Apple growers in Shopian apprehensive, official says don’t panic

Apple growers in Shopian apprehensive, official says don’t panic

Raashid Hassan                                  
Shopian: Inclement weather over the past three days has left apple growers fearful for their crop in Shopian district. They say that inclement weather and freezing temperatures in the flowering season have already affected their crops badly in the past four years. “We owe a huge amount of money to financial institutions and banks due to the less productivity in the past many years. This year, the weather is the same. We have apprehensions of suffering more losses,” a group of orchardists from Pinjora area said.
Chief Horticulture Officer of Shopian district, Akhtar Hussain, said that there is no need to panic but precaution measures are needed.
“The buds have not opened yet, which is a positive indication and there is no loss of the crop yet. If the buds had opened and flowering had taken place, there would have been apprehensions of less productivity. But there isn’t any instance of flowering in Shopian as yet,” Hussain said.
He said precaution measures that need to be taken include proper drainage in orchards and soon after the weather improves, spraying of fungicide on trees. “Hexaconozole with Captan or Carbondizm with Mencozeb combination sprays are better to kill nascent fungus. Orchardists are advised to use only these two kinds of fungicide sprays,” Hussain said.
Hussain added that waterlogging in orchards can affect the roots of trees and cause root disease in apple, pear and cherry trees. “We suggest orchardists to make proper arrangements of drainage and use sittings in newly planted trees,” he said.
“There is no need to use salt or fertilisers yet. The situation is normal and there is nothing to panic about,” he said.
“I have already directed my staff and other officials to make orchardists aware of the need for proper drainage and to make sitting arrangements for the newly planted trees,” Hussain added.

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