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Experts fear chill may harm vegetable crops

Say potato yield may go down if cold wave persists for another week.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: February 10, 2012 4:49:57 am

The current spell of statewide cold wave is likely to damage vegetable crops like potatoes,bottle gourd,chillies and tomatoes.

Meteorologists say if the extreme cold conditions persist for another week or so,the yield of tomato in Deesa belt,which is known for the best quality of potatoes,would go down.

The minimum temperature in Deesa and nearby areas was recorded at -1.5 degree Celsius on Wednesday night. Agriculture department officials said an area of about 31,000 hectares is under potato cultivation in Deesa.

Anand Agriculture University (AAU) Vice-Chancellor A M Sheikh said that unirrigated vegetable crops would be the most affected in the areas where the temperature had gone down below five degrees.

Explaining how it would affect the crops,Sheikh said the water in capillaries of the plant leaves gets frozen when the night temperature goes below five degree Celsius and it increases volume that results in rupture of the capillaries. This completely stops water supply to the leaves and ultimately the plants dry up.

To protect the crops,he said farmers should irrigate the crops or use methods like burning grass around the vegetable farms in the night to maintain the required temperature.

According to meteorologists,castor and cotton crops would not be affect much due to the cold wave.

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