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India: Hailstorm warning has prompted early harvest of Nashik grapes

A warning by the India Meteorological Department about hailstorms this Friday/Saturday has grape farmers in the nation’s vineyard, Nashik, losing sleep. They now are harvesting around the clock to avoid a loss of crops.

As per the IMD forecast, gusty winds, lightning, hail and thunderstorms are expected over isolated places in the northern districts of Madhya Maharashtra, including Pune, Nandurbar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nashik as well as Ahmednagar, between February 23 and 24.

Indiatimes.com reported on estimates of the district’s Agriculture Department that say on average Nashik exports 100.000 tons of grapes. “This is 80% of the total exports of grapes from Maharashtra. Currently, the harvest has been advanced by two-three days; a trifle earlier in view of the hailstorm warning,” said an official.

Vineyards are developed in rows and plastic covers are sometimes also put on scaffolding to protect crops from hailstorm damage.

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