainfall for the season as a whole. However, some other models limit the deficit to peninsular India in September and North West India. However, Odisha should be well prepared for eventuality of deficit rainfall at any stage of the season.

6. What about El Nino effect?

During April to May the observed El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions move from warm neutral to the Boarder line of weak EI Nino condition. Most of the ENSO prediction models indicate a continued warming trend with maximum strength after November 2014. During the 1st week of June 2014, the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) has anomaly of 0.5°C in the Eastern Bay of Bengal but not in the areas close to the Eastern Coast of India. The SST rise by 0.5°C is considered the threshold value of El Nino effect.

Study in the past year indicates no one to one relationship between El Nino and Monsoon deficit in India. The weightage of the El Nino and Indian Monsoon is maximally 60 per cent. The relation between the two in Odisha is further weak. Moreover, as the anomaly of SST is likely to increase through the season, its effect may be during post July period. Hence the rainfall deficit may also occur during Post-August period.

Historically speaking El Nino and La Nina events tend to develop during the period April to June and tend to reach peak during December to February. Typically it proceeds 9 to 12 months.

7. What is the likely effect of delayed monsoon in Agriculture?

Even if the monsoon onset in the State is delayed up to the 4th week of June, it is not going to affect much the agriculture of the State, provided (a) the amount and pattern of rainfall could not be suboptimal during the rest period of the season, (b) farmers would take / have taken the benefit of May rainfall and pre-monsoon June rainfall. In fact, the preparatory crop production activities in the State are well advanced due to good amount of low pressure induced rainfall in the 4th week of May and subsequent pre-monsoon rainfall.

There is no need of change in crops and varieties at this stage. The thumb rule is the go for non-paddy crops and rice varieties of early duration in upland, medium duration in medium land and long duration in low land. Moreover, sowing in moist field a week before start of monsoon will give an head-start in crop production.

8. What is the likely effect of deficit rainfall in Post-June period?

• Rainfall deficit with dry spell of two weeks in early July would cause sprouting /seedling death (Gajamarudi).
• Deficit during late July and August would hold up transplanting and beushaning operation. Hence the area coverage would be reduced. So also the tillering and vegetative growth of early sown crop would be adversely adopted. Weeding would be a problem.
• Deficit during September would affect the reproductive growth of early duration rice, pulses, oil seeds and millets. Also it will affect top dressing of fertilizer.

9. What is the prospective evaluation of crop performance in Kharif 2014?

Following may occur for the state as a whole.
• Upland non-paddy crops may not be affected since the rainfall amount at intervals would be enough.
• Rice in low land may not be affected due to deficit rainfall.
• Crops in medium land, particularly rice may be affected if sowing in main field or nursery is not done without loss of any time causing delayed transplanting and beushaning. Moreover, if it is affected at pre-flowering stage, the yield may decrease substantially.

Precipitation Model
Precipitation Model

10. What is agromet advisory to the farmers?

I. Do’s

A. Uplands :

As the state is going to receive widespread medium rainfall on 17-18 June, 2014 over Odisha, go for sowing of non paddy crops rather than paddy by 18th June. Grow crops of short duration varieties, which possess faster rate of growth, deep and penetrating root system matching the length of the growing season of maximum 90 duration. Some of the promising crops for rainfed uplands are groundnut, maize, cowpea, arhar, blackgram, ragi and sesame in the upland conditions

• Complete sowing of groundnut and maize by 16 June or after receipt of rainfall on 17th June. Go for sowing of cotton in the field having adequate moisture.

• Instead sole cropping, go for inter cropping and mixed cropping in uplands.

• Dig out holes at required distances for fruit planting.

• Go for top dressing and plant Protection measures of maize and jute.

• Go for water harvesting (digging ponds and lining) in 10-12% area. Utilize harvested water through micro-irrigation methods (drip/sprinkler).

• Apply a portion of FYM in the seed furrows at the time of sowing to conserve moisture and early seedling vigour.

• Soak the rice seeds in sodium phosphate solution (358 mg/litre of water) for 6 hours and dry the seeds before sowing. It will help in better germination and growth of seedlings.

• Vegetables such as cowpea, guar, raddish, bean, cauliflower, lady’s finger, chilli, brinjal and tomato can be cultivated, if one or two irrigation can be arranged.

• Apply full P,K and 20% N of the recommended dose as basal along with well decomposed organic manure for early seedling vigor.
• Go for line sowing of rice followed by early beushaning and weeding. This will avoid the rainfall required for transplanting, and over-aged seedlings, if transplanted late.

• Go for basal application of P and K fertilizers. K is important for tolerance to moisture deficit.
• Be ready for staggard community nursery.

• Rationalise canal irrigation water discharge and use. Standing water is never required for rice. However, rainfed rice field may be ponded as much as possible.

• Be ready for pre-rabi/rabi sowing of Maize,potato, pulses and oilseeds

Medium land:

• Select rice varieties maturing at least 10 to 15 days earlier than the recommended rice varieties for medium and low land types. In case of fresh nursery, select varieties not more than 125 days.

• Go for direct seeding of paddy in medium land, if soil is sufficient.

• Go for sowing of 6 kg seeds of Dhaincha along with the paddy seeds in medium land.

• Go for raising rice seedlings in wet bed nursery in medium land for transplanting.

• Go for SRI method of rice cultivation in irrigated medium lands, for which only 10 to 12 days is required for raising seedlings.

• Incorporate the 40 days old Dhaincha seedlings. In the main rice field.

• Impound water in medium and low land for rotting of weeds.

NCMRWF Forecast Model ( 12-21 June 2014)
NCMRWF Forecast Model ( 12-21 June 2014)

II. Don’t

• Don’t top dress the maize and jute and in paddy nursery, if the soil is dry.

• Don’t grow more than 3 months duration rice variety in uplands and 4 months duration in medium land.

• Don’t grow more than 150 days old duration in West and Inland districts. Select rice varieties such as Lalat, Prijat, Surendra, Kharavela for medium land conditions.

Low land :

• Select rice varieties such as Swarna, Mahanadi, Prachi, Ramachandi, Indravati, Jagabandhu and scented varieties like Kalajeera, Pimpudibas, Gangabal for low land situation.

III. Advisory for Standing Crops under water stress.

1. Provide live saving irrigation to the nurseries and main fields.
2. Spray the crop with potassium silicate (10%) or 10 ppm cycocel to overcome the drought effect in rice.
3. Do not apply fertilizer in the nursery or main field until rain starts.
4. In wide as well as close spaced non-paddy row sown crops complete hoeing, weeding followed by ridging to the base of the crop rows at 20 days after sowing for in-situ moisture conservation.
5. If rice population is less than 50%, resow the crop. Select medium duration varieties (125 days) for coastal districts. Sprouted seeds may be direct seeded or fresh seedlings of early varieties may be raised for transplanting. The sprouted seeds can be sown in the lines by seed drill.

11. What the Government may do?

1. Position the seeds required as above, including the amount required for re-sowing of kharif/ pre-rabi/ rabi pulses, millets , oil seeds, root crops, fodder crops and vegetables.

2. Focus Arhar var. Asha in uplands.

3. Position fertilizers, particularly, P and K fertilizers.

4. Intensify campaign for non-paddy crops in uplands.

5. Strengthen monitoring and control of pests and diseases so as not to allow any decrease in yield.

6. Push mechanisation (sowing, spraying and transplanting) and sprinkler irrigation.

7. Monitor the discharge and efficient use of irrigation water scrupulously. Thoroughly avoid the leakage of MIPs. Defunct LIs be brought to workable conditions and ensure power supply.

8. Prepare seeds for sowing of alternate crops, such as, maize in September and potato in October in fellow uplands and medium lands in non-traditional areas.

9. Strengthen Agromet Advisory services to farmers on real time basis.

10. Let KVK, University scientist’s and Government specialists/ Officers of the Departments of Agriculture, Water Resource, Panchayatraj and Rural Development work together for a specific area/block in team approach facilitated by District/ Block Administration.

12. Main Mantras

I. Do not go for non-paddy crop in upland.
II. Go for line sowing instead of broadcasting.
III. Prefer direct sowing to puddled transplanting.
IV. Access to weather forewarning and adopt Agromet Advisory.