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SRINAGAR — Apple growers in south Kashmir are very much concerned about the outbreak of Alternaria leaf blotch in orchards, causing huge scars on the leaves of trees.

According to apple growers, the disease became evident on the leaves and trees spread over vast tracts of land after recent incessant rains.

Aafaq Ahmad, a grower from Pulwama, said that trees are shedding leaves and it could hit the yield of fruits. “We have sprayed different types of insecticides but still the disease is spreading rapidly,” he said, as per news agency Kashmir News Observer.

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Meanwhile, authorities have issued an advisory, asking orchardists to ensure proper orchard sanitation.

“In view of the recent rains followed by prevailing hot and dry weather conditions, most of the apple plantations are experiencing physiological stress, giving rise to Necrotic Leaf Blotch/Apple Lenticle Blotch/Yellowing of seaves and minor incidences of Alternaria Leaf Blotch as well,” reads an advisory.

It added, “All the apple farmers are advised to adopt measures to check the adverse effects of prevailing weather conditions which includes ensuring proper orchard sanitation, ensuring removal of green grass/weeds growing in their orchards, especially under the tree canopy, ensuring proper basin management and mulching with straw/grass/mulching film under the tree canopy for soil moisture conservation and addition to this, ensure spray of any one of the fungicides during early morning hours before any fresh rains are received.”

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The recommended fungicides as per advisory includes Metiram 55% + Pyraclostrobin 5% 60WG: 100gm per 100 litres of water, Zineb 68% + Hexaconazole 4% 72WP 150gm, Mancozeb-75WP 300gm, Zineb-75WP 300gm and Propineb-70WP 300gm per 100 hundred litres of water.

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