Apple Farming Information Detailed Guide

Apple Farming Information Detailed Guide:

Today, we learn the topic of apple farming in India. It also covers apple planting methods, apple cultivation practices.

Apple farming
Apple farming.

Introduction of Apple:

Apple fruit is the oldest and commercially the most important temperate fruit and is fourth among the most widely produced fruits in the world after orange, banana, and grape. China is the largest apple producer in the world. In India, it is mostly grown in Kashmir, hills of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh. Apple cultivation also extended to Nagaland, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya. Apples are mostly consumed as fresh fruit but a small part of the production is processed into jellies,  juices,  canned slices, candies.

Health Benefits of Apple:

Apple Orchard.
Apple Orchard.

Top 4 health benefits of taking apple daily.

  1. Apple aids in brain health.
  2. Apples reduce the risk of stroke or heart disease.
  3. Eating apples may reduce the risk of Type-2 Diabetes.
  4. Apples have a number of properties that can help reduce the risk of cancer.

Read: Snakehead Fish Farming in India.

Commercial Varieties of Apple:

Below listed are some of the commercially cultivated varieties of Apples in India.

Category Varieties
Clonal rootstocks M7,M 9, M 26, MM 11, MM 106
Scab-resistant Florina, Macfree, Nova Easy Grow, Prima, Priscilla, Sir Prize, Jonafree, Coop 12, Coop 13 (Redfree), Firdous, Nova Mac, Liberty, Freedom, Shireen.
Hybrids Lal Ambri (Red Delicious x Ambri), Ambred (Red Delicious x Ambri), Sunehari (Ambri x Golden Delicious), Chaubattia Princess, Chaubattia Anupam (Early Shanburry x Red Delicious), Ambrich (Richared x Ambri), Ambroyal (Starking Delicious x Ambri).
Low Chilling Anna, Tropical Beauty, Michal, Tamma, Vered, Neomi, Schlomit, Parlin’s Beauty.
Pollinizing Winter Banana, Granny Smith, Tydeman’s Early, Red Gold, Golden Delicious, Mc Intosh, Starkspur Golden, Lord Lambourne, Golden Spur.

Apple plant

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Climate required for Apple farming:

Apple can be grown at altitudes 1,500 m to 2,700 m. above sea level, in the Himalayan range which experience 1,000 to 1,500 hours of chilling or cooling (the number of hours during which temperatures remains at or below 70 C in winter season). The temperature during the apple growing season should be around 21 C to 24 C. For best growth and fruiting, apple trees need 100 cm to125 cm of annual rainfall, evenly spread throughout the year. Too much of rainfall and fog near the fruit maturity period would result in poor fruit quality with improper color development of fruit and fungal spots on the fruit surface. Apple cultivation is not suitable where the high velocity of winds are expected.

Soil requirement for Apple farming:

Apple cultivation is suitable in loamy soils with rich in organic matter and pH range of 5.5 – 6.5. Soil should not have water logging and soil with good drainage is ideal for apple farming.

Propagation in Apple farming:

Commercial  Apple propagation is done by budding and tongue grafting methods. The planting material needed in apple farming should be purchased only from the registered nurseries and  care should be taken care while transporting those.

What is the best time for Apple Plantation:

Apple planting is normally done in January and February months.

Himachal - apple orchard
Himachal – apple orchard.

Planting and Spacing in Apple farming:

The average number of plants in an area of one ha. may range from 200 to 1250. 4 different categories of planting density are implemented viz. low (less than 300 apple plants per hectare), moderate (300 to 500  apple plants per hectare), high (500 to 1300 plants per hectare) and ultra high density (more than 1300 plants per hectare). The combination of scion and rootstock variety determines the apple plant spacing and planting density unit area.

Planting Method in Apple farming:

Hexagonal (or) Square system of the plantation is followed in the valleys whereas the contour method is normally followed on the slopes. Apple plantation of pollinator species in between the main species is required for proper apple fruit setting. For the establishment of  Royal Delicious variety, plantation of Golden Delicious and Red Delicious as pollinators is recommended by the Horticulture Department. Dig pits of size 1 m x 1 m x 1 meter are prepared for planting in October to November month. In each pit, 30 kg to 40 kg of Farm Yard Manure (FYM), 500 grams of Single superphosphate and 50 grams of Malathion dust are added after mixing properly. follow one irrigation immediately after plantation.

Red apples - Plant
Red apples – Plant.

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Manures and Fertilization in Apple farming:

Farm Yard Manure (FMY) at 10 kg per year age of the tree is applied along with other fertilizers. The ratio of K, P, and N which is applied in an orchard of optimal fertility is 70:35:70 grams per year (age of the tree). After 10 years of tree age, the dose should be stabilized at 700:350:700 grams of K, P, and N per year. The standard fertilizer dose of K, P and N in an “off” year (when the crop load is low) is 400 grams. 250 grams and 500 grams respectively. For deficiency of boron, zinc, manganese, and calcium use appropriate application of fertilizer.

Intercultural Operations and Weed control in Apple farming:

Applying glyphosate @ 800 ml/ha. or Gammaxone/Paraquat (0.5% ) as the post-emergence herbicide will destroy the weed growth for 4 to 5 months.

Irrigation/Water supply in Apple farming:

The irrigation requirement in Apple farming is 115 cm/annum which should be scheduled in 14 to 20 watering/irrigations. In summer, watering should be provided at an interval of 6 to 10 days while in winter it is given at an interval of 3 to 4 weeks. At least 8 irrigations are required during the critical period April to August after fruit set.

Apple plantation
Apple plantation.

Training and pruning in Apple farming:

Timely training and pruning activity are required for proper growth and good quality of apples. The apple plants are trained as per growth habit and vigour of the rootstocks. The standard apple trees are trained on a modified central leader system to receive proper light.  This improves apple fruit color and also minimizes the effect of heavy snowfall and hail.  Spindle bush system is best suitable for high-density apple planting under mid hill conditions.

Read: Biofertilizers Advantages.

Inter cultivation in Apple farming:

Green manuring crops like bean and sunflower can be cultivated in the early years of apple planting in order to increase soil texture and nutrients of the soil.

Mulching in Apple farming:

Using of Oak leaves or dry grass found to be effective in conserving soil moisture.

Pests and Diseases in Apple farming:

The main pests in apple plantation are wooly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum), san Jose scale (Quadraspidiotus perniciosus), blossom thrips (Thrips rhopalantennalis), white scale (Pseudoulacaspis sp.), etc. Suitable intercultural operations Planting of resistant rootstocks, and spraying with fenitrothion,chloropyriphos, carbaryl, etc. have been found to be more effective in controlling the pests in apple plantation.

The main diseases found in apple farming are apple scab (Venturia inaequalis), collar rot (Phytophthora cactorum), crown gall (Agrobacterium tumefaciens),sclerotius blight (Sclerotium rolfsii), cankers, die-back diseases, etc. Apple plants that are resistant to the diseases should be used for cultivation. The infected plant parts should be destroyed. Apply carbendazim, copper oxychloride, mancozeb and other fungicides for controlling the diseases.

Disorders in Apple farming:

In apple planting, there are three distinct fruit drops, i) early drop resulting from unfertilized blossoms or unpollinated ii) Due to moisture stress and fruit competition in June there will be a drop iii) Pre-harvest drop. This drop can be controlled by spraying NAA at 10 ppm. (1 ml. of Planofix dissolved in 4.5 liters of water) about a week before the expected fruit drop.

Harvesting of Apples:

Harvesting of Apples.
Harvesting of Apples.

The Appletree start bearing from the 8th year. and the  From 8th to 17th year, apple productivity goes on increasing and afterward production remains constant up to 30 years. The level of apple productivity varies from elevation to elevation. Appletree life can be extended up to even 40 years depending upon the climatic condition. The Apple fruits are normally harvested before they are fully ripe.

Read: Kaju Cultivation Tips.

The yield of Apples:

The average yield of different apple varieties in Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh which is around 11 to 13 tonnes /hectare. In Uttaranchal state, the yield is reported as very low 5 to 6 tonnes/hectare.

Post Harvest Management activities in Apple farming:

Pre-cooling of Apples: The Apple fruits are placed in a ventilated cool place to remove field heat before packing them. Apple Surface must be free from moisture before grading, wrapping, and packing in cartons.

Grading of Apples: Grading of apples depends on fruit size and fruit appearance or quality. These grades are designated as A, B, C, A, AA., AAA  or fancy class I and fancy class II, extra fancy

Storage of Apples: Apple fruits have a long storage life compared to other fruits and can be stored for a period of 4 to 8 months after harvesting fruits can be kept in cold storage at a temperature of about 1.10 to 00 C and with 85-90% relative humidity.

Packing of Apples: Apples are normally packed in wooden boxes having the capacity to accommodate about 10 kg or 20 kg fruits.

Transport and Marketing of Apples:  Apples can be transported via trucks to the local market or Apples can also be marketed to local commission agents.

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  1. Sir, I want to know about the use of Epson salt and Baking Soda in apple farming. My son Mr. Aditya has an apple orchard in Himachal Pradesh at a height of 7000 Ft. Ph level varies from 6 to 7 or says 5.5 to 7. When it was bought the orchard had virtually turned into a Jungle but with the passage of time and properly manage now it looks like an orchard. Most of the trees which of Royal Delicious have now been uprooted and there appeared to have outlived their useful life. Now we have planted Spur varieties of apple on M111 Root stock and some of the plants are on the seedling. Grafting has already been done on almost all the plants. As for as possible we have not used any Chemical Fertilizers as yet nor we intend to use it either, we are solely dependent on Cow Dung Manure or other organic manures bought to from open market. I request you to kindly guide we people as to what are the natural agents which can help me in Organic Apple farming as we don’t want to use any chemical, so as to save eco-environment. I want to use Epson Salt for better growth of the newly planted plants. Please keep guiding and publish some thing on apple farming techniques

  2. Sir I have land around 5 hectares and at height of 2000 m in Himachal Pradesh. Please advise what should I plant apricot pear or apple orchard.


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