Dr. B. Ajithkumar
Professor & Head i/c.
The Department of Agricultural Meteorology is a statutory department and established in 1988. Two-year - postgraduate Programme “M.Sc. (Ag.) in Agricultural Meteorology” was commenced during the academic year 1994-95 with an intake capacity of two students, including one reserved for ICAR. So far, seven students were awarded the PG Degree from this department. All of them obtained NET, conducted by the ICAR. Two Ph.D. students are on roll in the field of Agricultural Meteorology in collaboration with CUSAT. Research projects viz., AICRP on Agrometeorology (ICAR), Agroadvisory Services based on Medium Range Weather Forecasting (MoES, Govt of India) and a research scheme from the State Planning Board (Govt of Kerala) are ongoing in this department. Research funding was also obtained from Private Industries like M/s. Marico Industries (Pvt.) Ltd., Bombay and M/s. Aspinwall and Company, Mangalore. The department in collaboration with IMD, Pune has taken up a separate project on soil moisture observations. The agrometerological station attached to the department is under the supervision of IMD on cooperative basis. Two PG students are supported with fellowship under externally aided projects in this department. A textbook entitled ‘Agricultural Meteorology’ is written and published for the benefit of students / teachers / researchers. Another textbook in Agricultural Meteorology is edited from the department and published by the ICAR. Many research articles have been published in various aspects in the field of Agricultural Meteorology. Several national symposia/workshop were also organized in the field of Agricultural Meteorology. Weekly agroadvisory based on weather forecasting is disseminated regularly to the selected farmers and they appear in print and e-media for the benefit of the farming community of this region. The present Head of the Department served the College in the capacity of Associate Dean i/c for a period of more than three years (2003-2006). Also, served as the Director (Acad & PG studies), KAU for a short period.
The department offers fifteen courses, having a total of 42 credits for the B.Sc.(Ag.), B.Sc. (For.), MSc.(Ag.) in Agricultural Meteorology, and Ph. D programmes of allied departments. Courses offered in the department are as follows:
Post Graduate Courses
In addition to the above, a few classes (both theory and practical) are being handled in Climatology for the B.V.Sc graduates at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mannuthy. At present one ICAR student is on roll. The following are the research projects handled by them:
Ongoing Research Programmes
The department has undertaken a number of research projects, which are both basic and applied in nature. The ongoing research projects in agrometeorology are as follows;
on Agrometeorology. ICAR, Government of India.
4. Impacts of climate variability on cardamom and black pepper over the high ranges of Kerala, State Planning Board, Government of Kerala.
Research programmes taken up for Ph.D.
The textbook entitled “Agricultural Meteorology” is well accepted as a reference at UG, PG and Ph.D. level in all the State Agricultural Universities and allied institutes, where the subject is taught in the field of Agriculture. The second edition was brought out by the Department in 2005 based on the demand from students and faculty. In addition several proceedings have been brought in relation to drought management with reference to plantation crops.
A regression model was developed for forecasting coconut production of Kerala seven months ahead based on agroclimatic variables. Similar model was developed on cashew also. Crop growth simulation models have been tested in rice varieties Jaya, Jyothi and Triveni. CERES- Rice model was found to be suitable for assessing potential grain yields during kharif, while it requires validation in rabi crop. The Department put in use the climate softwares, viz. CROPWAT for climatic analysis.
Actual and estimated coconut production (million nuts) over Kerala from 1949 – 50 to 2006-07
Actual and predicted cashew yield over Kerala from 1978-79 to 2006-07
The monsoon rainfall is likely to be below normal if the onset of monsoon is early (before 25th May). Based on the climatological data, it is found that the State of Kerala moves from wetness to dryness with in humid (B) climate as it is shifted from B4 to B3 since last fifty years. 1981-90 was the worst decade since last 136 years during which the occurrence of disastrous droughts was more.
Annual march of moisture index (Im) over Kerala from 1951-2005
Climate projections at selected stations over Kerala
A good data base is maintained for agroclimatological analysis. The data on onset of monsoon are available since 1870 onwards. Based on the climatologicaol data, climate projections are highlighted at the following locations. Such studies are being extended to other stations also.
A separate website created by the ICAR (www.cropweatheroutlook.org ), KAU (www.kau.edu) and CoH (www.kauagmet.org) is updated regularly with the agro advisory service, provided by our department in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Kerala for the central zone of Kerala.
The World Meteorological Day (23rd March) was being celebrated as farmers interface day, on which the farmers’ problems are being dealt and solutions found out. To be specific, the drought management practices highlighted during the recent drought years had a tremendous impact among the selected farmers of this region.
The information on crop losses due to drought 2004 were extended to the Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Kerala in connection with the visit of the central team on 24th August 2004 based on our research findings. On the Kaveri river water dispute, service was extended to the Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Kerala in highlighting the irrigation requirement of crops during summer based on several agrometeorological studies taken up at KAU.
E-book entitled “Climate and Cashew” is the first of its kind in the field of Agricultural Meteorology. It is available in CD for use.
The Agrometeorological Field Unit (AMFU), Department of Agricultural Meteorology, College of Horticulture, Thrissur is one of the initial five centres in the Country started by the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, New Delhi during the year 1991. The same project has been brought under MoES, Government of India, under the umbrella of Division of Agrometeorology, IMD, Pune since 2007–08. The aim of the project is to disseminate Agrometeorological Advisory Services to the farming community based on Medium Range Weather Forecasting for farm decision - making.
Weekly Agrometeorological Advisory Bulletins (AABs) consist weather summary for the past week, weather forecast for the next 3 to 4 days, stage and state of important crops of the region and agroadvisory for the coming week along with crop management and crop protective measures. It is disseminated on every Tuesday through print and e-media. A copy of the same is directly handed over to nearby research stations and to selected farmers of the region on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday forenoon so as to enable them to make use of the agro-advisory on farm decision making. Kindly visit www.cropweatheroutlook.org, www.kau.edu.in, www.imd.gov.in, for more details.
PUBLICATIONS : 125 (One hundred and twenty five) Books/Chapters/Technical Bulletins : 16
Research papers : 87
Popular articles : 22
The faculty functions as
Textbooks/Technical Bulletins/Seminar proceedings
Dr. B. Ajithkumar
Smt. P. Lincy Davis
Professor & Head
Department of Agricultural Meteorology
College of Horticulture
Kerala Agricultural University
KAU (P.O.),Trissur Dt. 680 656
Kerala , India.
Phone: 0487-2438345, 46; Fax: 91-0487-2371931
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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