Shopian: The prevailing weather conditions in Kashmir are ripe for proper germination of flowers and fruit set, horticulture experts say. Cold temperature below 1 degree Centigrade can affect the process but current temperatures are higher than that, though light showers that occasionally occur will reduce bee movement, which is vital for pollination, they say.
Since some days now, reports are being shared on social media that have made fruit growers worry about the fruit set. To find out if there is any basis to such reports, Kashmir Reader spoke to some scientists to know if and how the prevailing weather conditions will affect the fruit set.
Dr Rauf Ahmad, Assistant Professor of Fruit Sciences at SKUAST Kashmir, told Kashmir Reader that the prevailing weather conditions are good for a normal fruit set. He said that there is nothing to worry about as there are no incessant rains or freezing temperatures which could have caused adverse effects on the fruit set.
“Temperature over 4-5 degree Celsius will not affect the fruit set, though if it goes below 1 degree Celsius or in minus, it can cause damage to flowers,” he said.
“Minus temperatures cause injuries to the pollen and hence lead to decline in the fruit set,” he added.
Dr Ahmad said that if the temperatures remain as they are, over 4 degrees even in rains, it would not cause injury to the pollen; however, the bee movement, which is vital for pollination, will get restricted and thus will hamper pollination.
Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Malik, a senior pathologist scientist, told Kashmir Reader that claims of decline in temperature are being made to only worry the growers. “We have seen rains and decline in temperature since the induction of fruit here; wasn’t there bumper production even when rains occurred during flowering season (last year)?” he said.
Dr Ahmad said that people should not fall prey to such claims but should follow the spray schedule and advisory issued by the SKUAST agricultural university.