Early mango flowering worries farmers, scientists
By Prabhu Mallikarjunan | Published: 26th November 2012 10:37 AM |
Climate change is adversely impacting agriculture and horticulture activities in the state and the king of fruits has not been spared. The untimely flowering of mango trees in October and November this year has growers and agriculture scientists worried.
“Instead of late December flowering, mango blossoms are seen now. Mango trees require certain stress to flower. With excess moisture in the soil and cold conditions prevailing, they have started flowering early,” an agricultural scientist at the University of Agricultural Sciences said.
This year being an on-crop year for mangoes, production is expected to be higher than last year. However, early flowering has sent warning signs to farmers.
“Early flowering attracts pests and trees need to be protected. We are still analysing the cause and effect of this change in pattern. We are also studying early flowering in regions like Ramanagaram and later flowering in Kolar and surrounding districts,” said Dr K Narayana Gowda, vice-chancellor, UAS Bangalore.
Srinivaspura in Kolar and Chintamani in Chikballapura together contribute around 40 per cent of the total mango production in the state.
A study by the UAS in 2011 on the impact of climate change on agriculture indicated that there would be a gradual decline in the south-west monsoon in the state in the coming years — the deficit rainfall would be shared by the pre-monsoon and the north-east monsoon.
This was altering the planting and harvesting dates, the study said. Early and excess flowering last year — though not as much as this year — had resulted in mangoes falling before ripening, it was noted.
“We have taken measures to sensitise farmers about the changes,” Gowda said.