Weather And Agriculture

Weather plays the dominant role in farm production. Weather is always variable, and farmers have no control over this natural phenomenon. Climate variability persisting for more than a season and becoming a drought puts great pressure on land and vegetation. Normal land-use and management systems become imcompatible with prevailing climate, and farm production is drastically reduced. Abnormalities such as drought and associated farm losses are not very frequent, but losses due to short-term climate variability and sudden weather hazards such as flash floods, untimely rains, hailstorms, and severe frost do occur year after year. Losses in transport, storage, and due to parasites, insects, and diseases are the indirect results of abnormalities in weather conditions and are a recurring feature. It has been estimated (Mavi, 1994) that, directly and indirectly, weather contributes to approximately three-quarters of annual losses in farm production.

Complete avoidance of all farm losses due to weather factors is not possible. However, losses can be minimized to a considerable extent by making adjustments through timely and accurate weather forecast information. When specifically tailored weather support is available to the needs of farmers and graziers, it contributes greatly toward making short-term adjustments in daily farm operations, which minimize input losses and improve the quality and quantity of farm produce. The seasonal weather outlook also provides guidelines for long-range or seasonal planning and selection of crops and varieties most suited to the anticipated weather conditions (Mjelde et al., 1997).

0 0

Post a comment