Shopian: A fresh spell of snow has brought cheer on the faces of apple growers in the district.
The growers drought like conditions that prevailed in the month of January had raised fears of low yield in horticulture sector in the district, but with this fresh snow has given a hope of better.
The district that has reciving snow from Sunday onwards with many areas recording snow of more than 30 cm.
Ghulam Hassan Wagay, a growers from told Kashmir Reader that snow is vital for the crop as it not only helps in maintain the requisite balance of water, but also helps in keeping several crop disease at bay.
“Our crop could have been hit badly if did not snow, Wagay said adding that we also save money by spending less on pesticides this year.
Another grower Muhammad Safi Bhat told Kashmir Reader that quality of apples depends on snow and it has been witnessed that draughts decline the quality of apples drastically and thus fetching low price in the markets.
Bhat said that snow also makes the fertilizers or manure to mix properly.
“This snow will give the required moisture and the trees would be able to absorb the nutrients and we expect good flowering that raises hopes of a bumper produce,” he said.
Adding that a delayed snow does affect the flowering and it is an apt time to have snow.
Many growers who have switched to raising nurseries too are happy that snow improves the water reservoirs later helping in maintain irrigation in summers.
The local weather department has said that Valley is expected to receive more rains in coming days.
According to Horticulture department figures in 2013-14 out of the total 22914 hectares under horticulture crops in the district 21641 hectares of land is under cultivation of apples with production being 219395 MT.