March snow will benefit horticulture crop in Valley: Experts

March snow will benefit horticulture crop in Valley: Experts

SRINAGAR: With fresh snow extending this years winter, experts here consider it good sign for horticulture sector as it will control germination of pests and provide much needed moisture for the bud formation in the spring season.
However, these experts cautioned that heavy fall may result in waterlogging, which should be addressed at the earliest so no root rot, a disease that damages the root system of the fruit bearing plants. They also advised that snow must be removed to safeguard the trees from any physical damage.
GM Lone, Senior Scientist, Entomology at SKUAST-Kashmir, told Kashmir Reader that this snow acted as a solution for San Jose scale pest that becomes active in mid-March. But with low temperature due to this snow the germination of the pest will get hit.
However, former HOD fruit sciences at the agriculture university, MS Wani said care has to be taken that snow is removed from the trees so that they are not damaged by it, besides a further attention needs to be taken when it starts to melt as waterlogging can damage trees.
“Exposure to extremely low air temperatures during flowering can hit crop prospects, but this snow will not have much bearing on the production with only the physical weight of the snow accumulation can cause breakage, that must be addressed” he said adding that even almond trees will be spared as they too have not yet started to flowering.
He said if the farmers would have gone for proper pruning as per the given directions, snow cannot harm the trees.
“This snow can add up the much needed moisture that can be beneficial during the spring arrival with it helping bud formation,” Wani said.
About the diseases control, Wani said that this snow will defer the spray of first round of diesel spray, that can be carried later.
The timing of this snow is vital, as we are yet to see any budding or flowering, Lone said, adding, however, it can hit the prospects of crops like oats and mustard in low lying or water logged areas.
There is no threat to fruit trees in Kerawa land or other agricrops, which have proper drainage, with farmer’s advised sticking to their insecticide schedule after the snow phase is over.