This year’s heavy rains have made Kashmir fruit growers apprehensive of another gloomy year. There is the threat of another major scab infection like last year. In 2020, Kashmir witnessed a huge decline in fruit production, particularly apples, where more than 30 percent of the crop was affected by diseases.
This year the continuous rains during flowering season are a grim omen as a scab infection is already being noticed in some apple trees. “Wet weather from the green-tip stage till the end of May can cause major scab infections,” Mushtaq Ahmad, a senior horticulture official, told kashmirreader.com.
An orchardist from Pargochi Shopian, said that he has seen a major scab infection in his apple trees despite the fact that he has sprayed three fungicides so far. “Previously we used to spray only one fungicide till this stage of flowering and there used to be lesser infections, but this year even after spraying thrice, we see a major scab infection.”