Coconut-coimbatore

    05
  
 The coconut palm eulogized as "Kalpavriksha" is one of the most valuable gifts of nature to mankind. It serves as a veritable source of food and drink to million of people in the tropics. India produces about 10.148 Mmt of Coconut from an area of 1.903 Mha with an average productivity of 5.3 mt/ha. Major producing states are Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. 
   
  
 There are 2 types of varieties of coconuts, e.g. tall and dwarf. The tall palms are most commonly cultivated. They grow to a height of 25-30m, the pre-bearing age being 6-10 years. 
   
  
 Anandaganga, Chandrakalpa (LO), Chandralaksha, Chandrasankara, Kerasankara, Keraganga, Lakshaganga, Philippines Ordinary, Pratap (BGR), VHC1, VHC2, ECTxGB. 
   
 Agro climatic conditions suitable for the crop:
 
 Coconut can be successfully cultivated up to 600m above mean sea-level, though it is cultivated even above 900m. Well-distributed rainfall of 800-2,500mm/year is ideal. To get highest yield mean annual temperature of 27°C with a diurnal variation of 50.7°C is optimum. The humidity should be 80-90%. 
   
  
 Laterite, lateritic red, sandy, alluvial sandy, alluvial coastal, & black soils are good for cultivation 
   
  
 The preparation of land for field planting depends upon topography, soil type and water table. Adequate drain¬age is also necessary in the initial years in waterlogged areas so that the roots of coconut palms do not come in contact directly with water. In waterlogged areas, coconut should be planted on raised mounds or bunds. 
   
  
 Planting season is from June- July, December- January. The planting can also be taken up in other season wherever irrigation and drainage facilities are available. 
   
  
 Treat the soil with formalin (commercial formulation 37%) at the rate of 20ml/lit of water and apply 2 lit/cu.ft. Then the medium should be covered with polyethylene sheet (25 micron black polythene film) for 14 to 36 hours and aerated for 15 days. 
   
  
 Select seed nuts from high yielding middle-aged mother palms giving not less than 100 nuts per year. Keep them in shade, arrange them in layers, and cover with sand and sprinkle water on the heaps regularly to prevent drying of nuts in storage. Planting of nuts horizontally in the nursery may be done in June or July after the onset of monsoon at a spacing of 30 x 30 cm. 
   
  
 Select vigorously growing seedlings characterized by early germination, good girth at the collar, more number of functional leaves and early splitting of leaflets, at the age of about nine to twelve months. 
   
  
 Use 9-12 months old seedlings for planting, in pits dug to a dimension of 1x1x1 meter and fill the pit to a height of two feet (60 cm) with 10 kg of FYM, red earth and sand mixed in equal proportions and 30 to 60 g of 5% carbaryl. Add sand to this mixture if the soil is heavy black clay. Give a spacing of 8 x 8 m for hybrids and tall varieties in the main field.  
   
  
 
16 LpdFirst year
30-35 LpdSecond year
64 -80 LpdThird year onwards
 
   
  
 
Irrigation SystemOnline System
Lateral Spacing7.5 m
Dripper Spacing7.5 m
Dripper Discharge   8.0 Lph
 
   
  
 Monthly once fertigation has been given 
   
  
 
AgeMay-JuneSeptember-October
NP205KNP2O5K2O
First year---5040135
Second year504013511080270
Third year11080270220160540
Fourth year on wards170120400330200800
 
   
  
 Mulching with 100 micron thickness with 2x2m size of black polythene mulch around the trunk is recommended for effective control of weeds. 
   
  
 Pine apple, banana, elephant foot yam, groundnut, chillies, sweet potato and tapioca can be raised in coconut gardens until the palms attain a height of 5 to 6 meters. In older plantations, cocoa, Pepper, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg can be grown as mixed crop.
 
   
  Pest 
   
  
 Attack on spathe causes wilting of inflorescence, Use biocontrol agents like Baculovirus of Oryctes and entomogenous fungus Metarhizium anisoplia. 
   
  
 Presence of hole, oozing out of a viscous fluid, presence of chewed up fibres etc. The cut injuries, if any, may be treated with coaltar + Carbaryl. The timely curative insecticidal treatment of affected palms with 0.1% Endosulfan! Dichlorvos or 1% Carbaryl saves the palm. 
   
  
 Caterpillars feed on undersur¬face of leaflets protected in silken galleries and present a burnt look. Application of a low residual insecticide like Dichlorvos (0.2%) or EndosulfanlMalathion (0.05%) is useful. 
   
  
 The foliage mites colonize the foliage and suck the leaf sap. 0.05% DimethoatelDicofol or 0.2% wettable sulphur can be applied. 
   
  
 The rats cause extensive damage to tender nuts. Use live or death traps. Remove weed growth and accumulated debris. Use anticoagulant bromodiolone (0.005%). Poison baiting with zinc phosphide (mixing 95 parts of raw rice, 3 parts of coconut oil and 2 parts of zinc phosphide).
 
   
  
 
Abnormal bending or ribbing of leaflets (flaccidity), general yellow¬ing, necrosis of leaflets are the symptoms. Removal of the affected palms and replanting with hybrids.
 
   
  
 Yellowing of one or two young leaves surrounding the Spindle. The curative measures are, Prophylactic spray of Bordeaux mixture (1%) during pre-and post-monsoon periods, removal of the rotten tissues, brushing with Bordeaux paste (10%) and covering with a polythene sheet.
 
   
  
 Withering followed by yellowing and drooping of outer whorl leaves, root decay and bole rot, appearance of bleeding patches at the base of the stem .The palm dies within 6 months to 2 years. Application of balanced dose of NPK fertilizers and neem cake (5kg/palmlyear) in addition to 50kg organic manures.  
   
  
 Exudation of reddish-brown liquid through cracks on the trunk later start decaying. Remove the affected tissues using a chisel and dress the wounds with hot coal tar and Bordeaux mixture. 
   
  
 Coconut starts yielding from 5th year onwards. On an average, coconut yields 44 nuts/palm/year. The hybrids yield 100-140 nuts/palm/year.  
   
  
 The harvested nuts are stored in heaps under shade for a few days since the stored nuts are easy to husk. The moisture content of the meat decreases, whereas thickness of the meat layer increases. Post harvest management of coconut involves its conversion into copra and coconut oil. 
   
  
 B/C ratio: 5th year – 2.03; 6th year – 3.1; 7th year – 6.1 
   
  
 Professor & Principal Investigator, Precision Farming Development Centre (PFDC) 
 Dept. of Soil & Water Conservation Engg. Agrl.Engg.College & Res.Institute, 
 Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore – 641 003. 
 Phone: 0422-5511258 – Office Email: swc@tnau.ac.in  
 

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