05 July 2022, New Delhi: Rainfall is one of the most important factors which influences crop growth directly and indirectly. It provides moisture to the soil which helps influence plant growth specially under rain-fed conditions.
Rainfall influences relative humidity in the local environment which influences pest and diseases and also quality of produce. It also influences nutrient availability to the plant and weed infestation.
6 important factors how rainfall influences crop growth and yield
1. Nutrient management:Nutrient availability to plants is directly related to soil moisture content. If the soil has sufficient moisture, plants will be able to take up nutrients absorbed in water with the help of their roots. It is the most important factor for nutrient uptake specially under rain-fed conditions.
2. Weed Management:
In the beginning of July month, with the start of rainfall weeds start to emerge. Weeds compete with the main crop for available nutrition in soil. This will affect both growth of plant and yield. The weeds take up all the nutrients available in the soil for the main crop. Weed management is important in rain-fed season as the intensity of weed is higher as compared to irrigated season. Weeds can reduce crop yield upto 20% if remain untreated.
3. Insect Management:
Heavy rainfall followed by a break in monsoon with increase in sunshine increases the chances of pest attack. Heavy rainfall with no sunshine has less chances of pest attack. Use of foliar pesticides is affected by rainfall as the product gets easily washed off with rainfall. It is suggested to use products with good rain-fastness. This influences the yield of the crop
Increase in relative humidity for a few days after rainfall can cause fungus infestations in crop. THis is usually unavoidable in high relative humidity conditions. Use of preventive fungicides is suggested in crops which are regularly affected by fungal infestations.
Lodging does not occur suddenly but takes several hours with the stem of the plant first lying at an angle. Lodging occurs with several hours of rainfall (Minimum 24 hours) with a wind speed of more than 25 kilometer per hour. It negatively impacts the yield as the lodged plans are affected severely with physical damage.
6. Produce Quality:
Rainfall near harvesting negatively impacts product quality. Pre harvesting time is the key time when the grains moisture level lowers to make the product marketable. Increase in moisture content at the harvest time reduces yield and causes unavoidable infestations. Exposure to minimum 300 minutes of rainfall downgrades grain quality at harvest.
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