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Pulwama orchardists worried over increased fruit fall, leaf blotches

Post by on Monday, July 4, 2022

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Pulwama: A number of orchardists from Pulwama district of South Kashmir have reported premature fruit fall and emergence of “some diseases” in their apple orchards after recent rainfall.
Mushtaq Ahmad, an orchardist from Bellov village of Pulwama, said that he has observed a number of diseases in his apple orchids.
“Around 10 percent of leaves turned yellow and started falling from trees,” he said, adding the leaves were green and fresh before rains.
“The yellowing of leaves appeared after rains,” he said, adding that he estimates near to 5 percent fruit fall in his 30 kanal apple orchard.
Another orchardist of Dargund said that he said that the diseases including Necrotic leaf and Alternaria blotches have affected adversely his 7 kanal apple orchard.
 “The department of horticulture should guide us, they should inform us which sprays can be used and how we can control these diseases,” he said.
Chief Horticulture Pulwama, Javid Ahmad Bhat, said that the magnitude of the yellow leaf phenomenon varies at different locations.
“Yellowing of leaf varies from 5 to 25 percent in different orchards with different moisture content,” he said adding that orchards, where moisture content is maintained, don’t show it at all.
 “It is a physiological disorder triggered by hot and dry weather conditions. The erratic weather caused stress among apple plantations resulting in yellowing of leaves or leaf fall,” he said.
He said that this condition can be managed by farmers by following an advisory issued by the department.
As per the advisory , in view of the recent rains followed by prevailing hot and dry weather conditions, most of the apple plantations are experiencing physiological stress, giving rise to necrotic leaf blotch/apple lenticle blotch/yellowing of leaves and minor incidences of alternaria leaf blotch as well.
 “Apple farmers of the district should adopt various measures to check the adverse effects of prevailing weather conditions”.
The orchardists are advised to ensure proper orchard sanitation, removal of Green grass/weeds growing in their orchards especially under tree Canopy and proper basin management and mulching with straw, grass or film under tree canopy for soil moisture conservation, the advisory reads. 
It said that the farmers were also advised to ensure spray of their orchards with appropriate fungicides during early morning hours before any fresh rains.
Bhat informed that the fruit fall is slightly more than normal this season. “This may be due to excess fruit set or due to formation of false fruit.”
“Due to low precipitation, nutrient flow to the trees is less due to which is also the reason for the abnormal fruit fall,” he said adding that fruit fall has been observed in those orchards where plant growth regulators were sprayed.
“These orchards have excess fruit set and weather conditions are erratic. Some fruit from this abundant set falls from the trees,” he said. 

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