agricultural meteorology[¦ag·rə¦kəl·chə·rəl ‚mēd·ē·ə′räl·ə·jē]
(also agrometeorology), an applied discipline that studies meteorological, climatic, and hydrological conditions as they relate to agricultural production. Agricultural meteorology is closely allied to biology, soil science, geography, and the agricultural sciences.
Agricultural meteorology took shape as an independent science at the end of the 19th century. It was pioneered in Russia by A. I. Voeikov and P. I. Brounov. Advances made during Soviet power include improved techniques of agrometeorological observation, more agricultural stations, study of the principles governing the origin and spread of frosts, droughts, dry winds, and dust storms, and methods for forecasting the onset of the main phases of crop growth, condition of winter crops in winter, and yields of major crops. Many aspects of agroclimatology were also studied. A system is being developed for mechanizing and automating agrometeorological observations and processing the accumulated data with computers.
The chief concerns of modern agricultural meteorology are development of methods of forecasting meteorological phenomena that endanger agriculture and perfection of methods of long-range forecasting of the size and quality of yields, condition of winter crops in winter, and so on.
Research in agricultural meteorology is conducted with special instruments,including remote-control instruments that do not affect the natural conditions of crop growing. The research is based on coordinated (parallel) observations and biometric measurements recording the condition, development, growth, and formation of crop yields, on the one hand, and study of the meteorological factors, on the other. The observations are made not only from an instrument platform but in the field as well. Use is also made of artificial climate chambers where plants are grown under predetermined combinations of light, heat, and moisture, thus making it possible to determine critical low temperatures during the winter stay of winter crops and the injury done to plants by dry winds in relation to temperature, humidity, and wind velocity. Statistical methods and mathematical models are extensively used in agricultural meteorology.
The Soviet scientific organizations in agricultural meteorology are the agrometeorological sections of the V. I. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the Joint Scientific Council for Meteorology, and the Scientific and Technical Society of Agriculture. An international organization is the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology of the World Meteorological Organization, which publishes Agricultural Meteorology: An International Journal (Amsterdam, since 1964).
In the USSR articles on agricultural meteorology are published in the journal Meteorologiia igidrologiia (Meteorology and Hydrology, since 1935), some agricultural journals, and transactions of the institutes of the Hydrometeorological Service.
IU. I. CHIRKOV