MP: Heavy rain in spurts not favourable for agriculture, say experts

  • Sravani Sarkar, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jul 20, 2015 21:39 IST

Although the ongoing phase of heavy rainfall has statistically compensated for the lack of rains during the past 20 days, the uneven pattern of the monsoons is not very favourable for agriculture, say experts.

The rainy season has, till now, seen a typical rainfall pattern where heavy rain is being experienced in short spurts, followed by long, dry gaps.

For example, Bhopal district received 204.3mm of rainfall during the last three days (July 18 to 20) -- almost eight times more than the expected 26.6mm, while it received only 73.5mm of rain against expected the 174.7mm between July 1 and 17, records of the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) show.

The situation in Indore was more drastic as the city received no rainfall at all between June 26 and July 17 and faced a deluge of 254.4mm during the last three days.

Meteorologically, such a pattern does not have any impact as normal rainfall figures are achieved both if heavy rain is experienced in short duration or light or moderate rain is experienced in continuity.

But such spurts of rain are problematic for Kharif crops -- especially in rain-fed areas and lead to a drop in productivity and crop quality, experts said.

"A long gap in rainfall is always a problem for the agricultural sector as it affects the crops adversely, especially those sown in light soil. Productivity is hampered," DN Sharma, director of State Institute of Agriculture Extension of Training, told HT.

He added that very heavy rainfall in a short duration is also harmful for crops other than paddy, especially if water remains accumulated in fields for over 48 hours.

"We have advised farmers to make arrangements for proper drainage of fields to save crops of soybean and pulses," the director said.

Former RMC director, DP Dubey also said that heavy rains in short spurts might help in filling up water bodies, but is not good for agriculture.

This year, two major wide-spread rainfall episodes have been experienced in the state till now -- the current phase of rain and one in the last week of June.

In large parts of the state, especially the western regions, little rainfall was experienced in the gaps in-between.

Overall, the state received 142.9mm of rainfall between June 1 and 30, against the expected 118.8mm. But from July 1 to 17, only 101.9mm of rainfall was recorded against the expected 164.4mm, followed by the current phase of heavy rain.

Similarly in Bhopal, 165.9mm of rainfall was recorded between June 1 and 30 against the normal 111.8mm. But only 73.5mm of rain was received between July 1 and 17 against the expected 174.7mm.

Dubey said that the uneven rainfall pattern is being experienced because air patterns that have deflected the monsoon’s current flow from the west Pacific area towards China instead of the Bay of Bengal in the last few days.

"It is a natural phenomenon that could not be helped. The air pattern has however been set right now and another episode of rainfall is expected around July 25/26," he said.

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