Rainfall is the most effective and natural means of watering crops. Indian agriculture is predominantly dependent on the monsoon season. However, excessive rainfall can pose a significant threat to the health and productivity of crops. From waterlogging to soil erosion, heavy rain can damage the soil, drown the roots, and give rise to crop diseases. If you are looking to resolve this issue, you can adopt various effective strategies. Read on to discover tips for protecting crops from heavy rains.
How to protect crops from heavy rains?
Listed below are some crop protecting tips in heavy rain to ensure a bountiful harvest:
Apply organic mulch
Soil erosion is a drastic repercussion of heavy rains, which affects the roots of the crops and can lead to severe damage. Mulching is an effective strategy of rainfall defence for crops to help stop soil erosion. You can get organic mulch and spread a layer of 1-2 inches around the crops. Organic materials include dried leaves, wood chips, straw, and so on. Mulch keeps the soil moist, controls temperature, and prevents soil and root damage during adverse weather conditions.
Try contour farming
Contour farming involves raising planting beds and shaping your field in curves or slopes. Raised beds are elevated rows of soil created in the field. They are generally higher than the ground level, which creates a barrier against rainwater runoff. When it rains heavily, the excess water tends to flow around the raised beds instead of directly into the plants. As a result, waterlogging is prevented. Shaping the field also has the same effect as it slows down the water flow during heavy rains, preventing it from rushing down and causing soil erosion.
Setting up a well-regulated drainage system before the monsoon season helps avoid the adverse effects of excessive rainfall. During heavy rains, excess water can accumulate in the fields, which saturates the soil and suffocates the plant roots. By enhancing drainage, you can create channels or ditches to divert water away from the fields. You can also install drain tiles and pipes, incorporate organic matter, and grade the land to create a drainage system.
Implement crop rotation
Crop rotation pertains to growing different crops in a planned sequence on the same piece of land over time. Doing so improves the soil structure, which improves its strength to withstand the harsh force of heavy rains. You can plant crops like legumes and grains with deep roots, along with other crops, to strengthen the soil. By diversifying crops, you can also break the cycle of pests and diseases that tend to thrive in wet conditions.
You can consider the arrival of the monsoon season and adjust the planting/sowing schedule of crops accordingly. Strategically cultivating in this manner enables the crops to develop robust roots. As a result, their ability to absorb water and nutrients is enhanced. Additionally, the crops become well-established and better equipped to withstand heavy rains. Timing crop cultivation is one of the most effective crop protection ideas in heavy rain.
Build adequate support
During heavy rainfall, crops with large leaves and bearings can become heavy and susceptible to falling or breaking under the weight of the water. By providing adequate support, you can ensure the plants remain upright and stable. You can stake plants with stems with a string or twist-ties to build support. Staking is helpful in all weather conditions to prevent the plant from bending and ensuring it gets proper sunlight exposure.
Cover the crops
Covering the crops with materials such as row covers, netting, plastic sheets, tarps, and so on helps prevent the rainwater from directly hitting the plants. As a result, the impact of heavy raindrops on the leaves and the crops becomes preventable. Covers also provide protection against wind, which further protects the crops from physical damage. In essence, covering the crops is the simplest technique for shielding plants against heavy downpour.
Windbreakers are meant to protect plants from strong winds during rainfall. They essentially act as barriers that reduce the impact of winds. You can create natural windbreakers by using trees, bushes, shrubs, and other vegetation. You can plant them around the perimeter of the field or in between the rows of crops. Creating a sheltered zone with windbreakers deflects the wind and prevents physical damage to crops.
Plan regular inspection of the field condition
Regular inspection becomes a natural part of farming. But if you are expecting the onset of the monsoon, you want to become extra cautious. Conduct inspections to identify signs of damage, diseases, and other water-related issues. By keeping a close eye on the field before, during, and after heavy rains, you can detect areas prone to waterlogging, adjust irrigation practices, and clear water drainage if necessary.
Protect crops with Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
Implementing the above-mentioned crop protection tips helps you mitigate the risks associated with heavy rainfall. The key is to proactively take the effective steps before the weather conditions worsen for a successful harvest with minimal to no loss. Besides investing time and effort in taking crop protection measures, you can also secure your crops with the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana . It is a government insurance scheme that covers your crops against the risk of adverse weather conditions and unexpected perils.Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.