Snowfall brings cheer apple growers in Himachal Pradesh

January 10th, 2009 - 8:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Kothi (Himachal Pradesh), Jan.10 (ANI): Pushing down temperatures, the recent snowfall here has brought a smile back on the faces of apple growers.
Confident about securing a bumper apple crop in the upcoming season, the farmers say that the timely snowfall is a boon for them.
The apple trees are dormant and require chilling conditions less than seven degree Celsius for a month.
“Snowfall is like a boon for us farmers, for good apple cultivation we require 1400 to 1600 chilling hours. And, this first snowfall is more beneficial for apple trees, as it protects the tree from all sorts of diseases. We hope for more snowfall,” said Dunni Ram, a farmer of Ghoshal village in the upper Manali region.
However apple growers in the upper region of state have finished their orchards work like pruning and applying manure to apple trees.
Horticulture experts are also taking snow fall in a positive manner. According to many of the officials recent snow fall would be helpful for the required chilling hours for apple cultivation. Temperature plays very important role in cultivation of apple trees. Fresh snow fall would be helpful against harmful bacteria and fungus.
“Six hundred to fifteen hundred chilling hours are required for good apple cultivation, till now chilling requirements has been met to certain extent because of snowfall. If temperature will remain below seven degree Celsius for around one month then only apple will grow at a rapid spree,” said Prem Singh Dogra, District Horticulture Officer, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh Government.
Himachal Pradesh gets more than 2500 crore revenue from fruits and vegetables and Apple play a major role in it. There are more than seventy percent of people in Himachal Pradesh directly or indirectly linked with production and marketing of apples. (ANI)

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