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Ooty tea gardens hit by severe frost.

INDIA -- According to a report recently published by The Hindu, a severe frost has become a major source of concern in many tea gardens.

Joint director of Horticulture, Nilgiris, R. Selvaraj told The Hindu that the harsh winter has taken many by surprise. The cultivable area of 80,000 hectares in six taluks of the district, and 60,000 hectares were devoted to tea. Many tea gardens in four taluks were affected by the frost. Out of 17,000 hectares in Udhagamandalam and Kundah taluks, 700 hectares in Nanjanad, Yedakkad, Ithalar, Nunthala and Kodhumudi were affected.

In Kotagiri taluk, 100 hectares out of 12,000 hectares in Nedugula and Milidhane were hit. In Coonoor taluk, out of 11,000 hectares, 102 hectares in Thambatty, Ketti, Palada, Katteri and Selas were affected.

Selvaraj, however, clarified that only traditionally frost-prone areas were affected. Assistant director of Horticulture, J. Haldorai said the yield in most of the frost-hit tea estates was likely to come down by 50%.

It is feared that if the present trend continued, per hectare loss would be about Rs. 16,000. A study of the records maintained by the department of horticulture showed that after a gap of about six years the hill station was experiencing a severe frost. Small tea growers had been advised to go for plant protection measures.
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Title Annotation:World News: Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Line
Comment:Ooty tea gardens hit by severe frost.(World News: Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Line)
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Jan 1, 2007
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