Comparative yield gaps, weather impact and constraint analysis in saffron heritage site of Pampore Kashmir India

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Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
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Doi: 10.1007/s42535-024-00893-5
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Keywords: Weather, Safe limits module, Production, Saffron


Abstract


This paper aimed to develop an ideal twelve-month weather module ensuring stable production based on congenial average weather data observed at different development stages. Descriptive statistics revealed that mean saffron yield obtained during 2023, 2022, and 2013 (26.7 g/50 m2) designated as excellent yielders were significantly different from 2017, 2014 designated as poor yielders (6.7 g/50 m2). Excess or deficit precipitation was responsible for saffron production loss, resulting in hormonal crosstalk leading to flower abortion or forced sub-hysteranthus characteristics of saffron. Saffron yield depended not only on the quantity of available water but also on the time of availability. For best flower yields, the crop should receive 40% (35–38 mm) water in the sprouting phase (September) and 60% (52–62 mm) water in the flowering preparatory phase (October). The study confirmed that flower initiation started as and when the day temperature reached around 20°c and the night temperature reached around 2.5°c. The plant attains full bloom with further decline in temperature (maximum temperature of 18.6°c and mean minimum temperature of 1.25°c). Saffron, under temperate conditions, on average, received 1044.9 h to 1170 h of chilling to induce vernalization. The study confirms that the amount of chilling hours received by the crop is not the decisive factor for the quantum of saffron flowering but is a precursor for vernalization. The excess precipitation accompanied by high relative humidity during maturation and senescence can cause corm rot initiation, leading to corm death and, thus, affecting the corm population/unit area. It could be a cause of poor flowering in poor yielders. Weather parameters recorded during the flower ontogenesis period recorded 104% excess precipitation (270.9 mm) over poor yielders (132.7 mm), and thus, besides other reasons, can be a cause of poor yields observed during 2014 and 2017.


Weather, Safe limits module, Production, Saffron


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Acknowledgements


The authors acknowledge support rendered by the Ministry of Agriculture Govt of India under the National Saffron Mission. The authors acknowledge Spices Board Cochin’s support for publishing this paper. Support of MET observatory SKUAST-K for providing weather data is fully acknowledged.


Author Information


Nehvi F. A.
Regional Office Spices Board, Srinagar, India
f.nehvi@rediffmaiul.com
Gautum Ashutosh
Regional Office Spices Board, Srinagar, India


Qayoom Sameera
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Srinagar, India


Kanth Rehana Habib
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Srinagar, India


Elai B. A.
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Srinagar, India

Dar N. A.
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Srinagar, India

Nasir Sabeena
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Srinagar, India

,
Nagoo Shahina A
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Srinagar, India

Khan M. H.
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Srinagar, India

Mir G. H.
Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Srinagar, India