Srinagar: Wary of an early snowfall, farmers in Kashmir have started pruning apple trees much ahead of the schedule.
For the last two years, the valley has been witnessing early snowfall that has left the horticulture industry in crisis.
Last year, the valley witnessed heavy snowfall on November 6.
Official figures reveal that 35 percent of apple orchards suffered damage. However, fruit growers put the damage at 70 percent.
In 2018, heavy snowfall was also recorded in the first week of November, which caused huge damage to fruit trees.
“Farmers in north Kashmir have almost completed harvesting apple crop. They have now started pruning trees as a precautionary measure to deal with the early snowfall,” said Mohammad Yousuf, an orchardist from north Kashmir’s Pattan area.
Likewise, farmers in Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag, and Pulwama districts too have started pruning orchards.
Sher-i- Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST- K) has also issued an advisory urging farmers to spray Urea on apple trees to facilitate early defoliation and pruning.
President North Kashmir Apple Growers Association, Fayaz Ahmad Malik said the pruning process has started since apple harvesting has almost been completed.
“The growers have completed the harvesting and now they will start the pruning trees. Many farmers are waiting for the falling of leaves,” he said.
Dr. Irfan Bisati, Senior Extension Specialist (Horticulture), SKUAST said the advisory was issued after due discussion with all the heads of the departments of the research institute.
“We have publicized advisory on social media platforms besides print and electronic media,” he said.