Multan - Agriculture experts have warned farmers against the threat posed by frosty weather to their orchards and advised them to adopt precautionary measures while closely monitoring the mercury fluctuation on the Celsius scale to avoid damage.

An agriculture spokesman said in a statement on Thursday that extreme weather conditions, be it hot or cold, damage orchards of lychee, papaya, lemon, banana, mango and others and compromise production and quality of fruit.

Farmers should remain cautious in December, January and instal a thermometer at a height of five feet that would be sufficient to assess temperature of four hectares area. Farmers should expect frost when lowest temperature drop to 0.5 C. Or else, they can opt for a traditional technique of a bowl or wide utensil containing half inch water. It be kept inside the field and growers should expect frost at night if the water in the utensil starts freezing in the evening.

Upon expectations of frost, growers should instal sticks of some fodder plants like ‘Jantar’ around each plant and then cover the structure with polythene or husk (Parali). Growers should avoid putting husk or polythene around plants without structure of sticks. Some growers think that cultivating banana or fodder crops around orchards will save plants from frost. This technique may save the plants from frost but will also consume food and thus leave the plants of orchards weaker. Growers can also prevent hazards of frost by water application, a technique that can be beneficial in case of mango, guava and citrus orchards. Frost can also be tackled with the help of smoke created by burning husk or grass after pouring used furnace oil around the orchards. Growers should also listen to the weather reports aired by Radio daily to adopt proper techniques against frost.