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Incessant rains: Scientists issue dos and don’ts to avoid plant diseases

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Srinagar: Frequent rains may lead to scab and rusting and may impact the growth of the fruit, scientists at SKUAST said on Monday.

Dr Tariq Rasool, a senior scientist at SKUAST (Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology) said that continuous rainy season leads to scab but fortunately there was no scab last year so there are less chances of scab this year as well.

“The growers must keep spraying fungicides after a gap of every 10 days to avoid diseases,” Dr Tariq said.

He said that rainy weather may lead to fruit rusting as well but as the fruit set period and flowering period is already over there are less chances of other effects as of now.

“Growers must spray fungicides at regular intervals till end May to get rid of scab and farmers must keep proper drainage systems in place to avoid root rot disease as well,” Dr Tariq said.

Another SKUAST scientist said that regular rains and cloudy weather may lead to fruit fall and can impact the size of the fruit as well.

He said that fruit size and quality can improve if there will be pleasant weather ahead.

Meanwhile, growers from various parts of Kashmir said that the livelihood of around 50 percent of the population who are directly dependent on the horticulture sector is under threat because of erratic weather conditions.

They said the wet spell may trigger a host of diseases in their orchards, affecting their livelihood.

They said that continuous rains have added to the worries of farmers and it has also caused disturbances in the spray schedule and it may lead to fungal diseases.

“Over the past two weeks we have been struggling to spray the fungicides but we are not sure whether the weather will allow us or not. The rains also wash the sprays,” they said

SKUAST scientists said that there is no need to worry and growers should spray fungicides at regular intervals and take other precautions.

An official of the horticulture department said that there is no need to worry as the weather is likely to improve from tomorrow.

He said that the good thing is that this is not the blooming period of the Apple and other fruit trees and growers but following the advisories issued by the department and water logging in orchards must be avoided. (KNO)

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