Cold wave threat to horticulture crops - The New Indian Express

Cold wave threat to horticulture crops

Published: 21st November 2012 08:33 AM

Last Updated: 21st November 2012 10:13 AM

The extreme cold wave conditions prevailing in Karnataka could affect horticulture crops like guava, pomegranate and papaya as well as paddy, an important cereal crop.

Agricultural experts say if the extreme cold, which has set in early this time, prevails for a prolonged period, the crops will attract pests and this will affect the yield.

“Farmers growing guavas in our region have already reported the whitefly-transmitted disease. And if the cold conditions continue for long, it will also affect the pomegranates and papayas,” said Dr Jyothi R, Subject Matter Specialist at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Gangavati (Koppal). She, however, added that the cold weather will help rabi crops like wheat, maize and jowar.

Paddy is a kharif crop, but due to the failure of the south-west monsoon, it was sown late in some parts of the Cauvery basin. Such crops are likely to get affected. “The fluctuation in monsoon and the change in the ecosystem will affect the highly self-pollinated crops. Paddy is one such variety. In Mandya, the paddy crop sown in late September and early October will get affected at the boot and flowering stage,” explained Dr L Vijay Kumar, assistant professor of Entomology (Mandya). However, the paddy coverage during the rabi season is minimal in the state.

According to data with the Agriculture Department, around 0.36 lakh hectares will be covered under paddy during the rabi season in Karnataka as compared to 10 lakh hectares during the kharif season.

In contrast, the cold weather conditions  clubbed with high temperatures and adequate sunlight has proved to be a boon for coffee growers, said Marvin Rodrigues, ex-chairman of the Karnataka Planters’ Association.

The prevailing weather condition is likely to continue for the next week, according to an Indian Meteorological Department report. The minimum temperature recorded is between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius in some districts. In Madikeri, a minimum temperature of 9.3 degrees Celsius was recorded on Tuesday, seven degrees lower than normal. It was the same case in Belgaum, Bellary, Bijapur, Gadag, Madikeri and Raichur.

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