As Temperature Drops, SKUAST-K and IMD Issue Advisory to Farmers, Poultry and Fisheries

Srinagar, November 9: Considering a drop in temperature and possible snowfall in Kashmir, Agro Field Unit Srinagar, Agro Unit SKUAST-K and Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) have issued an advisory for saffron, vegetables, apple trees, poultry, sericulture and fisheries, and called on farmers to take precautionary measures.

The advisory instructed farmers to maintain proper drainage channels in the field to avoid water stagnation in the case of rabi crops like wheat, oats, peas, lentils, etc.

For fodder crops, the advisory called on farmers to maintain adequate drainage channels in fields to avoid water stagnation. Similarly, saffron and vegetable growers have been advised to maintain drainage channels in the field to avoid water stagnation.

Regarding apple trees, it is specified that in the event of heavy snowfall, shake the trees to immediately remove the snow from the branches and crotch.

“Provide adequate support for limbs/plants that are not strong enough to support the snow load. To prevent tilting of fruit trees, reduce canopy load by pruning and providing support. If the trees are partially uprooted, slowly return the trees to their original position after intensive pruning and provide adequate support to the main trunk to prevent further fall,” he said.

With regard to cattle or cows, the notice said farmers should pay particular attention to maintaining the appropriate temperature in barns.

“Pasture grazing should be timed during the cool hours of the day, i.e. early morning and late evening. During the hot hours of the day, animals should be housed in sufficiently spacious and well-ventilated sheds or in open, shady places with clean, cold water,” he said.

The advisory suggested that dairy cattle should be fed high quality forage and feed with added minerals, particularly sodium, potassium and magnesium, as well as extra fats. “Feeding frequency should be increased with total calibrated feed provided in proportionately reduced amounts to ensure adequate intake with the least spoilage,” he said.

With regard to sheep and goats, he advised proper sanitation in and around pens/sheds while animal sleeping quarters should be kept clean and dry. “Avoid mixing herds to prevent the spread of disease. Supplement concentrates/livestock feed in addition to normal grazing on available pasture. Correct dosage of anthelmintics should be done according to the needs of the region. Be very careful to maintain the correct temperature in animal shelters,” he added.

The advisory asked poultry owners to take extra precautions to maintain an appropriate temperature in poultry houses given the drop in temperatures, while the appropriate temperature inside poultry houses is important.

“Too high temperature inside the shed can cause dehydration of the chicks while too low temperature can cause chicks to bunch together. ascites in birds,” he said.

“Adequate humidity in the shed must be ensured to prevent clumping of litter. Provide drinking water to birds. Use water sanitizers and acidifiers if necessary. Store food in well-ventilated rooms away from moisture to prevent spoilage. Strictly adhere to the immunization schedule for common diseases,” the notice reads.

For floriculture, the advisory asked farmers to maintain proper drainage channels in the field to avoid water stagnation while continuing to plant spring flowering bulbs like tulips, irises, daffodils, etc. “The transplanting of winter-flowering annuals can be continued. Prune trees and shrubs to avoid damage from heavy snowfall in winter. Make preparations for the protection of indoor plants during the winter season,” he said.

Regarding the maintenance of beekeeping, he suggested the extraction of honey from colonies. “Keep enough food in the colonies for the winter. Remove the super from the colonies. Move settlements from hilly areas to plains,” he said.

For sericulture, it has been specified since the end of the second commercial breeding of silkworms, breeders are advised to ensure complete disinfection of breeding rooms and breeding equipment. “Farmers should dismantle cheap livestock hutches and keep the various hutch accessories under the well-covered shed for future use. Complete sun drying of the cocoons should be ensured before storage to avoid any fungal damage to the cocoons,” he added.

With regard to mushroom cultivation, it has been suggested that the first harvest of button mushrooms should be done 25-30 days after casing and that the commercial culture should be harvested up to 30-45 days. “After mushroom harvesting, husk material should be added and gently pressed to level the holes formed due to mushroom harvesting,” he said.

With regard to fishing, the advice suggested that during the rainy season avoid direct entry of silt into the pond/canal and regularly examine the water quality to avoid stressing the fish. “Monitor fish swimming pattern, bring diseased samples to Aquaclinic in Rangil Ganderbal Faculty of Fisheries. In case of fish kills, connect to Aqua-clinic via Android Fish Health app to get help and advice,” he said.

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