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Untimely flowering of mango trees spells disaster for growers

Chowda Reddy Srinivaspur, Oct 8, 2012, DHNS

Result of climate changes and temperature variations: Experts

 Mangoes which once flowered in profusion in the taluk seem to have missed their biological clock.

Instead of flowering in Summer, mango blossoms can now be seen in September and October, which has bewildered and surprised many growers here. The later flowering has also placed many growers in a dilemma because the ‘mango season’ officially ended in June.

According to growers, the flowering of the trees occur only in December and January. One grower explained that raw mangoes developed during this month, can often be sold for a good price in the markets. “They often turn into buds and blossom into raw mangoes, which are popularly attributed as the produce of the Karthik month. More precisely such a flowering is called the ‘winter produce,’” he said, but added sometimes the yield is so small that it is usually left in the trees to be devoured by animals and birds. “Or most of them are consumed by the curious cow herds who visit the groves while grazing their cattle,” he said.

But if the winter yield is comparatively better, the growers sell the fruit. “However, such mangoes are good only to prepare pickle,” the farmer said.

Agricultural officials, however warned that, “The mango growers are least bothered about these minor deviations in the patterns of mango cultivation. Hence, they are least bothered about even safeguarding their trees from such minor changes in the cultivations.”

Changes in pattern

Officials also expressed confusion that this later flowering of mangoes has come at a time between the normal and the ‘winter produce’ seasons. “The flowering is taking place just a couple of months before the proper flowering season, which is due to take place between December and January.”

Mango grower R Manjunath Reddy expressed fears that the late flowering will alter normal growing patterns. “If all mango trees start flowering on a large scale, then what shall be the fate of the mango fruits this season? One of the reasons which can be attributed for the untimely flowering of the mango trees could be the long spell of drought. This year, the taluk has hardly received any rainfall. The taluk is witnessing a dry season even during the monsoon. All these factors might have ushered in a change in the crop pattern.”

Soaring temperatures during the monsoon may have contributed to the late blosoms. Senior Assistant Director of Taluk Horticulture Department B M Mallikarjun Babu said that the flowering may be nature’s way of reacting to weather abnormalities. “If only there are good rains in future, then the flowers will not wither and they will continue to sustain and grow into strong pods and then into green mangoes. But if rains fail, then the flowers will be forced to turn into pods and wither away soon from trees,” he said.

At the present time, the taluk has a condusive setting for a good spell of rains. There are reports of good rainfall at certain places too. If the situation continues, then the temperatures may dip — which may halt the later flowering, Babu added.

Some experts believe that the late blooming can be turned to the grower’s advantage. “A good yield can offer a good price, as long as the growers take proper measures to safeguard the trees,” said N Shriramareddy, an experienced mango grower from Manigaanahalli village.

 

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