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Inclement weather worries Kullu growers

MeT forecasts adverse weather conditions for Wednesday, Thursday

Inclement weather worries Kullu growers

Plums are currently being cultivated on 2,500 hectares in the district, while pears are being produced over 500 hectares. - File photo



Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, April 1

Adverse weather conditions have raised concerns among horticulturists of Kullu valley amid the flowering phase of pear plants.

Due to the recent spell of snowfall in the higher reaches and rains in the lower reaches, temperatures have dropped across the valley.

Crop affected last year

  • Orchardist Dheeraj Sharma of Jari village in Manikaran valley said the flowers of pear plants were currently in bloom.
  • The flowers of these plants would fall off if the rain continued, he added.
  • He said the fear of frost also loomed over orchardists as flowers tend to fall from trees due to frost during low temperatures and clear sky.
  • Strong winds during thunderstorms also damage the flowers and fruits on the trees, he said, adding that last year, too, pear crop was affected due to the inclement weather, bringing down the yeild to half the normal produce in the valley.

The sudden drop in mercury can adversely affect the setting of fruits. Heavy rain and hailstorms also damage flowers of the fruit-bearing trees.

Orchardist Dheeraj Sharma of Jari village in Manikaran valley said the flowers of pear plants were currently in bloom. These flowers would fall off if the rain continued, he added.

He said the fear of frost also loomed over orchardists as flowers tend to fall from trees due to frost during low temperatures and clear sky.

Strong winds during thunderstorms also damage the flowers and fruits on the trees, he said, adding that last year, too, pear crop was affected due to the inclement weather, leading to the production being half the normal produce in the valley.

Another orchardist, Khem Chand of Raison village, said plum crop in high altitude areas could also be affected by inclement weather.

For better setting of plums and pears, it was necessary to have clear weather, he added.

Currently, plums are cultivated on over 2,500 hectares in the district, while pears are being produced over 500 hectares.

The forecast of another spell of adverse weather on Wednesday and Thursday by the Meteorological Department has left orchardists worrying for their produce.

They might have to suffer the consequences of inclement weather, facing financial losses.

Apple farmer Rajesh of Jagatsukh village in Manali subdivision said the weather has had no effect on apples so far.

Apple plants had not yet reached the spur green tip stage and the plants would flower in April, he added.

He said hailstorms not only damage the flowers and fruits, but sometimes also the branches of trees.

Sometimes, even anti-hail nets fail to prevent the damage caused by heavy hailstorms, he said, adding that the use of these nets, however, considerably reduces the damage.

Horticulture Department (Kullu) Deputy Director BM Chauhan said it was necessary for the weather to be favourable for better flowering and setting of fruits.

A good yield of apples and other fruits is expected this year in the valley, he added.

#Kullu


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