Submitted to: World Meteorological Organization Operational Hydrology Report Series
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2008
Publication Date: 5/10/2009
Citation: Sivakumar, M.V., Hatfield, J.L. 2009. Guidelines for Curricula in Agricultural Meteorology. World Meteorological Organization Operational Hydrology Report Series.
Technical Abstract: Agricultural meteorology as an accepted term is only about 80 years old. The first half of this period saw its development in the western world, Japan, India, and China and this was made possible through the evolving possibilities for quantification of the physical aspects of the production environment. However, it has been completely modified since the 1980s. The increasing frequency of natural disasters, including pests and diseases, and the growing climate variability and climate change are impacting the natural resource base, crop yields, and incomes. There are increasing demands for better preparedness and prediction to deal with these issues. The growing concerns for achieving greater efficiency in natural resource use while conserving the environment had to balanced with the need for increased agricultural productivity to feed the growing populations of the world. Agrometeorological applications and services in agriculture, forestry, rangelands, and fisheries have grown enormously in the recent past and these include for example specific weather forecasts and seasonal to inter-annual climate predictions for agriculture for better risk management; microclimate management or manipulation; establishment of measures to reduce the impacts and to mitigate the consequences of weather and climate related natural disasters for agricultural production; monitoring and early warning; development and validation of adaptation strategies to increasing climate variability and climate change, etc. Substantial research and development had occurred in the application of crop models ranging from the field level to country level and even larger scale modeling and models are also used in global change impact studies. The level of education and skills of farmers, especially in the developing countries, is insufficient to cope with the new or aggravating problems and there is a clear need for intermediaries trained and equipped with services to assist the farming community in effectively dealing with these problems. Effective education and training in agricultural meteorology at the post-graduate level can ensure that there is a continuous stream of well informed intermediaries to serve the farming community. There is now an urgent need to review carefully the curriculum in Agricultural Meteorology at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels and ensure that the curriculum is fully revised to include the new and emerging issues and adequate education and training material is prepared to serve the revised curriculum.