ICAR-NIASM, an unique institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), was established in 2009 at Malegaon Khurd, Baramati. The institute aims at exploring the avenues for management of abiotic stresses affecting the very sustainability of national food production systems. It specifically addresses the aberration induced stresses due to atmospheric, water and edaphic factors, which are estimated to cause 50 per cent losses in crop productivity. Since these stresses are predicted to amplify due to climate change and land degradation, the primary task for the institute is to evolve alleviation techniques through advances in frontier science research. The institute is being structured to enhance capacity of scientists and policy makers mainly by imparting knowledge and by providing the state-of-art facilities for multidisciplinary and multi-commodity research.
Institute is located at 18° 09’ 30.62’’N; 74° 30’ 03.08’’E; MSL 570 m at Malegaon khurd, Baramati in Pune district of Maharashtra state. Baramati is situated in the eastern part of Pune district which is a part of the Desh or Western Maharashtra region. It falls under the agro- ecological region Deccan Plateau, hot and semi- arid climate (AER-6) and agro-climatic zone AZ-95 i.e. scarcity zone of Maharashtra. The long-term average annual rainfall is 560mm, and this is restricted to south-west and retreating monsoon. Because of low rainfall, the soils in the area are shallow and poorly developed. Major agricultural area is rainfed except for about one-third of Baramati area along the Nira canal that is irrigated and mainly supports sugarcane. Agricultural drought is a common phenomenon in the area.
Long-term analysis of weather data of Baramati (1986-2011) reveals that mean monthly temperature varies between 22 °C (Dec) and31.4°C (May). Daily maximum temperature becomes highest in the month of May (39.1 °C) and lowest during December (29.8 °C). Similarly, in case of daily minimum temperature too, May and December are the months when the highest (23.7 °C) and lowest (14.2 °C) values occur respectively. Morning time relative humidity measured at standard prescribed hour of 0700 Local Mean Time (LMT) varies between 81% (Jul and Sep) and 55% (Apr) and the annual average is 73%.
Wind direction analysis of the recent years has shown that during the summer monsoon season (June-Sep) wind mostly blows from the westerly directions, west of south-west or west of north-west. The month of October represents a transition between westerlies and easterlies. November and December are frequented by both northerly and easterly winds. During the rest of the months, i.e. January- March north- westerly as well as easterly and south-easterly winds remain most prevalent. During January- March wind speed averages around 5-6 km/h, then gradually increased through April and May. During the monsoon months of June to September average wind speed is around 11 km/h or more and sharply falls during October onwards.
Annual rainfall during the period 1986-2011 averaged 584.1 mm. Contribution of southwest monsoon (June-September) and post- monsoon (October-December) rainfall is about 70 and 21%, respectively. During the monsoon season, the maximum rainfall is received normally during September (159.1 mm) followed by June (113.1 mm). In the post- monsoon season, the maximum rainfall normally occurs in October (104 mm) followed by November (13.7 mm) and during the summer season in May (39.6 mm). Normal rainfall for July and August is 65.3 and 71.3 mm, respectively. Other months of the year, viz. December to April together receive rainfall between 10-15 mm only. Rainfall variability in the post-monsoon season is 87% and that of the southwest monsoon season is 38 % while for the annual rainfall, CV is about 37%. Effective rainfall is received only during the period May- October. Annual Class A open pan evaporation is 1965 mm which is about 3 times the rainfall. The maximum evaporative demand occurs in the month of May (280.8 mm) whereas the lowest in December (111.3 mm).