The prolonged severe cold and foggy conditions in the country have damaged the off-season tunnel crops, mostly vegetables and mango trees, Director General Punjab Agriculture Extension Services Dr Anjum Ali told Business Recorder here on Sunday.
He said the persistent severe winter weather conditions can create many problems for crop plants jeopardising their health and even their lives. The frost can significantly damage different parts of the plants resulting in low agricultural productivity.
He said normally the off season tunnel crops grown are cucumber, tomatoes, summer squashes, pepper and sweat pepper. Tunnel farming is gaining popularity, and being practiced in many areas of Punjab like, Faisalabad, Mamokanjan, Gujranwala, Okara, Sahiwal.
Experts say that during foggy seasons the plant leaves remain wet for longer period and there are more chances for dissemination of diseases. The optimum temperature range for tunnels production should not be less than 10c in coldest months of December and January.
Dr Ali said mango trees are amongst the most cold sensitive fruit plants . Low temperatures cause far more damage to leaves and twigs of the plant than high temperatures.
However, he said other winter crops including wheat, grams, mustards etc are in good condition so far. Wheat has been over 16.4 million acreage which is 2.6 percent more than previsions year in the province.
Weather forecast for today:
In its daily weather forecast for today (Monday) Meteorological department said that mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country. Severe cold wave would continue to prevail over upper parts of Balochistan, KP and Gilgit-Baltistan. Dense foggy conditions would continue over plains of Punjab, Peshawar, Sukkur and Larkana divisions.
During the next 48 hours the weather would be mainly cold ans dry in most parts of the country. Severe cold wave would continue to prevail over upper parts of Balochistan, KP and Gilgit-Baltistan. Dense foggy conditions would continue over plains of Punjab, Peshawar, Sukkur and Larkana divisions.
Weather remained very cold & dry in most parts of the country on Sunday Foggy conditions prevailed in plain areas of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and sukkur division. The coldest places in the country were: Skardu -14°C, Astore -13°C, Kalat, Hunza, Kalam and Parachinar-10°C, Gilgit-08°C, Quetta-07°C, Sibbi, Rawalakot and Dir= 05°C