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Strange weather ahead of Tet

Update: December, 20/2015 - 12:00

Strange weather seems to be carrying on and on.

Flowers are coming out earlier than usual.

Insects have been attacking plants.

None of this is good for farmers who are producing fruits and flowers for Tet.

However, they are trying their best to produce what people want.

Ochna blossoms are on sale on Thanh Thai street in HCM City. Gardeners in the Mekong Delta region who cultivate unique fruits and flowers in preparation for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) are suffering from low productivity due to unusual weather conditions.
Ochna blossoms are on sale on Thanh Thai street in HCM City. Gardeners in the Mekong Delta region who cultivate unique fruits and flowers in preparation for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) are suffering from low productivity due to unusual weather conditions. - VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai

HA NOI (VNS)— Gardeners in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region who cultivate unique fruits and flowers in preparation for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) are suffering from low productivity due to unusual weather conditions.

Phu Tri A agricultural extension club, located in Phu Tan ward in Chau Thanh district in the southern province of Hau Giang, specialises in moulding and carving grapefruits into the shape of bottle gourds (calabash), gold bullions, and maps of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands.

But this year, heavy rains have affected grapefruit growth. Grapefruit trees had shed their leaves, and flowers had blossomed sooner than usual, said Vo Trung Thanh, the club's leader.

The club's grapefruit garden has also been attacked by insects that destroyed 60 per cent of the fruits. Only one-third of 10,200 grapefruits have been shaped successfully, Nong Thon Ngay Nay (Countryside Today) reports.

Vo Hong Quoc, a club member, said he could only shape between 200 and 300 grapefruits this year, compared to 700 last year.

Quoc is also the owner of the biggest dao tien (crescentia cujete) garden in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region.

Due to the difficult shaping techniques and severe weather, the number of shaped dao tien this year will not meet market demands in the North, where this kind of fruit is highly favoured.

In Ninh Thoi ward in Cau Ke district of the southern province of Tra Vinh, only 400 grapefruits (half of the shaped fruits) were successfully created, compared to over 1,000 last year.

"The weather makes grapefruits unable to grow, although we have put down fertilisers and sprayed chemicals," said Bui Chi Linh, leader of Ninh Thoi ward's shaped grapefruits co-operative.

Early and late flower

Meanwhile, Ochna blossom growers also feel pessimistic about the flowers' early blooming this year.

Pham Van Hieu, a resident of Long Tuyen ward in Binh Thuy district of Can Tho city, said only about 500 trees were left in his garden, far fewer than the more than 1,000 trees in previous years.

Lunar New Year will occur in February, but ochna blossoms have already bloomed. On average, each tree has three to five clusters of flowers.

If the heat endured and rainfall was recorded, trees were expected to lose their leaves and flowers would continue to blossom, he said.

Cuc mam xoi (chrysanthemum morifolium) growers are also worried that their flowers would not blossom in time to be sold for the holiday.

Le Thi Hanh, a gardener from Vinh Thanh ward in Cho Lach District of the southern province of Dong Thap, said that only leaves had sprouted, but few flowers had bloomed. Growers have found spots on the leaves.

Gardeners in the region were trying to use methods to stimulate the flowers into blossoming, she said.

According to Bui Thanh Liem, head of the agriculture and rural development department of Cho Lach District, the poor harvest season is due not only to weather conditions, but also the result of seed degeneration throughout the seasons.

"We are studying to create new seeds in an attempt to mitigate the impacts of weather on productivity," Liem said. — VNS

GLOSSARY

Gardeners in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region who cultivate unique fruits and flowers in preparation for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) are suffering from low productivity due to unusual weather conditions.

 

To cultivate land means to prepare it for planting something in it.

If something is unique there is only one of it. In this case it is the types of fruits and flowers that are unique.

Phu Tri A agricultural extension club, located in Phu Tan ward in Chau Thanh district in the southern province of Hau Giang, specialises in moulding and carving grapefruits into the shape of bottle gourds (calabash), gold bullions, and maps of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands.

Moulding means making things into a certain shape.

Gold bullions are bars of gold.

But this year, heavy rains have affected grapefruit growth. Grapefruit trees had shed their leaves, and flowers had blossomed sooner than usual, said Vo Trung Thanh, the club's leader.

When flowers blossom, they open up and come out as fully developed flowers after having only been buds.

Quoc is also the owner of the biggest dao tien (crescentia cujete) garden in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region.

Every living thing, including plants that are known to science has a scientific name, which is in the ancient language called Latin. The first name tells the group of plants that a certain plant comes from and the second tells the specific plant in that group, which is also known as the species. 

Delta is the Ancient Greek letter for "D". It is written as a capital letter as a triangle. Some rivers around the world separate into many rivers as they end their journey to the sea. From the air, these rivers also take the shape of triangles, which is why a river mouth where  there are many channels spread over an area, is also called a delta.

Due to the difficult shaping techniques and severe weather, the number of shaped dao tien this year will not meet market demands in the North, where this kind of fruit is highly favoured.

Techniques are ways of doing things, using cleverness and skills.

Severe weather means harsh weather that can cause damage.

"The weather makes grapefruits unable to grow, although we have put down fertilisers and sprayed chemicals," said Bui Chi Linh, leader of Ninh Thoi ward's shaped grapefruits co-operative.

Fertilisers are chemicals, or broken down plants or animal dung – or a mixture of the two – that are added to soil to make it better to plant crops in.

Meanwhile, Ochna blossom growers also feel pessimistic about the flowers' early blooming this year.

When people are pessimistic, they believe that only the worst will come out of a situation.

If the heat endured and rainfall was recorded, trees were expected to lose their leaves and flowers would continue to blossom, he said.

If heat endures, it carries on and on and on being hot.

Cuc mam xoi (chrysanthemum morifolium) growers are also worried that their flowers would not blossom in time to be sold for the holiday.

Chrysanthemum Morifolium, like Crescentia Cujete, is the scientific name of a certain type of plant.

Le Thi Hanh, a gardener from Vinh Thanh ward in Cho Lach district of the southern province of Dong Thap, said that only leaves had sprouted, but few flowers had bloomed.

When leaves sprout, they start growing out of the young parts of the plant.

Gardeners in the region were trying to use methods to stimulate the flowers into blossoming, she said.

To stimulate means to encourage.

According to Bui Thanh Liem, head of the agriculture and rural development department of Cho Lach District, the poor harvest season is due not only to weather conditions, but also the result of seed degeneration throughout the seasons.

Degeneration means a loss of, or a drop in, quality.

"We are studying to create new seeds in an attempt to mitigate the impacts of weather on productivity," Liem said.

To mitigate means to make something bad less serious and less painful.

How weather impacts on productivity means how it affects productivity.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

1.      Lunar New Year will happen next April.

2.      Crescentia cujete is the scientific name of the Cuc mam xoi plant.

3.      The Hoang Sa islands are also known as the Spratly islands and the Truong Sa islands are also known as the Paracel islands.

4.      Le Thi Hanh works as a gardener.

5.      Ninh Thoi is in Tra Vinh province.

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2015










































 1. False; 2. False; 3. False; 4. True; 5. True.

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