Srinagar, Dec 8: Amid a dip in temperature, agro unit SKUAST-K, Agro field unit Srinagar and Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), have issued an advisory of Dos and Don'ts to the growers of saffron, vegetable, apple trees, poultry, sericulture, fisheries.
The advisory said that in view of the snowfall, farmers must maintain proper drainage channels in the field to avoid water stagnation in the case of rabi crops and saffron fields.
Regarding saffron, the advisory suggested applying a split dose of Nitrogen in the form of urea 2.50 kg/kanal under high-density plantation and 1.50 under normal density.
“Ensure weed-free crop. Rodents identify live rodent burrows. Cut the pouch and immediately place it in the burrow after ensuring that a certain amount of moisture is present where the pouch is kept. Maintain proper drainage channels in the field to avoid water winter,” it said.
Regarding apples, it said in case of heavy snowfall, shake the trees to remove snow immediately from the branches and crotches. "Provide proper support to the limbs/plants which are not strong enough to withstand the load of snow."
“To avoid tilting of fruit trees, reduce canopy load by pruning and providing support. If the trees get partially uprooted, slowly pull back the trees to their original position after heavy pruning,” it said.
For cattle, it advised farmers to take extra care in maintaining proper temperature in animal sheds. “Dairy cattle should be fed high-quality forage and feed added with minerals especially sodium, potassium, magnesium along with supplementary fat,” it said.
As the temperature has decreased due to the onset of winter, the advisory suggested poultry owners take care with respect to maintenance of brooding temperature inside the sheds.
“Ventilation must not be compromised at the cost of maintaining the brooding temperature as it can lead to accumulation of ammonia gas in the sheds, wet litter and ascites in birds. The quality of litter should be given due consideration. Litter needs to be raked, renewed and replenished regularly. Adhere strictly to the vaccination schedule,” it said.
Regarding floriculture, the advisory said that planting of spring flowering bulbs and transplanting of winter flowering annuals may be continued.
“Prune the trees and shrubs to avoid damage by heavy snow during winter. Make preparations for the protection of house plants during the winter season,” it said.
For sericulture, it advised farmers to dismantle low-cost rearing huts and preserve the various accessories of the hut under the well-roofed shed for future use.
“Complete sun drying of cocoons should be ensured before storage to avoid any fungal damage to the cocoons. Sorting of the cocoons should be ensured before marketing to fetch the maximum market price. The cocoon preservation should be done in gunny bags by hanging them under tin roofs or at dry places to avoid any damage by the rodents,” he said.
On mushrooms, it said that the first harvest of button mushrooms is made 25 to 30 days after casing and the commercial crop is harvested up to 30 to 45 days.
“Pinheads of mushrooms generally start after 18 to 21 days after casing. Mushrooms are picked up by twisting the mushroom gently clockwise and then anti-clockwise and afterward it is pulled up very softly. After harvesting of mushrooms, casing material should be added and pressed gently to level the holes formed due to harvesting of mushroom,” it said.
For the fisheries sector, the advisory said that nutrition and disease management are important aspects of aquaculture.
“Currently the atmospheric temperature is touching minus degrees. Water temperature is also going down to freezing, the fish either stops feeding or accepts very less quantity of feed for maintenance,” it said.
The advisory advised storing the feed for trout/carp in a well-ventilated and cool place to avoid the shortage during snowfall according to MeT department predictions.
“In case of any mortality or sign of sickness in the fish stock (for instance, abnormal swimming, darkening of the skin, abdominal swelling, fish stop feeding) immediately reduce the stocking density and quarantine the morbid fish,” it said.