Pulwama : Experts have urged farmers to avoid use of plant growth regulators (PGRs) in apple orchards for fruit set.
They cautioned that spraying PGRs for fruit set adversely affects the physiology of the apple tree.
The experts advised orchardists to work on pollinizers and pollinators instead of using synthetic hormones. Director Extension Shar e Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology Kashmir (SKUAST-K), Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi, said that PGRs are used for particular cases and that the varsity doesn’t generally recommend their use for fruit set because it has adverse effect on the crop.
“We encourage orchardists to increase number of polliniser plants in their orchards instead of using synthetic hormones,” he said, adding that PGRs can be used in some special cases.
Dr Jehangir, Pomologist, Krishi Vigyan Kendra ( KVK), Malanpora, said that use of PGRs in apple orchards result in the formation of false fruit due to incomplete fertilization.
“Such fruits lack fully developed seeds and as result suffer premature falling till harvesting season,” he said. He added that as a result of application of PGRs an apple tree bears more fruits than it can support under normal conditions.
“Bearing large number of fruits beyond its potential affects normal health of the tree ,” he said, adding that the tree struggles to supply nutrients to all the fruits. “The fruits remain under size due to diminished nourishment,” he said.
He advised orchardists to plant 10 to 20 percent polliniser tree varieties in their orchards. He also suggested using natural pollinators like honey bees for pollination. Rising Kashmir learnt that gullible orchardists fall prey to various pesticide sellers who recommend PGRs for better crop. As per a rough estimate more than 30 per cent orchardists have already sprayed PGRs in their orchards in Pulwama district while many more are preparing to follow the suit.
Experts advised orchardists not to fall prey to these people and consult specialists before taking such decisions