Under the scheme five fruit plant nutrition laboratories are working in the State at Navbahar, Kotkhai and Thanadhar in Shimla district, Dharamshala in Kangra district and Bajaura in Kullu district. In addition to this, two drying grinding units were set up in tribal areas of the State.
These units are set up in Reckong Peo in Kinnaur district and Bharmour in Chamba district. These laboratories have total analysis capacity of 25000 sample of leaves. Such new laboratory is being set up at Saloh in Una district. Besides providing facilities of analysing micro contents like iron, manganese, copper and zinc major nutrition contents like nitrogen, phasphorus, potash, calcium and magnesium are being provided in the laboratories.
During the year 2013-14, target of analysing total 12000 samples of leaves was fixed. During this period total 12199 samples were collected from different districts of the state and 7756 orchardists have been benefited from this service. In Shimla district, 2028 samples were analysised, 964 in Solan district, 1330 in Sirmaur district, 700 in Kinnaur district, 125 in Bilaspur district, 1438 in Kangra district, 705 in Hamirpur district, 699 in Una district, 1010 in Chamba district, 603 in Mandi district, 1636 in Kullu district and 138 samples of leaves were analysed in Lahaul-Spiti district.
Upto June, 2014 this year, total 3871 samples from different districts of the state were received in various laboratories out of which, 2775 samples were processed and 1117 samples were analysed. Necessary precautions should be taken for collecting the samples of leaves which includes uniformty of plants in particular area, condition of plants and also freshness of leaves before taking the sample to the laboratories.
The leaves should be collected from 1st July to 15th August or after flowering between 8 to 12 weeks from the middle parts of the branches of the deciduous fruit plants like apple, peach, cherry, pear, plum, apricot, almond etc. Precautions should be taken not to collect the leaves nearer to the fruit buds.
Growers of the state could take high yield and quality production by adopting this scheme which would be helpful in enhancing the economy.