Failure of summer rain said to be the cause
Rising temperature and summer monsoon spells this year will result in the price of mangoes going up, said Periyasamy, Joint Director, Horticulture department, here on Monday.
Due to above normal temperature, blooming of flowers affected the mango production in the district this year. Normally, during the summer season, two spells of rain occurred, helping the mangoes to ripen.
Due to the scorching heat, premature blooming of flowers occurred in 90 per cent of the orchards in the district.
Only 10 per cent of the farmers used ground water irrigation.
This year mangoes were cultivated on 40,120 hectares in the district, which is 1000 to 1500 hectares less than last year.
The break-up mango cultivation in the district is as follows: Bargur 11,500 hectares, Kaveripattinam _ 6508, Krishnagiri _ 4800, Shoolagiri _ 3900, Uthangarai _ 3700, Mathur _ 4300, Veppanahalli _ 2500, Hosur _ 900, Kelamangalam _ 1020, Thalli _ 1150. Of these, 35,000 hectares depended on rain-fed irrigation only.
The average yield per hectare last year was 7.29 metric tonnes while the total mango production was 2, 92,475 tonnes.
Due to failure of rains this year, mango production may go down by 25 to 30 per cent, Mr. Periyasamy said.
Senthura, Alphonsa, Bengaloora, Himam Pasand, Kalapad, Malgoa and Malligai were the main varieties of mangoes cultivated in this region.
Farmers are now worried about enormous losses if there is a subsequent dip in temperature.
Experts believe that high temperature may have had an impact on the trees.
An agriculture scientist at the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University told The Hindu that due to failure of summer showers, the flowers as well as the immature mangoes would wither away due to prolonged dry condition.
Farmer K. Chakravarthy, cultivating mangoes in six acres, in Parandapalli Panchayat, said he lost almost 90 per cent yield this year, as the flowers withered due to the abnormal heat conditions.
The price of Bengaloora and Senthura, sold for around Rs. 20 to Rs. 25 last year, may go up to Rs. 40 this year in Krishnagiri district, said an official attached to the Agriculture Department.