Aaqib Naik

‘Altetnaria Leaf Blotch’ damaging apple trees in Shopian

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Farmers worried, SKUAST conducts preliminary survey 

Shopian, 13 July: Apple growers in South Kashmir’s Shopian district are deeply concerned about the outbreak of a strange plant disease that damages the apple trees leaving huge scars on the leaves as the first indication of infection.

According to the Apple growers in Shopian, days after the recent rainfall in Kashmir, the leaf disease became evident on the leaves of apple trees. “Majority of the apple trees have come under the influence of this disease,” they added.

President Fruit Association Shopian, Mir Mohd Amin said, “The disease has affected almost 25-30% of apple trees and it is spreading very rapidly. High altitude apple orchards are showing very less indication of this leaf disease, but the low lying orchards are highly affected,” he added.

He further said that the, “Horticulture authorities are yet to take any notice of the disease, and we have no idea about how to stop this disease from spreading any further.”

Another apple grower, Arif Hussain while expressing his concern said that the trees were shedding leaves and thus the yield of fruits would be affected massively. “We have sprayed different types of chemicals but the disease remains unaffected,” he added.

While talking to Kashmir Images, Chief Horticulture Officer, Shopian, claimed that a team from SKAUST was assessing the situation and would come up with the controlling measures very soon.

“As per the preliminary examination of leaves, the team has identified the disease as ‘Altetnaria Leaf Blotch’ for which they have already provided the recommendations and scheduled sprays for its control.  The team of SKUAST has advised farmers to spray following chemicals for this disease:

  1. Trifloxystrobin25% + Tabuconzole 50%

2.Metiram 55% + pyroclostrobin 5%

  1. Zineb 68% + Hexacanzole 4%

“We have also advised the farmers to ensure proper drainage mechanism in their apple orchards as the water logging could also be the reason the ‘foliage’ damage,” he added.

When contacted Director Horticulture Manzoor Qadri said, “My department has already announced the precautionary measure for this disease.”

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