This case study series includes weekly reviews of the monsoon season as it unfolds across India. The 4 month monsoon, [June-September] accounts for 75% of rainfall in India. Nearly half of India’s farmland, without any irrigation, depends on annual June-September rains to grow crops such as rice, maize, sugarcane, cotton, soybeans, pulses and vegetables.
Observed Rainfall Patterns
Generally, the last 30 days have been wet across much of India. However, some areas were drier than expected as in parts of northern, southern and northeastern India shown in shades of red (Map below right). This season, cotton sowing was up 165%, while rice planting rose by 35% during the period (Reuters) due to the strong monsoon in June. Reports that the southwest monsoon has arrived almost two weeks ahead of its normal schedule are common as farmers rapidly start planting to take advantage of early rains. Farmers need to be alerted of these rainfall patterns to plan their activities including preparing their fields and planting.
IMD stated that “Soybean, pulses and cotton-growing regions in central and western India saw 31% more rainfall in June, while rice, coffee, rubber and tea growing southern India saw 8% higher rainfall” in June.
Forecast Rainfall Patterns
The forecast for the next 7 days shows drier than normal patterns across northern and western India but wet conditions in the south-central and northeastern regions. Deviations from normal rainfall patterns creates uncertainty for farmers as the plan for key operations like when and what to plant. Weather also drives pest and disease risk and information on these challenges (i.e. a forecast) offers farmers actionable insights to get ahead of pest control such as the locust damage that has impacted Rajastan but and additional 200 million acres could be at risk this season (The Wire). The monsoon season started strong in June and aWhere will continue to monitor the progression of these critical Karif rains.
Regional Highlight: Southern India
While the monsoon has brought rainfall across India, the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and parts of Karnataka show a rainfall deficit that has been persistent. The precipitation over potential evapotranspiration (P/PET) (map bottom) would indicate some water stress for established crops that are not irrigated. Fortunately, the forecast shows rainfall over the next 7 days in these areas.
Increased rainfall variability due to climate change point to the urgent need for farmers to have access to accurate local weather data. This would empower farmers to make informed operational decisions to reduce risk and maximize profitability.
Regional Highlight: Central India
The monsoon has been strong across Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and nearby states. These areas have been wetter than normal (map, below left) although the forecast points to drier than normal zones towards the north, especially Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Overall, the available moisture points to a good Karif harvest for India.
Weather Variability and Trends
aWhere’s robust and complete weather data from over 40,000 weather stations can be used to generate insights on weather and its impact on crops and food security for any location or defined region of interest by looking at the past 15 years, today, and 15 days into the future. While the monsoon season is strong for most regions in India, there are areas in southern India where irrigation will be required for a good harvest. Farmers need real-time information and forecasts to make better decisions about when to plant, fertilize, and harvest. Monitor these trends using aWhere’s Interactive Weather Map of India. Sign up for a free adaptER Platform account to get started.
Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of the material on these maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of aWhere concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
aWhere’s localized, daily weather data can help governments get ahead of weather events by looking at historical trends coupled with weather forecasts. Indian farmers need in-time weather-based insights to make informed crop management decisions to increase productivity, profitability and resilience. Fortunately, the tools and partnerships now exist to address this knowledge gap – today.
Please contact us for more information on partnering to build a brighter future for farmers in India.