Weather Forecasts for Indian Farmers


    AN article in Indian Farming of July 1945 by Dr. L. A. Ramdas describes the preliminary steps that have been taken in the Indian Meteorological Department for the establishment of a service of weather forecasts for Indian farmers. Dr. Ramdas is able to bring to bear on it the experience he has gained as agricultural meteorologist at Poona. The essence of the problem is how to enable Indian farmers and official weather forecasters to co-operate so that farming operations may, so far as is possible, be timed in such a way as to make the best possible use of periods of favourable weather and avoid the worst consequences of unfavourable weather. The official forecaster is often able to supplement the fanner's local knowledge of weather by diagnosing the significance of air movements and changes of cloud over a wide area ; but he in turn must know what crops are being grown in different parts of the country and what are the critical periods of their growth and harvest. Here it is the turn of the farmer to help the forecaster. Dr. Ramdas describes fully a long series of questions that have been put to the agricultural departments in the Provinces and the Indian States, and outlines the scheme of wireless forecasts to be used. The forecasting will be done from seven regional centres, and will be broadcast daily by the All India Radio Broadcasting Stations. The scale of the intended system is much greater than that of any seen hitherto in India.

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    Weather Forecasts for Indian Farmers. Nature 157, 545 (1946).

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