Plantation Crops - Arecanut Cultivation Practices

By TamilNadu Agricultural University on 06 Jan 2019 | read
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Arecanut (Areca catechu L.)
Palmae

Image titlePlantation

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Plant

Image titleArecanut field view

Varieties
Mangala, Sumangala, Subamangala, Mohitnagar, Srimangala, Samruthi (Andaman), Hirehalli dwarf, VTLAH 1, 2 and Thirthahalli dwarf.

Mangala Image title

SumangalaImage title

Kahikuchi TallImage title

VTLAH - 1Image title

Soil and climate
Arecanut is capable of growing in a variety of soils. It thrives best in well drained soils. Adequate protection from exposure to South-Western sun is essential to avoid sun-scorch.  Quick growing shade trees have to be planted on the southern and western sides well in advance of planting seedlings. It is sensitive to moisture deficit and should be grown where adequate water facilities are available.

Grows in a wide range of temperature ranging from minimum of 40C to a maximum of 400C. Altitude upto 1000 m above Msl. Rainfall – 750 – 4500 mm.

Season
June – December is found to be the optimum.

Seeds and sowing
For raising seedlings seed nuts from pre-marked and pre-potent mother palms of outstanding performance are selected and sown at a spacing of 5 - 6 cm apart in sand beds under partial shade with their stalk end pointing upwards.  After the sprouts have produced two to three leaves, they are transplanted to a polythene bag 30 x 10 cm filled with forest soil and are allowed to grow for 12 to 18 months under partial shade. The seedlings can also be transplanted in secondary nursery beds with a spacing of 30 cm on either side. Periodical watering should be given.

Planting
Dwarf and compact seedlings with more number of leaves should be selected. Seedlings of 1 - 2 years age are planted in pits of about 90 cm x 90 cm x 90 cm at a spacing of 2.75 m either way and covered with soil to the collar level and pressed around.  Provide shade during summer months. Growing Banana or other crops in advance may also provide shade.

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                                           Flowers

Irrigation

Irrigate weekly once during November – February, once in 4 days during March – May. Flood irrigation 175 lit/ tree/ day. In drip irrigation 16 – 20 lit/ tree/ day.

Manuring

Apply to each bearing palm (5 years and above) 10 - 15 kg of FYM or green leaf. 100:40:140 g of NPK/ tree/ year. To palms less than five years old, half of the above dose is recommended. Manures are applied during January - February after the North - East monsoon in a basin of 0.75-1.00 m radius around the tree to a depth of 20 - 30 cm.

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Emasculation Pollination

Aftercultivation

Weeding is done twice or thrice a year by spade digging.  Wherever the land is sloppy, terracing has to be done to prevent soil erosion.

Intercropping Cocoa, black pepper, coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, clove and citrus

Plant protection

Pests

Mites

Mites can be controlled by spraying Dicofol 18.5 EC at 2.5 ml/lit.

Spindle bug
Drenching spray with Methyl parathion 1.3 D @ 2.5 g/lit of water or Dimethoate @ 1.5 ml/lit.

Image titleNursery

Image titleRaw Fruits

Image titleIntercropping Vanilla in Arecanut

Image titleFruits and Kernel

Image titleBroken Nuts

Inflorescence caterpillars
Dust Methyl parathion 20 EC 2 ml/lit or WP @ 2.5 g in one litre of water.

Nematode
Soil application of P. fluorescens (Pfbv 22) and B. subtilis (Bbv 57) each @ g / vine was found to be effective in reducing the root knot and reniform nematode population in black pepper.

Diseases

Bud rot or Mahali disease
Infected tissues of the bud should be scooped off and treated with 10 % Bordeaux paste. Destruction and removal of seed palms and also bunches affected by Mahali and drenching crowns of surrounding healthy palms with 1 % Bordeaux mixture would help in minimizing the incidence of the disease.

Foot rot or Anabe
Affected palms have to be isolated by digging trenches all round. The severely affected palms should be cut and destroyed. The stumps should be pulled out by digging and the drainage improved.Soil application of neem cake @ 2 kg / palm / year followed by root feeding with 125 ml of 1.5 % (15 ml/litre of water) Tridemorph at 3 months interval or Soil drenching of Bordeaux mixture (1%).

Stem breaking
Wrap up of the green portion of the stem which is exposed to the South-West sun to protect against sun-scorch.

Yellow Leaf Disease

  • Application of balanced nutrients with additional quantity of super phosphate
  • Apply 1 kg of lime/tree/year
  • Apply organic manures @ 12 kg/ tree/year.

Leaf spot
Foliar spray with Bordeaux mixture 1 % or 0.2 % Dithane M 45 

Nut crack
Spray Borax 2 g/lit with proper water management

Harvest
The bearing starts after 5 years of planting. Nuts are harvested when they are three quarters ripe. The number of harvests will vary from three to five in one year depending upon the season and place of cultivation.

Yield
An average of about 1250 kg/ha can be obtained.

 

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