Abstract

The Thal region of Punjab often experiences dry weather conditions with extreme variability in rainfall on a spatiotemporal scale during Rabi cropping season. The current study assesses the impacts of agricultural drought on wheat crops for 2000–2015. MOD13Q1 and CHIRPS data were used for identifying and assessing variation in agricultural drought patterns and severity. SPI, NDVI, VCI, STVI and wheat crop yield anomalies were computed to characterize the gravity of drought across the Thal region. The results indicate that the wheat Rabi cropping seasons of the years 2000–2002 experienced extreme agricultural drought, with a spatial difference in severity level causing low and poor yield, while the years 2011 and 2014 were almost normal among all the years, leaving varied impacts on wheat yield. The combined agricultural risk map was generated by integrating the agricultural and meteorological droughts severity maps. The combined risk map generated using weighted overlay analysis of all the parameters indicate that the total Thal area can be classified into slight, moderate and no drought covering 28.12, 12.76, and 59.12% respectively of the total area. Hence an agricultural risk map would be extremely helpful as a tool to guide the decision-making process for monitoring drought risk on agricultural productivity.

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