Dry weather advisory issued for orchardists in Kashmir

Srinagar April 07:(KNS)  Unusually warm weather conditions during this time of the season of the year has left the orchardists of the valley a little anxious, as they are concerned over the prevailing higher temperatures. If the dry weather conditions continue to prevail the fruit crops could be adversely affected in terms of yield and production. The orchards in Karewas and new plantations are quite susceptible to the warm climatic conditions and could face damage.  

To counter the situation orchardists are advised to adhere the following practices.
Irrigation: Orchardists are advised immediately irrigate their orchards wherever irrigation facility is available. Irrigation should be applied preferably in cooler parts of the day like morning or evening.
Mulching: Mulching is known to conserve soil moisture, be it mulching with organic or inorganic material. Besides conserving moisture, mulch also helps in controlling erosion, improves soil structure, prevents formation of crust on the surface, and favours penetration moisture and air, supresses weed growth. Hoeing followed by mulching especially under Karewa conditions may be done with grass and other crop residues.
Whitewashing Tree Trunks: Whitewash trunk in the spring helps the tree stay cool as it reflects sunlight and heat away. A cooler tree has less stress and can open its stomata longer for gas exchange -- more carbon dioxide into the tree gives it more energy for vegetative and fruiting growth. It will also help in preventing sun burn and cracking of trunk surface. A simple whitewash can be prepared by mixing Slaked/Hydrated lime (5Kgs) + Copper Sulphate (Nilthotha) 310 gm in 100 litres of water. Also add a sticker/adhesive like linseed oil for its efficacy. Remember to clean the trunk and remove dead wood/bark before applying the whitewash.  
Moreover, orchardists are advised to follow the ‘Spray Schedule 2022’ in consultation with the field functionaries of the department. For further guidance/information orchardists are requested to contact the nearest HDO’s office or dial our helpline number 0194-2311484. (KNS) 

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