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Orchard sanitation critical to prevent plant diseases: SKAUST  

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Srinagar, Nov 28: Experts have appealed to farmers to ensure orchard sanitation in order to keep pests and diseases at bay.
Associate Professor Plant Pathology at SKUAST-K, Dr Tariq Rasool said all the pests and diseases survive on leaves and pruned wood in orchards.
“Leaves, damaged or leftover apple leaves, pruned wood should not be kept in orchards as they could become source of infection for next season,” he said.
The expert said if orchardists and farmers remove leaves and the pruned wood in autumn, 80 to 90 percent of the disease source could be curbed.
Dr Tariq also said that many orchardists leave the rotten apple in orchards and suggested farmers to desist from the practice saying it also causes diseases.
“Rather farmers should dig pits in orchards and put the rotten apple in them to make vermicompost that could be used as fertilizer which is a good idea,” he said.
The expert also said apart from orchard sanitation farmers should also maintain proper drainage channels in the field to avoid water stagnation in winter.
Notably, he said farmers in Kashmir spend Rs 500 crore annually on fertilizers, pesticides and sprays on disease and pest management. “Orchard sanitation will limit the occurrence of diseases in orchards and lower the spray burden on farmers,” he said.
SKUAST-K runs KVKs in every district in the valley and they also organize awareness programs in order to encourage farmers to go for sanitation of apple orchards.

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