tte arid regions are characterised by frequent and strong winds which are partly due to considerable convection during the day. tte usually sparse vegetation is not capable of slowing down air movement, so that dust and sand storms are frequent. Winds in dry climatic zone also affect growth of the plant mechanically and physi ologically. tte sand and dust particles carried out by wind damage plant tissues. Winds also cause considerable losses by inducing lodging, breaking the stalks and shedding of grains and ultimately decreasing the yield.
As winter season gives way to spring, the temperature rises initially in the southern parts of India, giving rise to thunderstorms and squally weather which are hazardous in nature. While the southernmost part of the country is free from dust storm and hailstorm, such hazardous weather affects the central, northeastern, north and northwestern parts of the country. Records indicate that the largest size hailstorm occurred in association with a thunderstorm in April, 1888 at Mora-dabad, a town near Delhi.tte hailstorm frequencies are highest in the Assam valley, followed by hills ofUttar Pradesh now known as Uttarakhand.
Protection ofcrops from duststorm/sandstorm
In most countries, afforestation of fields is the main measure to protect the soil from dust storms. Improving soil resistance to erosion can be achieved by careful selection of cultivation methods, applying mineral and organic fertilizers, sowing grass and spraying various substances which enhance soil structure. It is also important to reduce the areas where a dust can gather, especially in tracts characterized by erosion. One major protection strategy is to establish well developed plant cover before the dust storms period, ttis can encourage a reduction in the wind speed in the layer above the ground by forming an effective buffer.
When assessing the impacts of the dust storms on agricultural crops, it is necessary to take into account the degree of the development of the plants. On well-tilled crops, the deposition of soil moved by airflow is observed more often than soil carried by wind erosion over long distances.
When looking at the conditions under which dust storms develop and by examining the data on storm-induced damage, it is evident that measures to reduce the wind speed at the soil surface and to increase the cohesion of soil particles are both crucial. Such measures include the establishment of tree belts and wind breaks. Leaving stubble in fields, avoiding ploughing with mould boards, application of chemical substances promoting the cohesion of soil particles, soil-protective crop rotation using perennial grasses and seeding of annual crops are also important.
In regions with intensive wind erosion, especially on slopes or on light soils, strip cultivation may be used. On fallow lands, bare fallow strips of 50-100 m can be alternated with strips of grain crops or perennial grasses and spring crops can be alternated with winter crops.
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