The dipping mercury in grape growing areas has also brought down the farmers’ expectations from their produce with it. As the weather gets considerably cold, it may cause the grape crops — which are in their production stage — to suffer in a way that shrinks the size of the fruit, grape growers said.
The minimum temperature required for table grapes to grow in a healthy way is anywhere till 10 degrees Celsius, not below that, experts said. But the temperature has gone down to as low as 2.5 degrees Celsius in Sangli, Nashik and other prime areas with weather conditions conducive for growing grapes. Experts claim the continuation of such weather will badly impact the crops, which might affect yield.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Vijay Gadakh, Nashik division president of Maharashtra State Grape Growers' Association, said, “The metabolism rate of the crop goes down in extremely low temperatures.
The crop fails to perform the crucial photosynthesis process, affecting its growth. Also, the size of the grape does not increase because of the extreme weather.”
“The temperature usually dips in the night and rises during afternoon, which is what the grape crops need. This time, it remained the same throughout the day. We are hopeful the temperature will rise in the coming week, but if it does not, the crop is going to get spoilt. We’ll just have to wait and watch,” he said.
Asked if the wine grapes will be affected, Gadakh said, “Wine grapes will not be affected. Since they are crushed, how the grape looks is not important. It is the table grapes that will be hit badly,” he added.
Confirming the same Jagdish Holkar, chairman, Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB) said, “Wine grapes are not yet affected by the bad weather. We have not received any complaints from farmers yet.”