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Snowfall cheers apple growers in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla, Sat, 17 Dec 2011 ANI

Shimla, Dec 17 (ANI): The recent snowfall in Himachal Pradesh has lightened up the faces of apple growers, as they expect to have a bumper crop this season.


The higher reaches of the Himalayas and intermittent rain in foothills of the state, including Shimla, Kasauli, Kufri, Palampur and Chamba districts received mild snowfall in the first week of December.


Farmers say that the dip in temperature, owing to the widespread snowfall in various parts of the state, has lightened up the prospects of a good apple yield.


"As it snowed and rained very early this year, we hope the chilling requirements for the apple trees would be met. We hope for a good yield this year. If chilling requirements are met there are 100 percent chances of a bumper crop. As this year, it has started from December itself, we expect snowfall and rains till March, which is beneficial for apple plants," said Harinder Chauhan, an apple grower.


Snow is often said to be white manure for apple trees.


According to the State Horticulture department, regular snow and rain increases moisture contents in soil helping apple trees to absorb nutrients in the pre-flowering season.


"If you see the present sudden change in weather with this rainfall and we do expect more in future. Since the rain and snow has started so early this year, there are chances of a good yield," said Deputy Director, Shimla Horticulture, H R Sharma.


The apple is usually dormant in December. The plants begin flowering pink-buds in April.


Almost 100,000 hectares of land in the Himachal Pradesh, including districts of Shimla, Kullu, Kinnaur, Mandi and Chamba, are under apple production. (ANI)


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