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Monday 17 June 2013


Scientist, Regional Sericultural Research Station, Miran Sahib, Jammu, India

Dr. Pandey graduated from the University of Allahabad and completed his Master’s degree in Botany in the year 1975. Before joining Central Silk Board in the year 1981, he completed his Ph. D. in Botany from the Banaras Hindu University in 1980. Currently he is a senior scientist at Regional Sericultural Research Station Miransahib,Jammu , INDIA. 
E mail:;  Phone: 09419107831, Fax: 01923 263339
RK. Pandey

Mulberry trees are grown in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in both temperate and sub-tropical zones for the production of silk cocoons by rearing silkworms on mulberry leaves in spring season (Dhar, 2011).  The productivity of silk cocoons at farmer level depends upon the availability of mulberry leaves. The natural calamities such as frost, snow fall, and hailstorm affect the availability of mulberry leaves at the time of rearing during March in Jammu region and during May in Kashmir Valley.  Ahanger et al., (2013) have reported reaction of mulberry germplasm to frost damage in Kashmir. In sub tropical Jammu region, hail storms in January and February damage crop plants by shredding thin leaves on plants and causing bruises and pockmarks. Almost every year agriculture department assesses damage to crop plants after hailstorm and Government compensates those farmers, who loose crop substantially. Broad-leaved plants such as mulberry are also severely damaged but no quantitative assessment has been reported so far. Successful plant recovery depends on the type of plant damaged, plant maturity and time in the season hailstorm occurred. Carefully assessing the damage is the first step, noting which varieties are damaged and which ones will survive becomes, as such imperative. In the present workdamage to young saplings of eight newly evolved Morus alba  varieties was evaluated after a heavy hailstorm that occurred at Jammu on 27th February, 2013
Stem Cuttings of eight new Morus alba varieties as shown in Table I, evolved by different Research Institutes, were planted in the last week of December under Randomised Block Design with six replications/variety at Regional Sericultural Research Station, Miransahib, Jammu in freshly prepared nursery containing well dried pulverized garden soil and well decomposed farm yard manure and maintained with consistent care (Jolly and Dandin, 1986).  The sprouting per cent was recorded 60 days after planting.  A violent hailstorm hit Jammu on 27th February at about 7: PM in which volleys of ice balls continued for about 18 minutes. The white stones of ice with their size ranging from two to three centimeters suddenly started hitting and considerably stripped off the young newly sprouted mulberry leaves.  The effect of hailstorm on young sprouted leaves was assessed on 5th March, 2013, nearly a week after the hailstorm.  The loss due to hailstorm was again calculated after 120 days to give sufficient time for recovery to the hail damaged saplings and record recovery, if any. The loss of sprouted saplings due to hailstorm was calculated, by subtracting per cent sprouted saplings after hailstorm from per cent sprouted saplings before hailstorm. The data collected was subjected to statistical analysis by adopting methods of analysis of variance appropriate to the design of the experiment (Sundarraj, 1972).
Fig.1.  Morus alba  var. S-1635, sprouted cuttings
The data presented in Table I shows that per cent sprouting of cuttings prior to hail damage was found to vary between 83.66 and 97.66. However, the initial sprouting differences among the varieties tested were non-significant before the hailstorm as per analysis of variance. One week after the hailstorm, it was observed that 29.84% sprouted leaves of variety S-1635 were damaged followed by 16.83% damage in S146, 11.66% in Vishala, 11.00% in C-2038, 8.17% in TR-10, 6.83% in Chak Mazra, 6.16% in FYT-99/G4 and 3.5% damage in Suvarna-2. It can be further seen from the Table-I that the recovery after hail damage was observed 7.67% only in S-1635 variety; whereas, none of other seven varieties could show any recovery after hail damage 

Table I: Effect of hailstorm on sprouted saplings of different Morus alba varieties

Young newly sprouted mulberry leaves become shredded, pock marked or ripped by hail. Hailstorm damage can severely decimate the leaf harvest for silkworm rearing in spring season.
An effort was made to assess the recovery after hail damage during February – March 2013 among eight Morus alba varieties at Regional Sericultural Research Station, Miransahib, Jammu. The damage was recorded as sprouting per cent after one week of the hailstorm and was compared with the sprouting % prior to hail damage. The recovery was assessed after 120 days of hail damage in terms of sprouting per cent. It was found that the hail damage was highest in S-1635 (29.84%), followed by S-146 (16.83), Vishala (11.66), C-2038 (11.00), TR-10 (8.17), Chak Mazra (6.83), FYT-99/G4 (6.16), and Suvarna-2 (3.5). However, it was only S-1635, which showed recovery of 7.67% after 120 days, while others showed further loss. Therefore, it is recommended to propagate Morus alba variety S-1635 at farmer’s level in sub tropical Jammu area.

Ahanger M.R., Ramegowda G.K., Illahi,I., Rizvi G., Dhar A. and Sahaf K.A.2013.  Reaction of Mulberry germplasm to frost damage in Kashmir.  Res. J. of Agri. Sci. 4(2), 180-183.
Dhar A. 2011. Mulberry sericulture in Jammu and Kashmir-An insight. Proc. workshop on Recent trends in development of bivoltine sericulture in Jammu and Kashmir.   29th October 2011, SKICC, Srinagar, Kashmir, pp7-13.
Jolly M.S. and Dandin S.B. 1986. Collection, Conservation and evaluation of mulberry (Morus spp) germplasm. CSR&TI Mysore, India .43.
Rajat Mohan, Tewary R., Dhar A., Singh S., Bhat M.M.  and Khan M.A. 2010. Sericulture & Environment are complimentary: Plantation of improved mulberry genotypes at different altitudes of Himanchal Pradesh.  The Bioscan, 1, 217-224.
Sundarraj G.L., Nagaraju M.N., Venkataramu and Jaganath. 1972.  Origin and analysis of field experiments. UAS, MISC .Series No.22, Bangalore, India, 424-440.

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