Another spell of snow in HP, better apple production expected

Posted By: Pti
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Dharamsala, Jan 17 (PTI) A fresh spell of snowfallalong with blocked roads and icy cold conditions affectednormal life in Himachal Pradesh, even as the weather boostedchances of bountiful apple yield in the state.

High hills in Kangra, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Chamba andKinnaur districts experienced moderate spell of snow thismorning, Met officials said here today.

After three days of rain and snow, weather had clearedon Sunday, but blocked roads and sub-zero temperatures inhigher reaches of the state affected normal life.

All roads beyond Shimla were blocked due to heavysnow, while traffic to Manali, Mecleodganj and Chail is stillnot approved for normal traffic.

Widespread snowfall in apple-growing areas of thestate has brightened the prospects of a bumper crop productionlater this year too.

Regular snow and rain have sufficiently increased themoisture content in the soil that helps apple plant getnutrients, officials said.

Snow is considered as white manure for the appleorchards. The state had a record yield of apples last yearwith 4.46 crore boxes of 20 kg each.

S P Bhardwaj, a former joint director at Solan-basedDr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, saidduring dormancy the apple crop requires 1,000 to 1,600 hoursof chilling with temperature at 7 degrees Celsius or less.

Frequent spells of snow will enable the crop to getthe temperature well in advance. The extended chilling periodis beneficial to the crop during blooming and fruition, hesaid, adding, these spells of snow are also good for fruitcrops like peach, plum, apricot and almond.

Met office has predicted more snow later this month.

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