Crop protection during summer season
The scorching summer is here and India being tropical country, summer season is usually harsher. This year is no exception with prediction saying that the temperature will hover 2-3 degrees higher than normal. For an agricultural economy of ours, summer season is critical when crops are prone to high level of stress due to various reasons which we will soon discuss. To ensure a successful harvest, farmers must take various measures to protect their crops. This article aims to provide an overview of some effective crop protection strategies that farmers can use during the summer months.
Effective crop protection strategies for summer season:
1) Proper Irrigation Management:
During Summer when the atmospheric and ground moisture has hit the bottom, the plants have to be maintained well hydrated as they rapidly lose their water content and get into stress. So it becomes utmost priority to monitor the soil moisture content regularly and ensure adequate water supply to the plants. This can be achieved by drip irrigation, mulching etc.
2) Pest And Disease Management:
Summer brings favorable conditions for pest breeding. This can be avoided through biological control methods, cultural practices and judicious use of pesticides. Early detection and control can save the crops from irreparable damage.
3) Weed Control:
Weed control should not be neglected as the weeds compete with plants for the already scarcily available moisture and nutrients. Timely weed management by manual weeding, mulching, and herbicide application.
4) Nutrient Management:
High temperatures and water stress during summer can lead to micronutrient deficiencies. Micronutrients like iron, zinc, manganese and copper are essential for crop growth. They help to form chlorophyll. An adequate supply of micronutrients in summer helps to improve crop resilience, boosts yields and enhances plant health.
5) Crop Residue Management:
Timely removal of crop residues from the previous harvest should not be neglected as this can result in the build up of pests and disease which can be carried over from the previous harvest.
6) Timely Harvest:
The crops should be harvested at the right maturity period. If not the crops may experience stress due to exposure to harsh sun for longer than required time and thus grossly affect the yields
7) Crop Rotation And Diversification:
One of the most underrated method of crop protection is crop rotation which the farmers are advised to follow mandatorily. This can reduce the risk of crop damage by breaking the pest and disease cycle, improves the soil health. When different crops with diversified growth patterns are planted it avoids the loss of specific nutrients from the soil and also avoids pest pressure.
8) Weather Monitoring:
Being abreast of the weather conditions in the area like temperature, humidity and rainfall and drought forecast is needed to be prepared for any potential challenges.