The grey lining
This is with reference to your comprehensive cover story on clouds, published in the 16-31 August, 2016, issue. No doubt, clouds are a good indicator of day-to-day weather, and thus influence the growth of crops and the fortune of farmers. But they are also responsible for spreading plant diseases.
Studies by the Indian Agriculture Research Institute have implicated clouds in the spread of a wheat rust disease, Karnal bunt. Clouds, along with the wind system in the upper atmosphere, can carry spores of the virus to greater distance. As they precipitate, the spores settle on the vegetation below. This is how the wheat crop in northern India suffer from yellow and brown rusts during the Western Disturbances in the winter season. While India has made progress in studying clouds, more research is needed to study their impact on agriculture.