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Transcript
COCONUTPRODUCTIONTECHNOLOGY
TechnicalReport
Developedintheproject:“CoconutIndustryDevelopmentfortheCaribbean”
underITC/CARDIContractNo:2015-57-EF
June2016
i
Acknowledgements:ThisTechnicalReportisanoutputfromthecollaborationbetweenthe
InternationalTradeCentre(ITC)andtheCaribbeanAgriculturalResearch&DevelopmentInstitute
(CARDI)aspartoftheEUfundedproject‘CoconutIndustryDevelopmentfortheCaribbean’.Thereport
hasbeenpreparedbyCARDIconsultants,EvansRamkhelawanandComptonPaul.
PlatedesignsbyComptonPaul
Photosanddiagramswithoutcreditmention:Authors
ITC/CARDIContractNo:2015-57-EF
Citation:Ramkhelawan,E.andC.Paul.2016.CoconutProductionTechnology.InternationalTradeCentre,
Geneva,Switzerland.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this document do not imply the
expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the International Trade Centre concerning the
legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its
frontiers or boundaries.
This document has not been formally edited by the International Trade Centre.
ii
Contents
CHAPTER1–THECOCONUTPLANT 1
1
2
2
3
3
4
5
6
8
9
10
11
13
14
15
17
CHAPTER2–NURSERYESTABLISHMENTANDMANAGEMENT 2.0Introduction
20
1.0 Introduction
1.1Morphology
1.1.1Maturefronds
1.1.2Stem
1.1.3Rootsystem
1.1.4Inflorescence
1.2Pollination
1.3Thecoconutfruit 1.4Germination
1.5Varietiesofcoconut
1.5.1Tallvarieties
1.5.2Dwarfvarieties 1.5.3Hybridvarieties 1.6Varietalselection 1.7Selectionofmotherpalmsforseednutproduction
1.8Seednutharvest,selectionandstorage 2.1Stepsinestablishingandmanagingacoconutnursery 2.2Nurserysiteselection 2.3Seedbedpreparationinthepre-nursery
2.4Plantinginthepre-nurseryseedbed
2.5Selectionofseedlingsfromthepre-nurseryforplanting
inthenurserybed 2.6Plantinggerminatedseednutsinthenurserybed
2.7Maintenanceofpre-nurseryseedbedsandnurserybeds
2.7.1Irrigation 2.7.2Weedmanagement
2.7.3Fertiliserapplication
2.7.4Mulching 2.7.5Pestanddiseasecontrolinthenursery 2.7.6Seedlingselectionfromthenurserybedfor
transplantingtothefield
2.8Productionofseedlingsinpolyethylenebags(polybags)
2.8.1Maintenanceofpolybagnursery 2.8.2Transplantingfrompolybagstothefield 2.9Recordsandsignageinnurserybeds 20
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
26
26
26
26
26
26
29
31
32
32
iii
CHAPTER3–CULTURALPRACTICESFORCOCONUT
3.0Introduction
33
3.1Ecologicalrequirements 3.2Sitelayout,landpreparationandplanting
3.3Plantingsystem 3.4Planting 3.5Fieldmaintenance
3.5.1Earlyseedlingcare
3.5.2Irrigationanddrainage 3.5.3Nutritionandfertilisation 3.5.4Nutritionaldeficienciesincoconutandcorrectivemeasures
3.5.5Weedmanagement
3.6Harvestingandhandling 3.7Varietalconservationprogramme
CHAPTER4–INTEGRATEDPESTMANAGEMENT 4.1Introduction
4.2IPMstrategiestoavoidinsecticideresistance 4.3Surveillance
4.4KeypestissuesfacingCaribbeancoconutpalms 4.5IPMpracticesforcoconutatdifferentgrowthstages 4.5.1Nurserystage
4.5.2Pre-plantingstage 4.5.3Earlygrowthstage 4.6MajorArthropodpestsofcoconutintheCaribbeanregion
4.6.1Rhinocerosbeetle(Oryctesrhinoceros)
4.6.2Coconuteriophyidmite(AceriaguerreronisKeifer)
4.6.3Redpalmmite(RaoiellaindicaHirst)
4.6.4Redpalmweevil(RhynchophorusferrugineusOlivier)
4.6.5Leaf-eatingorblack-headedcaterpillar(Opisinaarenosella)
4.6.6Scaleinsect (AspidiotusdestructorSignoret)
4.6.7Coconutmealybug(NipaecoccusnipaeMaskell) 4.7CoconutdiseasesofRegionalsignificanceintheCaribbean
4.7.1Redringdisease 4.7.2Budrot
4.7.3Lethalyellowing 33
33
34
34
35
36
36
36
37
39
43
43
47
72
5.0Introduction
5.1Ecologicalconsiderationsforgrowthofcoconutandintercrops
5.2Factorstoconsiderwhenintercropping 5.3Plantingpatternanddensity
5.4Intercroppingarrangementpatterns
72
73
73
74
74
CHAPTER5–COCONUTINTERCROPPINGSYSTEMS
49
49
49
50
51
51
51
52
52
52
52
54
56
57
59
61
62
63
63
67
69
iv
5.5Examplesofintercropping
5.5.1Coconut+cocoa 5.5.2Coconut+corn 5.5.3Coconut+banana+plantain
5.5.4Coconutmultistorycropping(coconut+papaya
+pineapple+peanut)
5.5.5Coconut+rootcrop
5.5.6Coconut+coffee 5.6Disadvantagesofintercropping 5.7Advantagesofintercropping
5.8Institutionalsupport
5.9Concludingremarks
CHAPTER6–COCONUTANIMALPRODUCTIONSYSTEMS
76
76
77
78
79
80
81
81
82
82
83
84
6.0Introduction
84
6.1Theanimalcomponent 84
6.1.1Productionsystems
85
6.1.2Livestockmanagement 86
6.1.3Cattlenutrition 86
6.1.4Potentialproblems
86
6.2Theforagecomponent 87
6.2.1Mixedpastures 87
6.2.2Fertiliserrequirementsofpastureundercoconut
88
6.2.3Grazingcontrol 88
6.2.4Thepastureblockrotationsystem
89
6.3Future 89
6.4Researchneedsandfutureoutlook
89
6.5Socio-economicaspectsofproduction 90
6.6Systemconstraints
90
6.7Disadvantagesofcoconutanimalproductionsystems 91
6.8Potentialbenefitsofcoconutanimalproductionsystems
91
6.9Institutionalsupport
92
6.10Concludingremarks
92
APPENDIX1-Coconutproductiondatainthe25mostimportantcoconutproducing
countriesoftheworld(2013).
93
APPENDIX2-CoconutproductionintheCaribbeancountries(2013). 94
APPENDIX3–Economicanalysisfortheproductionof1acre(0.4ha)ofcoconutfor
waterinTrinidad&Tobago.
97
BIBLIOGRAPHY
99
v
LISTOFPLATES
1.Thecoconutplant 2
2.Coconuttreemorethan30minheight 3
3.Coconutinflorescence
5
4.Harvestedpollen 6
5.Beepollinatingcoconutflower 6
6.Bunchesoftendernuts 7
7.Matureanddrynuts
7
8.Cross-sectionofthecoconutfruit
8
9.Developingembryoofcoconutduringgermination 9
10.Coconutcultivars
10
11.AtlanticTallvarietyofcoconut 11
12.VarietiesofMalayanDwarfvarietiesofcoconutpopularintheCaribbean 12
13.TendernutsofMalayanYellow,OrangeandGreenvarietiesofcoconuton
displayatCentralFarm,Belize,February2016 13
14.Hybridvarietiesofcoconut
14
15.Highqualityselectedcoconutseednuts 15
16.Coconutplantsshowingpestanddiseasesymptoms 17
17.Coconutseednutharvest
18
18.Storageofselectedcoconutseednutsundertrees
19
19.Stepsinestablishingandmanagingacoconutnursery 21
20.Well-designednurseryfacility,CentralFarm,Belize
21
21.Nurseryseedbedpreparation 23
22.Seednutssowninpre-nurserybeds
24
23.Seedlingsinpre-nurseryreadyforselectionandmovetothemainnursery
about4monthsaftersowing 25
24.Plantingdistancesforseedlingsinthemainnurserybed
25
25.Coconutseedlingsmulchedwithcoconutcoir,BartonIsles,Jamaica 27
26.Seedlingsbeingremovedfromnurserybedforplantinginthefield 28
27.Poorseedlingsthatshouldberejectedandgoodselectedseedlings 29
28.Paredseednutplacedinpolybag 30
29.Earlystepsofcoconutpolybagnursery 30
30.Layingoutofpolybags
31
31.Spacingandsystemsofplantingcoconutvarietiesunderfavourableagroecological
conditions
35
32.Methodofplantingcoconutinthefieldandlatercropestablishment 36
33.Dripirrigationandfertiliserapplicationtococonut
37
34.Preparationofcirclearoundtrunkofcoconuttreetofacilitatefertiliser
Application
35.Nutrientdeficienciesofmajorelementsincoconut
39
40
vi
36.Nutrientdeficienciesofminorelementsincoconut
42
37.Coconutjellyfrom8–montholdMalayanGreencultivar
44
38.Harvestingcoconutforwaterbygentlyloweringbunch
togroundusingarope 44
39.Processingofdriedcoconutkernel(copra)andfromfreshkernelto
produceoil
46
40.Climbersusingfootrope,poleandclimbingmachine 47
41.Coconutrhinocerosbeetle(Oryctesrhinoceros) 53
42.Coconuteriophyidmite(AceriaguerreronisKeifer)
55
43.Redpalmmite(RaoiellaindicaHirst) 56
44.Theredpalmweevil(RhynchophorusferrugineusOlivier)
58
45.Leaf-eatingorblack-headedcaterpillar(Opisinaarenosella) 60
46.Scaleinsect(AspidiotusdestructorSignoret)infestationon
coconutfruit
61
47.Mealybugs(NipaecoccusnipaeMaskell)oncoconutleavesandfruit 62
48.SouthAmericancoconutpalmweevil(RhynchophoruspalmarumL.) 64
49.Thecoconutweevilanditsassociationwiththeredringnematode 66
50.Budrotincoconut
68
51.Lethalyellowingeffectsonfloweringandfruitingofcoconut 69
52.Adultcoconuttreeskilledbylethalyellowingdisease 70
53.LethalyellowingadvanceinJamaicasince1952
71
54.Coconut+cocoacroppingmodel(squareplantingandtriangularplanting
system) 77
55.Coconut+papayaintercroppingsystem
78
56.Mixedcroppingmodel(Coconut+banana+plantainintercropping)
inJamaica
78
57.YoungAtlanticTallcoconutvarietyintercroppedwithcitrus,papayaand
ColumbiancedarinTrinidad.
80
58.CattlegrazingunderTallcoconuttrees--usefulforweedcontrol
85
59.Cattlegrazingundercoconuts 86
LISTOFFIGURES
1.Timelineofpre-nurseryandmainnurseryoperationspriortoplantingoutthe
seedlingsintheopenfield.
28
2.Areaoflandbeneaththecanopyofcoconutplantations
availableforintercropping
73
3.Intercroppingpineappleandbananawithcoconut.
75
4.Coconut+cornintercroppingmodel.
77
5.Mixedcroppingmodel 79
6.Coconut+rootcropintercroppingmodel
80
7.Coconut+coffeeintercroppingsystem 81
vii
LISTOFTABLES
1.Rateoffertiliserapplicationof15-5-20NPKperpalmperyear 2.Cropscommonlyintercroppedwithcoconut
38
76
viii
Chapter1-THECOCONUTPLANT
1.0Introduction
Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) is a monocotyledonous plant of the family Arecaceae and the
monospecific genus Cocos. Recent theory indicates that it originated in Polynesia (Wikipedia,
2016).Almosteverypartofthecoconuttreecanbeusedineithermakingcommercialproducts
ormeetingthefoodrequirementsofruralcommunities(Teulatet.al.,2000).Thispalmcanbe
foundgrowingovermostoftheislandsandcoastsofthesubtropicsandtropics(Dowe,2010)
under varying climatic and soil conditions.
Coconut is grown under different soil types such as loamy, laterite, coastal sandy, alluvial,
clayeyandreclaimedsoilsofthemarshylowlands.Theidealsoilconditionsforbettergrowth
and performance of the palm are proper drainage, good water-holding capacity, presence of
watertablewithin3mandabsenceofrockoranyhardsubstratumwithin2mofthesurface.
While it grows well on fertile free-draining soils, it also does well on sandy, saline soils and
prefersareaswithabundantsunlightandregularrainfall(Wikipedia,2015).Arainfallofabout
2000 mm per year, well distributed throughout, is ideal for proper growth and maximum
production(Widayat,2014).
Coconut plays a significant role in the economic, cultural and social life of over 80 tropical
countries (Oyoo et al., 2015). Over the years, the coconut palm has been referred to as “the
treeoftheHeavens”and“treeofahundreduses”(Rillo,1999)whichindicatesitsremarkable
usefulnessandqualities.Itisamajorsourceofincomeforruralfamiliesandplaysanimportant
role in wealth generation and improving the quality of life in many tropical countries.
Sustainable yields can be increased by providing high quality planting materials along with
improvedmanagementofthecoconutplantations.
o
In the Caribbean region, the coconut palm serves a multi-functional role. At the small scale
farming level, coconut is an important contributor to food security. At the industrial level,
value-added products of coconut are important sources of employment and income in rural
communities.Thecoconutproducesavarietyofproductswhichareconsumedintheregion
and internationally. These include fresh green and dry nuts, copra, coconut oil and coconut
wateramongothers.Coconutoilisconsumedasfoodwhileasignificantamountgoesintothe
oleo-chemical industry. It is also used in food preparation and in the soap-making process.
Additionally, the shell is used for various fibres, charcoal and other products not yet fully
commercialized(CaribbeanAgribusiness,2010;Singhetal.,2008).
This technical report addresses the description of the coconut plant, nursery operations
required to produce high quality planting material, good production practices, pests and
diseases and their control and, coconut intercropping and animal-based systems. If these
approachesareimplementedappropriately,itishopedthattheinformationwillassistfarmers
to optimise their coconut production and quality of produce. Good agricultural practices can
guide the efficient, safe, environmentally-sound production of food of acceptable quality
1
(Ramdwar,2012)inasustainablemanner.Theaimistoprovideoptionsandsoassistfarmersin
theirchoiceofthemostappropriatemanagementlevelfortheirparticularcircumstances.
1.1Morphology
Thecoconutplant(Plate1)hasanunbranched,erect,pillar-likestem(upto30mtall)witha
thick,wideleafbase,acompactapicalcrownoffeathery,glossy,thick-cuticledpinnateleaves
(4 – 6m long and 1.2 – 2 m broad with leaflets 60 – 90cm long) sheathed at their base and
attachedfirmlytothestem(Wikipedia,2015).
Plate1.Thecoconutplant(SketchesfromUSDA,2014and
StackExchangeInc.,2016)
1.1.1Maturefronds
The period from unfurling of the leaf to senescence and drying of the leaf can be about 27
months.Theyoungleafwhichprotrudesoutofthebudinthecentreofthecrownasapointed
arrowtakesabout4–5monthstoemergeoutofthesheath.Thelengthofleavesisinfluenced
byfactorssuchasvariety,soil,climateandageofpalms.Generally,itvariesfrom4.5–6.0m;in
olderpalms,theleavesareshorter.Aquarterofthetotallengthoftheleafistheleafstalk.The
numberofleaflets(pinnae)onaleafvariesfrom200to250,thoseatthebaseandapexofthe
leavesbeingsmallerinlengthandbreadth(DeTaffin,1998;GhoseandGopalakrishnan,2013;
Santosetal.,1996).
2
1.1.2Stem
Thestemdevelopsfromthesingleterminalbudcalledthe“cabbage”whichisthepalm’sonly
vegetativegrowingpoint(Santosetal.,1996).Underfavourableconditions,thefoundationof
thetrunkofayoungpalmreachesfulldevelopmentwithin3-4years.Itismadeupofalarge
numberofvascularbundlessurroundedbyfibroustissuewhichgivesthetrunkitsflexibilityand
strength.
Inthetalltypes,thebaseofthetrunkisupto0.8mindiameter,taperingquicklytoabout0.4
m(Child,1974).Onceformed,thetrunkdoesnotchangemuchindiameter.Ifvariationoccurs
from base to crown, this is not caused by biological factors but by climatic conditions and
culturalpractices.Stemgrowthisfasterattheearlystages,whichcanbeasmuchas1.5mper
yearbecomingslowerinolderpalmsanddecreasingto10-15cmperyearatthe40thyearand
over.Thepalmcangrowupto30minheight(Plate2)inveryoldtrees(DeTaffin,1998).
Plate2.Coconuttreemorethan30minheight.
The coconut stem had no cambium and does not heal when damaged (Santos et al., 1996).
Height growth varies according to age, cultivar and ecotype and can be assessed by counting
thenumberofleafscarspermetre.Atabout10yearsold,growthisaround15–30cmperyear
forDwarfpalmsand70–100cmperyearforTallpalms(DeTaffin,1998).
1.1.3Rootsystem
The root system is adventitious and numerous uniformly thick roots are produced from the
baseofthestemthroughoutthelifeofthepalm(Santosetal.,1996).Therearenotaprootsor
roothairsbutthepalmhasnumerousrootswhichbearlargequantitiesofrootlets.Themain
roots are mainly found within the topsoil; roots of an adult-bearing palm growing in a sandy
loamareconcentratedwithinaradiusof2mfromthebaseofthepalmandcangrowupto30
–120cmindepth.Themainbranchesmaygrowdeeperandextendlaterallytoasmuchas10
3
m,seekingoutmoisture.Thenumberofrootsvaryfrom4,000–7,000inmaturepalms(Menon
andPandalai,1960).
1.1.4Inflorescence
Generally,theageatwhichthepalmflowersvariesaccordingtothevarietyandmanagement
practices. Those having faster rates of leaf production and are grown under good nutritional
andwatermanagementtendtoflowerearlier(Batugaletal,2005).Floweringgenerallybegins
at2.5yearsafterplantingoutforDwarfsand7yearsforTalltypes.Oncefloweringhasbegun,
the tree continues to produce flowers and fruits throughout the life of the palm (Wikipedia,
2015).
Theinflorescence(Plate3)isenclosedinadoublesheathorspathe,thewholestructureknown
asa'spadix'whichisbornesinglyintheaxilofeachleaf.Thereisanintervalofabout3years
between floral primordium initiation in the leaf axil and spadix opening and a further year
betweenthisstageandfruitmaturityi.e.drynutproduction(DeTaffin,1998).Theopeningof
thefully-grownspatheoccurs1yearlater.Whenthespatheisfullygrown(about1yearafter
floraldifferentiation),itsplitslongitudinallyalongagrooveandthefloweringbranch(peduncle
1-1.5mlongwith40–60branchesorspikelets)emerges(Furtado,1923).Eachspikeletcarries
threefemaleflowersatitsbaseandseveralhundredmaleflowersabove.Thefemaleflowers
resemble small nuts each about 25 mm in diameter with one fertile ovule. The number of
femaleflowersproduceddependsontheclimaticandnutritionalfactorsaffectingthetreeat
thetimeofinitiationofthefloralprimordiaintheleafaxil.
Thepalmismonoecious,i.e.itsinflorescencecarriesbothmaleandfemaleflowers(Frankeland
Galun,1977).Themaleflowers,eachwithsixstamens,arethefirsttoopen,beginningatthe
topofeachspikeletandproceedingtowardsthebase.Eachmaleflowershedsitspollenand
abscisesinjust1daybuttheentiremalephaseofpollen-sheddinglastsabout20daysinmost
palmsdependingonseasonandvariety.Albada(1921)estimatedthateachmaleflowercarries
about272,358,504pollengrains.
A normal inflorescence may have 10-50 female flowers; these remains receptive from 1 - 3
days.Dependingontheenvironmentalconditionsandvariety,thefemalephasemaybegina
fewdaysorlaterafterthespathehasopenedandlasts3-5daysinTallpalmsandabout8-15
days in Dwarfs. With natural pollination, 50 - 70% usually abort and fall off, especially those
whichemergeduringseveredryweather.Theremainingflowersdevelopintofruits,whichtake
about12monthstomature(Santosetal.,1996).
Thelengthofthemaleandfemalephasesisaffectedbyclimaticenvironmentandusuallydo
not overlap in the tall types, such that self-pollination rarely occurs. In some Dwarfs,
particularly the Malayan Dwarf, overlapping of the male and female phases and between
spadices usually takes place, promoting self-pollination. Hence, these Dwarfs are reasonably
homozygous.
4
Plate3.Coconutinflorescence(Photocredits:PhillippineCoconutAuthority,
2015;Dowe,J.L.,2010).
1.2Pollination
Pollination is the transference of pollen to the stigma. Fertilization is the fusion of the male
element from the pollen with the female element in the ovule. Pollen collected from
inflorescences(Plate4)hasalifespanof6daysunderfieldconditions(Santosetal.,1996)and
canbemanuallytransferredtothefemaleflowerwhileitisopenandreceptive,thatis,thereis
asecretionofnectaratthestigma.Sincethestamensandpistilsareborneinseparateflowers,
pollination in nature can only take place with pollen brought by wind, insects or other
pollinators that are attracted to them because of their particular scent, colour and nectar.
Generally,beesarethemainnaturalpollinators(Plate5).
Sincethemaleandfemalephasesofpollensheddingandstigmareceptivitydonotoverlapin
theTalltypes,femaleflowershavetobefertilizedbypollenfromotherinflorescencesleading
tomuchvariationintheseedlingsraisedfromthenutsofthesametreeorevenfromthesame
inflorescence.
5
Plate4.HarvestedpollenPlate5.Beepollinatingcoconutflower
(Photocredit:Newton’sapple,2016)
Whenpollinationdoesnotoccur,thefemaleflowerusuallydehisces.Asaconsequence,amale
orbarrenfruitisproducedandisnarrowerandmisshapenwithanuthavinglittleornokernel
and no embryo. This may also be due to sterile pollen grains and ovules. Weak and poorly
nourished trees often produce ineffective pollen. Albada (1921) has shown that desiccation
influencesareductioninpollenvitality.Jepson(1915)observedthatwherebeesarepresentin
largenumbers,theyieldofnutsisremarkablyhigh.
1.3Thecoconutfruit
Once pollination and fertilization occur, female flowers develop into fruits or fibrous drupes,
also called nuts; maturity occurs in about 12 months or less than 1 year for some Dwarf
cultivars.Maturefruitsareapproximately20-30cmlongandweigh1.2–2.0kg(Plates6and
7).Thefruithasthreelayers:theexocarp,mesocarp,andendocarp(Plate8).Theexocarpand
mesocarpmakeupthe"husk"ofthecoconut.Thesmoothoutsideskinistheexocarpwhich
can vary from green, red-brown or yellow before maturity, later turning grey to brown. The
mesocarpisthehard,fibrousreddishbrownhuskfromwhichcoirisobtained.Enclosedbythe
mesocarpisahardshellcalledtheendocarpsurroundingthekernelorendosperm.
Betweentheshellandthekernelisathinbrownseedcoatortestawhichadherestothehard
endospermorkernel(alsocalledmeatorjelly),about12mmthickinamaturenut.Thekernel
ormeat(calledcoprawhendriedto60%moisture)constitutes40–70%oftheweightofthe
huskednutandcontainsabout50%waterand30-40%oil.Thecopraitselfhasanoilcontent
ofabout63-70%(EncyclopaediaBritannica,Inc.,2016).Withinthekernelcavityistheliquid
endospermorwater.
Towards the end of maturity, the volume of water in the cavity decreases mainly due to
adsorptionbytheendospermtissue.Maturenutshaveasloshingsoundofwaterwhenshaken.
6
On the surface of the endocarp or shell are three pores or eyes (Plate 8), but only one is
functional; this is the germination pore or “soft eye” (Santos et al., 1996; De Taffin, 1998).
Theseporesarefoundattheendofthenutthatwasattachedtothetree.
Forwaterproduction,anutisharvested9monthsafterfertilisationwhileforcopraproduction
nutsareharvestedatabout12months;6,000full-growncoconutsproduceatonneofcopra
(Wikipedia,2015).
Plate6.BunchesoftendernutsPlate7.Matureanddrynuts
The number of nuts per bunch, weight and quality of nuts produced depend on genetic,
environmental,climaticaswellasnutritionalfactorsprevailingduringtheentiredevelopmental
periodofthenut,frominitiationuntilmaturity.
7
Plate8.Cross-sectionofthecoconutfruit(Photosandsketchesby
Armstrong,2003;Healthtytrac,2014)
1.4Germination
The ripe fruits that fall do not germinate immediately and, if dried during storage, they lose
viability.Coconutseednutsgerminateeasilyinwarm,humidconditionsandsproutandgrow
naturally wherever they fall (Harries, 2016). There is a peg-like embryo, embedded in the
kernel, beneath the germination pore. The coconut water (liquid endosperm) within the
endospermisincontactwiththeyoungembryowhich,intendernutsharvested6–7months
after pollination, are partially gelatinous and roughly spherical with diameters ranging from
0.20-1.55mm.Theembryoisusedtoproducewholeplantsusingtissueculturetechniques.
About3-6monthsafternutmaturity,theembryobeginstoenlargeinternally,toeventuallyfill
thecavitywithasponge-likehaustorium(alsocalled“bread”)(Sugimura,1998).Thisproduces
theenzymesthatconverttheoilinthekernelintonutrientsthatarethenabsorbedtosupport
earlyplantgrowth(Balasubramaniametal.,1973;Manjulaetal.,1993).Withinthehusk,the
growing point of the embryo develops a plumule and young root (radicle) (Plates 8 and 9)
which eventually emerge through the mesocarp and exocarp and expand in daylight for
photosynthesistobegin.Thetimetakenforemergencedependsonthethicknessofthehusk.
Theyoungleavesare“entire”leaves(withoutleaflets),butastheplantgrows,itwillproduce
thefronded(“pinnate”)leavestypicalofthecoconutpalm(CTAHR,1996).
8
Plate9.Developingembryoofcoconutduringgermination.
(SketchesbyLibraryofCongress,2010;Homesteadgardening,2013;
Sites.google.com,2016;Elfrick,2016;Newton’sApple,2016)
Thedateofgerminationiswhentheyoungshootemergesfromthehusk.Forslow-germinating
varieties,itisthepracticetoremoveathinsliceofhuskbeforesettinginthenursery(Ugbah
andAkpan,2003).Theadditionallabourcostoftrimmingmustalsobetakenintoconsideration
aswellastheriskofentryofpathogens.
1.5Varietiesofcoconut
Thereareonlytwodistinctvarietiesofcoconut,theTallandtheDwarf.TheDwarfvariety
isshorterinstatureanditslifespanisshortascomparedtotheTall(TNAU,2012).
Besidesthesetwovarieties,varioushybridsweredevelopedrandomly(Plate10)andthrough
controlled crosses by crossing the Talls and the Dwarfs. They are known as the T x D (Tall x
Dwarf)orDxT(DwarfxTall)accordingtothevarietychosenasthefemaleparentinthecross
(DeTaffin,1998).IntrogressionofTallsandDwarfsandfurtherselectionanddisseminationby
man,producedthewiderangeofvarietiesandpan-tropicaldistributionofcoconutseentoday
(Harries,1978).
9
Plate10.Coconutcultivars(Photocredits:Berlin,1997;
CoconutDevelopmentBoard,2013a)
1.5.1Tallvarieties
Tallvarietiesareextensivelycultivatedinallcoconutgrowingareasoftheworldandtolerate
diversesoilandclimaticconditions.Theyareextensivelycultivatedfortheircopra,oilandfibre.
Thetrunkhasacharacteristicswollenbasecalleda“bole”(Plate11).Tallscangrowupto20–
30minheightandeachcrowncanhave35-40fronds,whichwhenfullyopen,caneachreach
alengthofabout6m.Thecrownoftheplanthasacircularshape.Tallsareslowmaturingand
flower 6 - 10 years after planting; they have an average economic life of 60 - 70 years and
generallyliveto80–90years(TNAU,2012).Thenutismediumtobiginsizevaryinginshape
from spheroid to linear-oblong and with colours varying from green, yellow and orange to
shadesofbrown. Thenutmatures12monthsafterpollinationandthecopra,oilandfibreof
thisvarietyareofverygoodquality(GhoseandGopalakrishnam,2013).
Sincethelengthsofthemaleandfemalephasesofpollenshedandstigmareceptivityusually
donotoverlapintheTalltypes,self-pollinationrarelyoccurs.Theyare,therefore,mainlycrosspollinated and considered to be heterozygous. This means that they share genetic material
amongtreesandthisresultsingreatvariationinthecharacteristicsofthefruit.
10
Plate11.AtlanticTallvarietyofcoconut.
IntheCaribbean,thepredominantTallvarietiesgrownarethePanamaTallandtheJamaicaor
AtlanticTall(Singhetal.,2008)butthesearesusceptibletoLethalYellowingdisease.However,
theTallvarietiescangrowvigorouslyinthesandysoilsofcoastlinesandaredroughttolerant.
Theycanalsohandlehighwindsduetotheirmassivefibrousrootstructure.Amaturetreecan
produce more than 120 nuts per year. The nut produces a lot of meat and about 6,000 nuts
yieldatonofcopra(GhoseandGopalakrishnam,2013).
1.5.2Dwarfvarieties
Dwarf varieties are classified based on the nut colour, viz. yellow nuts, green nuts, red or
orange or golden or bronze nuts, and brown nuts (Plates 12 and 13). The Malayan Dwarf’s
resistance to the Lethal Yellowing disease is the characteristic that makes it one of the most
important dwarf types in the world (Wikipedia, 2015). This Dwarf variety is now grown in all
Caribbeancountries.InSuriname,Guyana,StLuciaandBelizethereisabrowndwarfcultivar.
It comes into bearing 2.5 – 3 years after planting and a six-year old tree under good
managementyieldsbetween15–20nutsperbunch(Plate12).
Dwarfsareusuallyplantedfortendernuts(waterproduction)andornamentalpurposes.They
are short in stature (8 - 10 m at 20 years after planting). Dwarfs are believed to be mutants
fromTalltypesandareearlybearers;theybeginbearingaboutthethirdyearsometimesatless
thanonemeterstemheight,buthaveashortproductivelifeof30–40years(Batugaletal.,
2005).
11
Since the period of receptivity of the female flower is fully overlapped by the period of
dehiscenceandpollen-sheddingofthemaleflowersinthesameinflorescence,self-pollination
takesplace,sotherearefewerdifferenttypes;thevarietyis,therefore,autogamous.Thetrunk
isthinwithoutaswollenbole.InsteadofhavingaroundcrownliketheTallvarieties,ithasaVshapedprofile.
TheMalayanDwarfcanproduce80-100nutsperyearperpalmataplantingdensityof205
palmsperhectareandwithoutirrigation(Santosetal.,1996).Thenutsareusuallysmallerand
rounderandareusuallyred,greenoryellow.Theyhaveverylittlemeatbutthewaterisvery
sweet.Thepeduncleisshortbutthebunchiswellsupportedbytheleafpetiole.Dwarftrees
usuallyproducemoreandsmallerfruitsthanTallvarieties.Theyareheavyyieldersbutcanalso
beirregularbearers.Adehuskednutweighsabout85gwith60%oilcontent.
Dwarf trees are more sensitive to drought, salt and wind damage than Tall types and thrive
better inland on fertile, well-drained soils. Yellow and Green dwarfs are used as the female
parent in breeding programmes in developing high yielding hybrids (Ghose and
Gopalakrishnam,2013).
Plate12.VarietiesofMalayanDwarfvarietiesofcoconutpopularintheCaribbean
(Photocredits:Pinterest.com,2016;VendioServices,2016).
12
Plate13.TendernutsofMalayanYellow,OrangeandGreenvarietiesofcoconuton
displayatCentralFarm,Belize,February2016.
1.5.3Hybridvarieties
Theseareintervarietalcrossesoftwomorphologicalformsofcoconut.Naturalcrossesbetween
Talls and Dwarfs occur sporadically in traditional populations. In Jamaica, the breeding
programme of the Coconut Industry Board produced F1 hybrids using combinations of the
Malayan Dwarf and selected tall cultivars from the Jamaica Tall and Panama Tall (Plate 14).
Field evaluation trials were then conducted and the Maypan (Malayan Dwarf × Panama Tall)
wasselectedandreleasedforcommercialplantingin1974.IshardierthantheYellowMalayan
Dwarfandhassincesupersededtheparentdwarfasthemostwidelyplantedcoconutcultivar
inJamaica(Wallace,1994).However,ithassincelostsomeofitsresistancetoLethalYellowing
disease.Itproducesnutswithin3yearsandallowsforeasyharvestingandgrowsabout18min
height.Ithasasmallboleandatrunksizein-betweenthetallandthedwarf.Itissomewhat
sensitivetodroughtandsaltexposureandprefersafertile,well-drainedsoil.Thenutscanbe
greenorbrownandthepetiolesofthefrondslimegreenorbrown.ThecrownhasaV-shape
liketheMalayandwarf.HybridsofTalltypessuchasPanamaTallandJamaicaTallxMalayan
dwarfhaverecentlybecomepopular(GuyanaMarketingCorporation,2014;Pilgrim,2011).
TheexistingvariabletraitsbetweenTallandDwarfpopulations,andwithintheTalls,providea
goodopportunitytoproducevariousrecombinantsthatcouldyieldthedesiredcharacteristics.
Theseedlingsfromhybridnutsexhibitrapidgrowthandahigherrateofleafproduction.They
have a high bearing capacity, show earliness in flowering and give increased yield, higher
quantity and better quality of copra and oil when compared to the parents. They possess
characteristicsthatareintermediatetothoseofDwarfsandTalls.
ThoughTxDandDxTareheavyyielders,researchdataandfieldexperienceindicatethatthe
DxTisbetterforregularityinbearing(GhoseandGopalakrishnam,2013).Thehybridseedlings
on planting exhibit rapid growth rate with a higher rate of leaf production. They are early to
flowerandgiveincreasedyield,higherquantityandqualityofcopraandoil(65–69%)when
comparedtotheirparents.Theystartbearing4yearsafterplanting,havehighannualyieldof
about95-116nutspertreeperyearandproducegoodqualitycopra.Hybridsperformwell
13
under good management practices and respond well to fertilizer application and irrigation
(Ghose and Gopalakrishnam, 2013). Nuts from hybrid trees should not be used for seedling
productionbecauseoftheinherentgeneticvariabilityofF1generations.
Plate14.Hybridvarietiesofcoconut(Photocredits:TNAU,2012;Widayat,2014)
1.6Varietalselection
Thevarietychosenbythegrowershouldhaveexcellentyieldandqualityattributesrequiredby
the consumer. Agronomic considerations include tree height, precocity, bunch size, nuts per
bunch,kernelweightandoilcontent,watervolume,0brix,tolerancetodrought,adaptabilityto
soilconditions,andtolerance/resistancetopestanddiseases.
Whentakingintoconsiderationthemanyusesofthecoconut,thefollowingcharacteristicsand
propertiesareimportantinthevarieties(Ranasinghe,1998):
Kerneluses(copra,desiccatedcoconut, -highcrudefibrecontent.
cream)
-firmness/rigidityofkernel.
-plasticbehaviourofpressedcake.
Sapproduction
-dwarfvarietieswithhighyieldofsugar.
Fibreproduction
-largehusks,withhighpercentageoffibre
whicharelargeindiameter,stiffandlong.
Charcoalproduction
-highshellmassandthickness.
Mechanizationofpreparation
-uniformandregularsizeofspheroidalor
ellipsoidalshape.
Resistancetoaflatoxinaccumulation
-varietiesresistanttoAspergillusmould.
14
1.7Selectionofmotherpalmsforseednutproduction
Success of a viable coconut plantation starts with the utilization of high quality planting
materials. Consequently, extreme care should be taken in choosing seedlings to start a
plantation.Thisisespeciallysosincepoorplantingmaterialwillproducelowyieldsandresultin
a failed enterprise. For production of quality planting materials it is essential to select good
qualitymotherpalmsofthedesiredvarieties(TNAU,2012).
Screened germplasm can provide a good head start to sustain the coconut palms’ productive
andeconomiclifespanof60yearsforTallvarietiesand35–40yearsforDwarfs.Inorderto
obtainqualityseednuts(Plate15)tofulfiltheseedlingrequirements,motherpalmshavetobe
selectedwithoptimumgeneticpotential.
Plate15.Highqualityselectedcoconutseednuts(Photocredits:TNAU,
2014;123RFLtd,2016;Dave’sGarden,2016).
Theimportantfeaturesofsuperiormotherpalmsare(DeTaffin,1998;TNAU,2012;Ghoseand
Gopalakrishnam,2013;KissanKerala,2016):
•
•
Palmsshouldberegularbearerswithanannualyieldofmorethan100nutspertreeper
year.Agoodregularbearingmotherpalmproducesonanaverageoneleafandan
inflorescenceinitsaxileverymonthi.e.12bunchesperyearatvaryingstagesof
maturity.
Yieldsshouldbenotlessthan100nuts/palm/annumunderirrigatedconditions(70-80
nuts/annumunderrain-fedconditions). Varietiesforcopraproductionshouldhave
mediumsizednuts(about1,200gdryweight/nut)witharoundoroblongshape.
15
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Thehuskednutshouldbelarge(morethan600g)withthickkernels;havingacopra
contentofatleast150gpernutandanoilcontentof65–70%.
Varietiesforcoconutwaterproductionshouldhaveatleast10-15nutsperbunchwith
morethan400mlwaterpernut.
Palmsshouldhaveastout,sturdy,straightandrobuststemwithclosely-spacedleaf
scars.
Thepetiolesshouldhaveawideleafbasefirmlyattachedtothestem.
Eachleafaxilshouldhaveoneinflorescencewithalargenumberofspikesandatleast
one or two flowers per spike. The inflorescence stalk should be short and stout with
bunches preferably resting on the leaf petioles of the lower whorl; the spadix should
have25ormorefemaleflowers.
There should be a high rate of leaf (more than 30 fully opened leaves) and spathe
production(12inflorescencesperyear).
Theageofthepalmchosenshouldpreferablybefrom15-40yearsforTallvarietiesand
12-30yearsforDwarfvarieties.
Treesshouldbevigorouslygrowingandbefreefrompestsanddiseases(Plate16).
Thesuperiormotherpalmswhichareselectedshouldbemarkedandmapped.
Palmswhichhavethefollowingcharacteristicsshouldbeavoided(TNAU,2012):
• Palmsshowingunusualmorphologicalfeaturessuchasbent,twistedstems.
• Palms with long, thin and pendulous inflorescence stalks and those with alternate
bearingtendency.
• Palmsproducinglong,narrow,small-sizedorbarrennuts.
• Palmssheddingimmaturenutsinlargenumbers.
• Palmsthataregrownunderunfavorableenvironmentalconditionse.g.floodedareas.
• PalmsofTallvarietiesthatareabove60yearsandabove30yearsforDwarfs.
• PalmsshowingsymptomsofattackbypestsanddiseasesasthoseshowninPlate16.
16
Plate16.Coconutplantsshowingpestanddiseasesymptoms(Photocredits:Myrieetal.,
2014;OneTwoThreeInc.2015;Wordpress.org,2016;Dreamstime,2016b).
1.8Seednutharvest,selectionandstorage
Thematurenutsareharvestedwhenatleastonenutintheoldestbunchstartsbecomingdry.
InTallvarieties,ittakes11-12monthsfromfruitsetforanuttomaturewhereasinDwarfs,
nuts will mature in 10 - 11 months after emergence of the inflorescence. These nuts can be
easilyidentifiedwhentheepicarpofoneortwonutsinthebunchstartsturningbrown.They
producearesonantandringingsoundwhenhitwiththeharvestingknifeortappedbyfinger
indicatingthatthehuskisdry;immaturenutswillproduceadullsound(TNAU,2012).
17
Plate17.Coconutseednutharvest(Photocredits:Ponce,2013;TraineeAgriculturist
inMalaysia,2013;HoDinhHai,2014;TNAU,2014)
Bunches intended for seednut should be harvested by lowering them to the ground using a
ropetoavoidinjurytotheembryoswhenpalmsaretallandthegroundishard.Seednutsfrom
selectedmothertreesshouldbeharvestedseparatelyandnotmixedwithnutsfromunselected
palms. It is preferable to collect seednuts that had undergone development during the rainy
season. Nuts situated towards the top and bottom extremities of the bunch are not always
uniform;theymaybeundersized,andrelativelylight-suchnutsdonotgerminateproperlyand
shouldberejected.
Seednutsthatareharvestedshouldcontainwater(testbyshaking)andshouldbestoredinthe
shadeandcoveredwithfrondsforabout2weeksuntilthehuskbecomesdry(Plate18).This
will facilitate speedy and maximum germination. Seednuts should be stored up to five layers
high, for no more than 10 days for Dwarfs and no more than 21 days for Talls (Ghose and
Gopalakrishnam,2013).
Tall varieties are sown 1 or 2 months after collection whereas Dwarfs should be sown
immediatelyafterharvestingarassoonaspossiblethereafter(TNAU,2012).
18
Plate18.Storageofselectedcoconutseednutsundertrees(Photocredit:TNAU,2012)
19
Chapter2–NurseryEstablishmentandManagement
2.0Introduction
Successofcoconutplantationestablishmentstartswiththeproductionofgoodqualityplanting
materials.Selectingthebestplantingmaterialsbeforefieldplantingassureshigherproductivity.
Plantingcoconutseednutsdirectlyinthefieldisnotrecommendedandcaremustbetakenin
choosingtheseedlingstostartaplantationsincehighqualityplantingmaterialsprovideagood
headstarttosustainthecoconutpalmsproductiveandeconomiclifespanof60ormoreyears.
The rearing of coconut seedlings in a well-maintained nursery facilitates efficient selection of
normaluniformseedlings(Santosetal.,1996;BaylonandRivera,2016).
TheauthorsofthepresentpublicationhaveobservedthatmostfarmersinCaribbeancountries
do not practise proper nursery establishment and management and this lack of good
agriculturalpracticeobviouslyimpactsnegativelyontheproductivityandincomegenerationof
theirplantations.Thepresentpublicationisintendedtoprovideinformationonpropercoconut
nursery establishment and management using high quality planting materials that have been
selectedaccordingtoguidelinespresentedinChapter1.
2.1Stepsinestablishingandmanagingacoconutnursery
Selectionofmotherpalmsforseednutproduction
Seednutharvest,selectionandstorage
Nurserysiteselection
Seedbedpreparationinpre-nursery
Plantinginthepre-nurseryseedbed
Selectionofseedlingsfromthepre-nurseryforplantinginthenurserybed
Plantinggerminatedseednutsinthenurserybeds
[polybagscanbeusedinsteadofnurserybeds]
Maintenanceofpre-nurseryseedbedsandnurserybeds
Recordsandsignage
Transplantingofseedlingsfromnurserybedstofield
ThesestepsarealsoillustratedinPlate19.
20
Plate19.Stepsinestablishingandmanagingacoconutnursery(Photocredits:A.
Mohammed;Flickriver,2016;123RFLtd,2016;pinterest.com,2016;ValleyWines,
2016;Indiamart,2016a;Dreamstime,2016a)
2.2Nurserysiteselection
The production of coconut seedlings in a well–designed and maintained facility, facilitates
efficientselectionofuniform,vigorousseedlings(Plate20).Thenurserycanbelocatedinthe
interspacesofthecoconutplantationwherecoconuttreesprovideshadebutifanopenspace
is selected, the area should be provided with shade using 50 - 75% shade cloth as shown in
Plate20(TNAU,2012).
Plate20.Well-designednurseryfacility,CentralFarm,Belize.
21
The nursery site should have the following characteristics (Santos et al., 1996; Ghose and
Gopalakrishnam,2013):
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Beopen,level,well-drainedandnotpronetoflooding.
Havealightorloose-texturedsoiltofacilitatenurseryoperations;therefore,asandyor
sandyloamsoilisrecommended.
Haveadequateamountofsunlightandasourceofwaterforirrigationinclose
proximity.
Thesiteshouldhaveagriculturalaccessroadsfortransportation.
Itshouldbeawayfrompotentialsourcesofpestsanddiseasesandbefencedfor
security.
Thesiteshouldhaveashedorcontainerstostorematerialsandsupplies,farm
implementsandsmallequipment.
Havesufficientlytrainedmanpoweravailabletocarryoutnurseryoperations.
2.3Seedbedpreparationinthepre-nursery
Apre-nurseryisusedtoobtainuniformplantingmaterialpriortoplantinginanurseryproper.
It facilitates the sorting of seedlings by age, size or colour, and is especially useful to identify
and eliminate off-types. A pre-nursery is also useful to discard seednuts that do not sprout
afteraspecifictime(3-4months,dependingonvariety)alongwithanychlorotic,contorted,
damagedorotherwiseunsuitableseedlings(Harries,2016).
Thesiteshouldbecleared,ploughedandrotovatedtoafinetilth(Plate21).Thebedsshouldbe
10-20cminheighttoprovideadequateroot-roomanddrainage.Theyshouldbe2minwidth
toenableeaseofplanting,inspection,managementandmaintenanceoperations.Aspaceof60
cm between two beds will facilitate ease of inspection, selection, and seedling transfer
activities(TNAU,2012).
Awell-drainedplotwithfriable,sandyloam/loamsoilsisbestsuitedduetotherelativeeasein
removing the seedlings from the nursery. Heavy clayey soils and waterlogged soils should be
avoided.TheidealsoilpHrangesfrom5.5-7.0;however,seedlingsaretoleranttoapHrange
of4.5-8.5(TNAU,2012).
22
Plate21.Nurseryseedbedpreparation(Photocredit:TNAU,2012).
2.4Plantinginthepre-nurseryseedbed
The distance between two seednuts along the row should be about 15 cm and the distance
betweentwoadjacentrowsshouldbe15-20cm.Seednutsshouldbelaidintrenchesinwhich
thedepthis10–15cm.Theseednutsareplantedbyfirmlysettingthemeitherhorizontallyor
verticallyorslightlytiltedwiththeembryoendatthetopandthewidestofthethreesegments
uppermost. Vertically-planted seednuts suffer more from drought and are less robust than
those from flat or horizontal planting although notching hastens their germination. With
horizontal planting, rate of germination and subsequent growth of seedlings are faster
compared to vertical planning; this is especially the case with Dwarf cultivars (TNAU, 2012;
CoconutCultivationBoard,2011;GhoseandGopalakrishnan,2013).
Theseednutsarethencoveredwithtopsoilsothat1/3oftheiruppersurfaceisvisible(Plate
22).Seednutsshouldnotbecompletelycoveredwithsoil.Fiverowsofnutsmaybeplantedin
each bed accommodating 50 nuts per row. Each bed should carry the same variety and all
seednutsshouldbeofthesameage.Itisbettertotimethesowingofseednutswiththeonset
of the rains. Normally dry coconut fronds and/or coir can be utilized as a mulch for the
seedbeds(GhoseandGopalakrishnam,2013).
SeednutsofTallvarietiesbegingerminationwithin2-4monthsaftersowingandseednutsof
Dwarfvarietiesusuallygerminate1-3monthsaftersowing.Generally,germinationisrecorded
tillthefifthmonthofsowingandagoodseedlotwillhave80-90%germination.Seednutsthat
do not germinate within 5 months can be removed from the pre-nursery and composted. A
12% discard of seedlings is acceptable at the pre-nursery seedbed stage (Coconut Research
InstituteofSriLanka,2006;TNAU,2012).
23
Plate22.Seednutssowninpre-nurserybeds(Photocredit:CoconutDevelopment
Board,2014).Distancebetweenseednutsalongrow≈15cm;interowspacing
=15-20cm.
2.5Selectionofseedlingsfromthepre-nurseryforplantinginthe
mainnurserybed
After4months,early-germinatednutswhichhaveabout5–6cmlongshootsareselectedfor
transplantingintomainnurserybeds(Plate23)orintopolyethylenebags.Thisoperationallows
theseedlingsmorespacetogrowvigorouslyandpermitsscreeningoutofunsuitableseedlings.
Earlinessofgerminationiscorrelatedwithearlyyieldandearlysplittingofleavesintoleafletsis
directlyrelatedwithspeedofgermination(Santosetal,1996).
Seedlings with sprouts that are single, sturdy, straight and well-set into the husk should be
selected. Off-colour seedlings and those with thin or spindly sprouts, 2 or more stems and
short leaf blade should be discarded. All selected seedlings must be free from diseases and
pests(NagarjunaGroup,2016).
24
Plate23.Seedlingsinpre-nurseryreadyforselectionandmovetothemainnursery
about4monthsaftersowing(Photocredit:Indiamart,2016a).
2.6Plantinggerminatedseednutsinthemainnurserybeds
Selectedgerminatednutsareremovedfromtheseedbedbyliftingwithaspadeandtheroots
aretrimmedbeforetransferringtothenurserybedwhichhassoiloffinetilth.Thetrimmingof
therootsassiststheseedlingstoestablishquicklyandwillinducethemtoproducenewroots.
Seedlingsshouldneverbeliftedfromthesoilbypullingtheleavesorstem(TNAU,2012).
Seedlingsshouldbeplantedasearlyaspossibleafterremovalfromthepre-nursery;theyare
planted 1/3 deep in the soil. All vacated plots in the pre-nursery seedbed should be refilled
with topsoil so as not to destabilize the remaining ungerminated seednuts. The spacing of
seedlingsinthemainnurseryshouldbeasshowninPlate24(TNAU,2012;KissanKerala,2016).
Plate24.Plantingdistancesforseedlingsinthemainnurserybed
(Photocredit:Dreamstime,2016a).
25
2.7 Maintenanceofpre-nurseryseedbedsandmainnurserybeds
2.7.1 Irrigation
After sowing, the seednuts should be irrigated thoroughly to saturation levels (TNAU, 2012).
Theseedbedsshouldbeirrigatedregularlytoensurethatthesoilismoist.Regularapplication
ofwateriscompulsoryunderdryweatherconditions.Keepseednutscoolbysprinklingwater
onthenutsasrequired,toavoiddryingoutofwaterintheendosperm.Thiscanbedoneusing
overhead sprinklers or a garden hose fitted with a nozzle. In the pre-nursery beds, apply 0.5
litres water to each sprouted seedling at least once every 3 - 4 days depending on weather
conditions(CoconutCultivationBoard,2011).Inthenurserybed,apply1litreofwatertoeach
seedlingevery2daysifthereisnorain.
2.7.2 WeedManagement
Weedinghelpsinmoistureconservationoftheseedbedandshouldbeconductedmanuallyby
hand-pullingonceortwicepermonth(CoconutCultivationBoard,2011)orwithawickwiper
containingasystemicherbicide.
2.7.3 Fertiliserapplication
Chemical fertilisers need not be applied to the seedlings in the pre-nursery during the first 2
monthsaftersowingsincetheseedlingsareusuallynourishedbytheendosperm(TNAU,2014).
Thereafter,ablendoffertiliserscanbepreparedbymixing1unitureawith2unitsTSPand4
unitsKCl.Theblendshouldbeappliedatarateof30g/plantat2monthsaftergerminationand
at 60 g/plant at the 4th and 6th months. From the 2-month stage and onwards, a solution of
MgS0₄shouldbeappliedmonthlyatarateof10mlper4.5litreswater(Ramkhelawan,2013).
2.7.4 Mulching
During hot, dry periods, pre-nursery and main nursery beds can be shaded with 65% shade
cloth,mountedonposts2mhigh(Plate20).Thesurfaceofthebedcanbemulchedwithdry
fronds and/or coir (Plate 25). This can promote early and more efficient germination, good
seedlinggrowthandbetterestablishment.
26
Plate25.Coconutseedlingsmulchedwithcoconutcoir,BartonIsles,Jamaica.
2.7.5 Pestanddiseasemanagementinthenursery
Careful inspections should be regularly made to detect incidence of pest and diseases in the
nursery. Scales, whiteflies and mealy bugs are often found on the underside of the leaves.
Dimethoatesprayedat0.05%andaspreaderstickercanbealternatedwithTriazophos40%EC
tokeepthesepestsatamanageablelevel.Thebiologicalinsecticide,BioneemorNeemexcan
besprayedwithastickerontotheundersurfaceoftheleavestocontrolmites.
For leaf spot and bud rot diseases, preventative treatments of 1% Bordeaux fungicide
alternated with 0.3% Idofil M-45 should applied twice per month. Severely infected leaves
shouldberemovedandburnt(Ramkhelawan,2013).
2.7.6 Seedlingselectionfromthemainnurserybedfortransplantingtothefield
After4-5monthsinthemainnurserybed,seedlingsarereadyforplantingoutinthefieldand
thisshouldcoincidewiththeonsetofrains.Properselectionofseedlingsinthemainnursery
aloneensuresa10%improvementinyield.Thefollowingconsiderationsshouldbemadewhen
selectingseedlingsfortransplantingtothefield(Plate26):
• Shootsshouldhaveagirthof10-12cmatthecollar.
• There should be a minimum of 6 leaves with youngest already differentiated into
leaflets.
• Theleafstalksshouldbeshortandthick.
• Seedlingsshouldhavearobusthealthyappearanceandfreefrompestsanddiseases.
• If rigorous standards of selection are adopted, 60 - 65% high quality seedlings in a
nurserycanbeobtainedfromthetotalnutssown(GhoseandGopalakrishnam,2013).
Seedlingsthatdonotmeetthesecriteriashouldberejected(Plate27).
27
Figure 1 shows a timeline for the various stages of operations in the pre-nursery and main
nurserypriortoplantingouttheseedlingsintheopenfield.
Figure1.Timelineofpre-nurseryandmainnurseryoperationspriortoplantingoutthe
seedlingsintheopenfield.
Seedlings should be removed from the main nursery by lifting with a spade and the roots
carefullycut.Seedlingsshouldneverbeliftedfromthesoilbypullingtheleavesorstem.Itis
importanttokeeptheseedlingsintheshadeandoutofthesunandtohavethemplantedas
earlyaspossibleafterremovalfromthemainnursery(KissanKerala,2016).
Plate26.Seedlingsbeingremovedfromnurserybedforplantinginthefield.
28
Plate27.Poorseedlingsthatshouldberejected(left)andgoodselectedseedlings(right)
(SketchfromElfick,2016)
2.8 Productionofseedlingsinpolyethylenebags(polybags)
Coconutseedlingscanalsobeproducedinpolybags(Plate28).Theadvantagesofusing
polybagsinsteadoffieldplotsareasfollows(Santosetal.,1996;Thomas,2007):
• Producingmorevigorousseedlingwithbetterrootsystem.
• Betterestablishmentandearlybearing.
• Transplantingshockisgreatlyminimizedsincethereisnorootdamage,thereby
promotingearlyestablishmentoftransplantedseedlings.
• Seedlingscanberetainedlongerinthenurserywhenconditionsforfieldplantingare
notfavourable.
• Weeding,wateringandeliminationofunwantedseedlingsaswellasseedlingselection
forplantingouttofieldaremoreeasilyaccomplished.
However, in the Caribbean, a polybag nursery can be quite expensive (cost of media, bags,
labour,transportofbagswithseedlings).
Usingthistypeofnursery,polybags,preferablyblack,UVresistantfordurabilityandmeasuring
40 - 45 cm wide with 8 - 10 holes at bottom and sides are half-filled with soil and compost
mixedata50:50ratio.Decomposedsawdust,corncobs,ricehullandotherorganicmaterials
canbeusedsoastoreducetheweightofthehalf-filledpolybagandimprovedrainageandsoil
fertility(Santosetal.,1996).
Polybagplantingmethod1
Inthismethod,theseednutsareparedatthetoptofacilitateemergenceofthesprout(Plate
28).Thenutisthenplacedinthehalf-filledbagintheuprightpositioninthecentreofthebag.
Next, the bag is filled with soil with the sides slightly pressed to keep the nut firm until it is
almostcovered.Asthesoilsettles,itwillcoverupto2/3ofthenut(Santosetal.,1996).
29
Plate28.Paredseednutplacedinpolybag(LeftdiagramfromElfick,2016;rightdiagram
redrawnfromElfick,2016).
Inthismethod,thereisnopre-nurserysincetheseednutsareplaceddirectlyintothepolybag
before they are germinated. The germinated seedlings are later picked out from the nursery
once 80% of the nuts have germinated or about 5 months from sowing, whichever is earlier,
andthenlaidoutinthenurseryasshowninPlate30.
Polybagplantingmethod2
Inthismethod,thenutsaresowninapre-nurserybedasexplainedinSection2.4andwhenthe
sprouts are 5 - 6 cm long (about 4 months after sowing), each seedling is then placed in the
half-filledpolybagwiththesproutinanuprightpositioninthecentreofthebag(Santosetal.,
1996;Thomas,2007).Next,thebagisfilledwithsoilwiththesidesslightlypressedtokeepthe
nutfirmuntilitisalmostcovered(Plate29).
In both methods, the size of a polybag nursery could be 3 m x 6 m with about 1.5 m spaces
betweenplots(Plate29).Eachplotwilleasilyaccommodateabout115seedlings.
Plate29.Earlystepsofcoconutpolybagnursery(Photocredits:TraineeAgriculturalistin
Malaysia,2013;CoconutDevelopmentBoard,2013b).
30
At5-6monthsaftersowing,thepolybaggedseedlingsarelaidoutinalargerpolybagnursery
asshowninPlate30(Nos.1and2).Equalsettingoftheseedlingsatoptimumdistanceallows
themmorespacetogrowanddeveloprapidly.Thetechniquefollowsatriangularsystemwith
equalspacingof60cm.
The polybagged seedlings are set in the same order as they germinated with the earliest
germinatingseedlingsbeingplacedinthefirstrowintheeasternsideofthearea.Thelastones
to germinate are placed in the western section of the area. This practice reduces the
competition for sunlight from among the earliest and latest germinating seedlings. Most
importantly, selection of vigorous seedlings is facilitated and since the first pricked seedlings
areplacedinrows,cullingorjudgingbyageiseasilyaccomplished(TNAU,2014).
Plate30.Layingoutofpolybags(Diagramandphotocredits:Santosetal.,1996;
TraineeAgriculturistinMalaysia,2013;CoconutDevelopmentBoard,
2013b;Elfick,2016).
2.8.1Maintenanceofpolybagnursery
Thesamepracticesofwatering,weedingandinspectionforpestanddiseaseincidenceusedin
prenurseryandfieldplotnurseryproductionofseedlingsarerecommended.Apply30gperbag
per month of granular fertiliser (mix 1 unit urea + 2 units TSP + 2 units KCl + 1 unit MgSO₄)
directlytothesoilmix,inaringaroundtheseednut(Ramkhelawan,2013).Afterwards,thesoil
is lightly cultivated to promote faster dissolution and absorption of fertiliser. Topping up the
surfaceofthesoilmixwithcoircanpreventweedgrowthandreduceevapotranspiration(Plate
30(No.3).
31
2.8.2Transplantingfrompolybagstothefield
Leaf splitting (differentiation) occurs 4 - 5 months after polybagging, indicating that the
seedlings are ready for field planting. Transplanting steps from the polybag to the field are
showninPlate30(No.4).
2.9 Recordsandsignageinnurserybeds
Inadditiontokeepingarecordsfile,asignboardshouldbeplacedinfrontofeachnurserybed
andshouldprovidethefollowinginformation(Santosetal.,1996;BaylonandRivera,2016):
•
•
•
•
•
•
Nameofvariety/cultivar.
Datewhennutswereharvested.
Datewhennutswerereceivedinthenursery.
Dateofsowing.
Numberofseedssown.
Seedbednumber.
32
CHAPTER3–Culturalpracticesforcoconut
3.0Introduction
Prior to 2007, many coconut farms in the Caribbean were left abandoned for several years
because of negative marketing and high incidences of pests and diseases. Recently, due to
greatly-improvedmarketdemandforcoconutproducts,manyfarmersaredesperatelytryingto
rehabilitate their farms and/or bringing new areas under cultivation. In these efforts, they
require improved varieties and knowledge of good agricultural practices and integrated pest
management.
This chapter attempts to provide information on the cultural practices necessary for the
coconutplanttorealizeitsoptimumpotentialintermsofproductionandproductivity.
3.1Ecologicalrequirementsofcoconut
Coconutpalmscangrowinvariousenvironments,althoughcertainecologicalconditionslimit
their growth. Several agro-climatic factors affect productivity, including altitude, rainfall,
temperature, relative humidity, wind, solar radiation, daylength and, soil type including its
physicalandchemicalproperties(Darwis,1990;WaneyandTujuwale,2002).
Altitude affects coconut production and oil content. The higher the elevation, the lower the
temperature. Optimum altitudes are below 400 m at latitudes between 30° N and 30° S but
coconutplantscangrowwelluptoanelevationof900matthissamerangeoflatitudes.Trees
that grow at elevations above 500 m produce a thin endosperm and low oil content (Waney
andTujuwale,2002).
Coconutpalmsthrivewellunderanevenlydistributedannualrainfallrangingfrom1,000mmto
3,000mm.Asuitableannualrainfallrangesfrom1200to2500mmperyear(Darwis,1990;De
Taffin, 1998). Rainfall distribution also plays a key role in determining coconut growth and
productionandshouldbeatleast130mmpermonth.Asthetreestoreslittlemoistureandhas
notaproots,itisnotsuitedforregionswithlongandpronounceddryspellsduringwhichthe
watertableisconsiderablyreduced.Awatertablethatistoohighandremainsstagnantover
long periods is also harmful to the palm. When rainfall drops below 1,000 mm per year or
when rainfall distribution is uneven, coconuts can be grown successfully only when irrigated
(Darwis,1990;DeTaffin,1998).
For optimum growth and maximum yield, the mean annual temperature should be
approximately27°C withadiurnalvariationof6°Cto7°C andarelativehumidityat80-90%.
An average ambient temperature of 27°C is good (less than 20°C and more than 34°C is not
suitable). When the average monthly minimum temperature is less than 18°C, growth is
33
reduced and female flowers abort. However, some varieties may produce satisfactorily at
temperatures less than 18°C. Optimum sunlight is 2000 - 2200 hours per annum with the
minimumbeing1500hours/annumor125hourspermonth(WaneyandTujuwale,2002).
Regions which are subject to frequent stormy conditions and hurricanes are not suitable for
growing the coconut palm. Dwarf palms are generally less resistant than the Talls to strong
windsbecauseoftheformer’sshallowerrootsystem.Treesaremostatriskfromuprootingat
3–5yearsoldsincetherootsystemislesswell-developedthantheabove-groundbiomass(De
Taffin,1988).
Coconut is grown under different soil types such as loamy, lateritic, coastal sandy, alluvial,
clayeyandreclaimedsoilsofmarshylowlands.Theidealsoilconditionsforbettergrowthand
performanceofthepalmareloosewell-drainedsoilsabout50-100cmdeepwithgoodwaterholdingcapacity,apHrangingof5.2-8.0,presenceofwatertablewithin3mand,absenceof
rock or any hard substratum within 2 m of the surface. Production is limited by shallow and
compacted soils, heavy clays, waterlogging and drought (Ghose and Gopalakrishnan, 2013;
CoconutDevelopmentBoard,2013a).
Every aspect in the production cycle for coconuts should have associated with it a set of
protocolstoensuretheuseofgoodagriculturalpractices(GAPs).
3.2Sitelayout,landpreparationandplanting
This is influenced by the choice of the farming system to be employed, for example,
monoculture, intercropping, or mixed farming. Ideally, the land should be completely cleared
ensuring minimal disturbance of the topsoil layer. Compacted soils should be ploughed and
rotovated to provide adequate drainage. Shallow soils with underlying hard rock, low-lying
areas subject to water stagnation and clayey soils are to be avoided. Raised, cambered beds
shouldbeestablishedinareaspronetowaterloggingbutmovementofsub-soiluntothetopof
thecamberedbedscanprovideanunsuitablechemicalenvironment.Fieldbordersshouldbe
establishedalongwithfencelines,accessroads,bridges,crossings,maindrains,andchannels,
ponds or wells for irrigation and other infrastructure. Proper supply of moisture through
irrigation should be ensured before planting. Also, planting should coincide with the onset of
rains(Santosetal.,1996;CoconutDevelopmentBoard,2013a).
3.3Plantingsystem
The selection of the appropriate planting system is influenced by varieties, type of farming
system (monocrop or intercrop), climatic and soil conditions. The various field arrangement
systemsrecommendedbytheCoconutDevelopmentBoard(2013a)canbeseeninPlate31.
34
Plate 31. Spacing and systems of planting coconut varieties under favourable agroecological
conditions(RedrawnfromCoconutDevelopmentBoard,2013a).
TheCoconutResearchInstituteofSriLanka(2016a)workinginvariousregionsofthecountry,
recommended that 8 m should be used for square plantings (158 seedlings/ha), 8.5 m for
triangularplantings(158seedlings/ha),7.3x8.5mforrectangularplantings(164seedlings/ha)
and7.3x9.2m–11.1mforintercroppingsystems(149–140seedlings/ha).DeTaffin(1998)
statedthatTallvarietiesmaybeplanted9mbetweentrees(160plantsperha),Hybrids(DxT)
8mbetweentrees(180plantsperha)and,Dwarfs7mbetweentrees(235plantsperha).
Thecoconutpalmgrowssymmetricallyandmaximumlightavailabilityisobtainedbyplanting
palmtreesinanequilateraltriangle(Plate31),suchthateachrowoftreesisstaggeredbyhalf
the planting distance in relation to the trees in the rows on either side. Each tree is thus
equidistantfromthesixnearesttrees.
Fieldsshouldbelinedaccordingtotheplantingarrangementsandplantspacing.Inthevarious
planting arrangements, rows should be aligned North – South to allow maximum sunlight to
eachplant.Thetaskofliningupconsistsofusingstakes1.2–1.5mlongtomarktherowssoas
toobtaintherequiredplantingdensity.Somestringandameasuringtapecanbeusedinsmall
areas;forlargerareas,precisioninstrumentssuchasasightingtelescopeortheodolitecanbe
used(DeTaffin,1998).
3.4Planting
Planting should be done at the beginning of the rainy season. Hence, timing of the nursery
shouldbeplannedinaccordancewiththeseasonalchanges.Seedlingsshouldbe8-10months
ofageforbettergrowthanddevelopment.Theyshouldbeplantedimmediatelyoratleast3
daysafterremovalfromthenurserytoavoidmortality(Santosetal.,1996).
For each planting hole, an area of soil 1 m in circumference is cleared of all vegetation and
levelled.Infertilesoils,holesshouldbedug30x30x30cmandinmarginalsoils,holes90x90
x90cmarerecommended.Theplantingholescanbedugatleast1monthbeforeplantingand
filledwithamixtureoftopsoil,coconuthusks,woodashandwell-decomposedmanurewhichis
35
thenallowedtosettle.Seedlingsaretransportedtotheplantingsitebytractorandtraileror
truck(DeTaffin,1998).
Theseedlingisthenplacedintheholeandbackfilledwithtopsoilmixedwith30gNPK(12-2412).Handletheseedlingcarefullysothatthesproutisnotdamaged.Thenutiscoveredwith
soilmixwhichisgentlypressedintoplacesothatthecentralbudandthecollaroftheshootis
abovethesoillevel.Thesurroundingsoilaroundtheseedlingisrakedthentheseedlingsare
irrigatedadequately.Irrigationisrecommendedimmediatelyafterplanting.Astheplantgrows,
soilisbackfilledtothesurroundingsoillevel.
Plate32.Methodofplantingcoconutinthefieldandlatercropestablishment
(SeedlingphotobyDreamstime,2016a).
3.5Fieldmaintenance
3.5.1Earlyseedlingcare
Soil washed and accumulated around seedling collar should be removed. Pits should be
widenedeveryyearbeforetheapplicationofmanureandgraduallyfilledastheseedlingsgrow.
3.5.2Irrigationanddrainage
It is important that rainfall be well distributed throughout the year for optimum coconut
production.Irrigationisnecessarytoprovidesufficientsoilmoistureduringdryperiodsandso
ensuregoodgrowth,developmentandyield.Anadultpalmrequires600to800litresofwater
once in 4 - 7 days (Coconut Development Board, 2013a). The production of female flowers and
setting percentage increases significantly under irrigation. During periods of drought, there is high
mortalityoftransplantedseedlings,sheddingofyoungnuts,dryingandhangingdownofolder
frondsand,failureofyoungfrondstoopen.
Duringyear1inthelifeoftheyoungplant,irrigationshouldbedoneatarateof20litresof
water per plant per week; and, in the second year, 45 litres per plant once in 4 days (TNAU,
2012).Basinirrigationispractisedbyapplicationof200litreswateroncein4daystoashallow
36
radialbasindugaroundtheplant.Incoastalsandysoils,seawatercanbeusedforirrigationof
palmsolderthan2years(CoconutDevelopmentBoard,2013a).
Scarcityofwaterandincreasingcostoflabourandenergymakedripirrigationaviableoption
to flood, basin or overhead sprinkler irrigation. Drip irrigation makes more efficient use of
water, labour and energy. It enhances plant growth and yield and is most suitable for soils
havingalowwater-holdingcapacityandundulatingterrain.Itreducesweedgrowth,improves
efficiencyoffertiliseruseandfacilitatesfertigation.Incoconutproduction,4drippers/emitters
pertreeisrecommended(TNAU,2012).Watercanbeappliedattherateof65-75litresper
palmperdayduringdrymonths.
Plate33.Dripirrigationandfertiliserapplicationtococonut(Diagramadaptedfrom
Elfick,2016;Photocredit:CoconutResearchInstituteofSriLanka,2016b).
Field drainage should be conducted to remove excess soil moisture for proper tree
development.Aminimumof50cmofdepthofwell-drainedsoilshouldbemaintainedduring
wetperiods.
3.5.3.NutritionandFertilisation
Coconut palms require adequate nutrition during the early years. Young plants that receive
fertiliser prior to flowering, grow faster, produce more and larger leaves, come into bearing
earlierthanunfertilisedpalmsand,producemoreandlargernuts(CIB,2015a).Themostrapid
growthoccursbetweenthesecondandfifthyearinthelifeofthecoconutpalm.Supportingthe
crownisthestemandthelattergrows30-50cmperyear,uptoabout40years.Drymatter
productionisabout50-80kgperyear.Initsprime,acoconutpalmnormallyproduces12-15
leavesandabout80-100waternutsperyear(ChanandElevitch,2006).
FromexperienceinJamaica,useoffertilisergaveyieldincreasesof14–58nutspertreeper
year while approximately 7 nuts were needed to pay for the annual cost of fertiliser (CIB,
2015a).
37
Soils in old coconut plantations are expected to be impoverished if there was no fertiliser
programme in place. Planting new and improved palms to replace old coconut groves makes
verylittlesenseifadequatenutrientsarenotsuppliedtotheplants.
Nitrogen is important in promoting leaf growth and development. Deficiencies in phosphorus
retardpalmgrowthanddelayflowering.Inpotassiumdeficientsoils,potassiumfertilizershave
a positive effect on the number of inflorescences, number of bunches, number of nuts per
bunch,andtotalnutproduction.
DataobtainedfromsoiltestsdoneincoconutgrowingareasinTrinidadandTobago,alongwith
the nutrients required to produce 100 nuts per year, were used to formulate a fertiliser
recommendation (Ramkhelawan, 2013). The fertiliser formulation recommended is 15-5-20
NPK.ThefertiliserratesperpalmatdifferentagesareshowninTable1.
Table1.Rateoffertiliserapplicationof15-5-20NPKperpalmperyear
(Ramkhelawan,2013)
Ageofpalm
Application
Numberofapplications
(kg/tree/year)
Adult>4years
2.00
June&December
1yearandless
0.20
Atplanting&6monthslater
2years
0.60
June&December
3years
1.20
June&December
Alternatively, instead of using 15-5-20, urea, triple super phosphate (TSP) and potash can be
purchasedandblendedintheratio(byweight):3urea:1TSP:3potash.Thisblendcanthenbe
applied at the rate shown in Table 1. In addition to the recommendations shown in Table 1,
wheresoilsareacidic,2kgoffinelygrounddolomitelimestoneshouldbeappliedperadulttree
peryear.
The Jamaica Coconut Industry Board (CIB, 2015a) recommends that fertiliser should not be
placedintheplantingholebecausetheplantedseedlingisstillfeedingontheendosperm.The
CIB has recommended that first application of fertiliser should be made 3 - 6 months after
planting by which time active feeding roots will have developed. Subsequent applications
shouldbemadeat6-monthlyintervals.Thefertilisermustbespreadoverthezonewherethe
active root tips occur. This zone stretches from the base of the palm to the limit of the leaf
spread(Plate33).
Duringthefirstyear,fertilisershouldbeappliedinacircle15–20cmfromtheseedlingstem.
Subsequent applications should be made in wider circles as the roots grow outwards. For
bearingtrees,fertilisershouldbespreadabout2mfromthebaseofthetrunk(Plates33and
34).Onslopinglands,thefertilizershouldbeincorporatedtoadepthof15cmatvariouspoints
atthesameradiusasdescribedpreviously.
38
Coconut husks are high in potash. Burying fresh or dried husks around the palm may reduce
fertiliser cost through nutrient cycling. It can also increase retention of moisture and benefit
drought-proneareas.Fortheplacementofthehusks,circulartrenchesmaybedug2mfrom
thetrunk,0.5mwideandatthesamedepth.Thebeneficialeffectofhuskburialwasreported
tolast5-7years.Theapplicationoffullydecomposedfarmyardmanure,whereavailableand
economic,hasalsobeenfoundtobebeneficialtothepalms(Ramkhelawan,2013).However,it
should be noted that the use of organic material can attract the Rhinoceros beetle (Section
4.6.1).
Plate34.Preparationofcirclearoundtrunkofcoconuttreetofacilitatefertiliser
application(Photocredit:CoconutDevelopmentBoard,2013a).
3.5.4Nutritionaldeficienciesincoconutandcorrectivemeasures
(DeTaffin,1998;Manoharan,2012;TNAU,2014;Vikaspedia,2016)
CoconutnutritionaldeficienciescanbecausedbyhighsoilpH,deepplanting,poorsoilaeration
and nutrient imbalances. Correction of nutritional deficiencies can take up to 2 – 3 years;
therefore, prevention of deficiencies by proper crop nutrition is important. The following are
some of the more important chemical elements for coconut and recommendations to
amelioratedeficiencies:
i.Nitrogen:Thesupplyofnitrogenwhichisaconstituentofplantcellsaswellaschlorophyll,is
of great importance for rapid development and vegetative growth. Nitrogen deficiency in
coconut(Plate35)beginsasauniformlightgreendiscoloration/yellowing(uniformchlorosis)of
theoldestleaves.Yellowingstartsfromthetiptobaseofthelowerleavesandproceedstothe
upper whorls. As the deficiency progresses, younger leaves also become golden yellow in
colour. Growth virtually stops followed by shedding of leaves when nitrogen deficiency is
severe.
Correction measure: Foliar application of 2% urea at fortnightly intervals or soil
applicationof1.0kgureapertree.
39
ii. Phosphorus: Phosphorus is important for cell division and plays an important role in root
growth and increased yields. Deficiency (Plate 35) occurs in acid and alkaline soils. The
symptoms of phosphorus deficiency include purple coloration of leaves and, in severe cases,
the leaves may turn yellow before drying prematurely. There is premature leaf shedding,
reductioninleafsizeandleafnumbersandretardedrootgrowth.
Correction measure: Foliar spray of diammonium phosphate (DAP) 2% at fortnightly
intervalsorsoilapplicationoffarmyardmanureattherateof5kgpertree.
iii. Potassium: Potassium has its important and specific functions apart from those which it
jointly performs in association with phosphorus. It regulates the water economy of the plant
andsoisindispensablefortherationalutilizationoflimitedwatersuppliesfortheproductionof
the highest possible yields. It enables the plant to withstand drought. Potassium is known to
help root development, enabling the palm to take up more nutrients from the soil. Since the
nutrient is particularly necessary for the formation of sugar, fat, and fibrous material, the
coconutpalmhasahighrequirementofpotash.
Deficiencysymptoms(Plate35)firstappearonoldestleavesandlaterspreadtoyoungleaves.
Translucentyellowororangespotsdeveloponleaflets(yellowingofleafmargin).Olderleaves
show necrotic spotting as well curling of leaflet tips. Leaflets with necrotic areas along the
margins later wither and the tree appears yellow while the trunk becomes slender with few
shortleaves.
Correctionmeasure: Broadcastafertiliserhavingananalysisof8-2-12-4Mgatarateof
1kgper13.7sq.mofcanopy areaevery3months. Correctionofpotassiumdeficiency
cantakeupto3years.
Plate35.Nutrientdeficienciesofmajorelementsincoconut(Photocredits:TNAU,2014;
Growables,2014;FarmsysAgro,2015;UF/IFAS,2015a;Vikaspedia,2016).
40
iv.Boron:Oneoftheearliestsymptomsofborondeficiency(Plate36)oncoconutpalmisleaf
wrinklingwhichismanifestedassharply-bentleaflettips,commonlycalled“hookleaf”.Leaves
have a serrated zigzag appearance. Symptoms always occur on newly emerging leaves, and
remain visible on these leaves as they mature and are replaced by younger leaves. Another
commonsymptomisthefailureofnewlyemergingspearleavestoopennormally.Atachronic
stage, multiple unopened spear leaves may be visible at the apex of the canopy. Boron
deficiencyalsooccursininflorescenceandnutswhichbecomenecrotic.
Correctionmeasure:Applicationofborax/sodiumtetraborate0.2%(2g/lofwater)ata
rateof75-100mlperseedlingafterwhich30-50gcanbeappliedtoeachadulttree
onceevery2years.
v.Manganese:Manganeseaidstheformationofchlorophyllinleaves.Itispresentmostlyin
lowerleavesandprovidesfavourablegrowthconditionsduringyoungerstagesofthepalm.The
newest leaves of manganese deficient palms emerge chlorotic with longitudinal necrotic
streaks.Asthedeficiencyprogresses,newlyemergingleafletsappearnecroticandwitheredon
allbutbasalportionsoftheleaflets.Thiswitheringresultsinacurlingoftheleafletsaboutthe
rachisgivingtheleafafrizzledappearance(‘frizzletop’).Inseverelymanganesedeficientpalms,
growthstopsandnewlyemergingleavesconsistsolelyofnecroticpetiolestubs.
Correctionmeasure:SoilapplicationofMnSO₄atarateof10kg/acre.
vi. Magnesium: Magnesium has beneficial effects on the general growth and productivity of
thecoconutpalm.Itimprovesproductionofmorefemaleflowers,theirsettingpercentageand
resultsinagreaternumberofnutsperbunch.Italsoplaysanimportantroleinphotosynthesis
andgreennessofleaves.Magnesiumdeficiency(Plate36)appearsontheoldestleavesofpalms
as broad chlorotic (yellow) bands along the margins with the central portion of the leaves
remaining distinctly green. In severe cases, leaflet tips may become necrotic. Older leaves
become bronzed and have a dry appearance. Leaflets show necrosis and turn reddish brown
withtranslucentspots.Yellowingstartsatthetipandspreadstothebase.
Correctionmeasure:SoilapplicationofMgSO₄atarateof1-2kg/tree/year.
vii.Sulphur:Sulphurisusefulintheformationofaminoacids,proteins,andoils.Itisnecessary
for chlorophyll formation, helps develop and activate certain enzymes and vitamins, and is a
structural component of two of the 21 amino acids that form protein. Typical deficiency
symptoms (Plate 36) are yellowish-green or yellowish-orange leaflets. In older palms, leaf
numberandsizearereduced.Sometimesanapronofdeadfrondsdevelopsaroundthestem
due to weakness of the rachis. Nuts may fall prematurely and copra is rubbery and of poor
marketquality.
Correctionmeasure:Soilapplicationofgypsumatarateof2-5kg/tree/year.
viii. Zinc: Zinc is needed for the creation of the plant growth hormone auxin and the green
chlorophyllandcytochromepigments.Itplaysanimportantroleintheformationofenzymes
andcarbohydrates,regulationofstarchesand,properrootdevelopment.Zincdeficiency(Plate
36)occursmostlyinsalinesoilsandischaracterizedbytheformationofsmallleaveswherein
41
the leaf size is reduced by 50%. Leaflets become chlorotic, narrow and reduced in length. In
acutedeficiency,floweringisdelayedandmanysmallnutsabortandfall(button-shedding).
Correctionmeasure:SoilapplicationofZnSO₄atarateof10kg/acre.
ix.Calcium:Calciumdeficiency(Plate36)occursonlyinacidsoilsandcausesyoungleavesto
exhibit narrow white bands at the margins; these show interveinal chlorosis and a rusty
appearance.Thereis“crimping”orrollingupofleaves.
Correction measure: Soil application of lime based on severity of the deficiency. An
applicationof1%calciumnitratetothesoilishelpfulinsomesituations.
x. Copper: Copper deficiency (Plate 36) causes a bluish leaf appearance with leaf ends
becomingbleachedgrey.Inseverecases,theplantfailstoproduceflowers.
Correctionmeasure:SoilapplicationofCuSO4atarateof10kg/acre.
xi.Iron: Irondeficiencyusuallyappearsonpalmsgrowinginpoorlyaeratedsoilsorthosethat
havebeenplantedtoodeeply.Water-loggedsoilsanddeepplantingeffectivelysuffocatethe
rootsandreducetheireffectivenessintakingupnutrientssuchasiron.Themainsymptomof
irondeficiencyischlorosisoryellowingbetweentheveinsofnewleaves(uniformchloroticnew
leavesasthedeficiencyprogresses,thetipsbecomenecroticandleafsizereduced).
Correctionmeasure:ApplicationofFeSO4attherateof0.25-0.5kg/tree/year.
Plate36.Nutrientdeficienciesofminorelementsincoconut(Photocredits:CPCRI,2007;
TNAU,2014;Growables,2014;FarmsysAgro,2015;Vikaspedia,2016)
42
3.5.5Weedmanagement
Weedsareaperennialproblemincoconutplantationsandcausesignificantlossesintermsofnutyield.
Management of the understory weed growth is, therefore, considered an essential step in
maintainingcoconutplantations.Thecostofweedingaccountsforasubstantialproportionof
thetotalrecurrentexpenditureformaintenanceofplantations.Heavyweedgrowthmakesthe
collectionoffallennutsadifficultexercise.
Seedling pits should be cleared of weeds periodically. In newly-planted fields, after lining the
fields, a good practice is to spray weedicide in a circle around each peg marking the planting
hole.Thiswillensureaweed-freeenvironmentevenbeforeplantingout,thusgivingtheplant
about2-3monthstoproperlyestablishitself.Failingthis,weedcontrolshouldbedoneassoon
aspossibleafterplantingtoavoidweedcompetition(CIB,2015b).
Weedcontrolmaybedonebytractor-drawnbrushcutters,hand-heldbrushcuttersalongwith
herbicides (for broad-leaved weeds, pre-emergence spraying of atrazine at 1 kg a.i./ha; for
grasses and sedges, post-emergence spraying of glyphosate at 10 ml and 20 g ammonium
sulphate/litre of water) directed away from the coconut plant (TNAU, 2012). Experiments in
Jamaica have shown that when weeds are controlled with weedkillers, young coconut palms
grow 50% faster and come into bearing 2 years earlier than when weeds are cutlassed (CIB,
2015b).
Also, cattle (along with sheep and goats) have been used for weed control in adult coconut
plantations(SenarathneandGunathilake,2012).ThisisdiscussedatlengthinChapter6.
3.6Harvestingandhandling
Harvestingcoconutsforwaterprocessing(FAO,2007)
Thevolumeofwaterthatcanberecoveredfromacoconutvariesaccordingtovarietyandlevel
of maturity. Maypan hybrid varieties, for example, yield larger volumes than Dwarf green,
yellowandorangevarieties.TallvarietiesyieldmorewaterpernutthanDwarfsbutDwarfsare
earlier-maturing and produce more nuts per tree. Dwarf varieties are grown mainly for water
productionsincetheendospermdoesnotthickenenoughnoryieldsenoughoiltoeconomically
warrantitsuseforoilproduction.Productivetreescanyieldover100nutspertreeperyearand
goodyieldingtreesshouldhavemorethan375mlwaterpernut.
Nuts on the same bunch ripen at the same time. At 6 - 7 months after pollination, the
endosperm is mainly liquid (coconut water) and can be harvested for water (TNAU, 2012).
About1-2monthsafterthisstage,thatis,about8-9monthsafterpollination,themeator
jelly is still soft (soft endosperm) and this can be scooped with a spoon and consumed along
with the water (Plate 37); the water quality is best at this stage and is the ideal stage for
harvestingthenutforwater.
43
Bunches of tender nuts can be harvested at monthly intervals. Ideally, the time of harvest
shouldbethecoolpartsofthedaytoreducenutdeterioration.Inwell-maintainedandhighyielding plantations, bunches for water are harvested at 45 – 60 day intervals (Ghose and
Gopalakrishnan, 2013). However, considering hired labour cost, the recommended harvesting
cycleisevery45daysforpracticalandeconomicreasons(TNAU,2012).Twotothreebunches
ofcoconutscanbeharvestedatthesametimefromeachpalmifthiscycleisfollowed.
Plate37.Coconutjellyfrom8–montholdMalayanGreencultivar.
Coconutsshouldneverbeallowedtofalltothegroundduringharvestingforwaterasthiscould
leadtomechanicalinjuryandfacilitatetheentryofmicroorganismswhichcausespoilageofthe
water.Nutssufferingcracksduringharvestinghavebeenfoundtoyieldwaterthatwascloudy,
ofhighpHandhavingahigherfreefattyacidcontent.Duringharvest,coconutbunchesshould
beloweredgentlytothegroundusingarope(Plate38).
Plate38.Harvestingcoconutforwaterbygentlyloweringbunchtogroundusingarope(Photo
credits:Gogo159,2016;Itslife,2016)
44
Harvestedcoconutsshouldneverbeallowedtocomeintocontactwithextraneousmattersuch
as soil and chemical fertilizers, since if not properly washed off, these extraneous materials
increase the risk of chemical and microbiological contamination during coconut water
collection. Extreme care must be taken to avoid cracking during handling, loading/unloading
andtransportationsincecoconutsarehighlysusceptibletomechanicaldamage.
Theharvestedbunchesofnutsmustbeloadedinamannerwhichpreventsthemfromrolling
about and hence cracking during transportation. They must be handled (never dropped) with
careduringunloadinginordertopreventcracking.Fromeachhectare,yieldcanbeasmuchas
15,000nuts;consequently,areliablemeansoftransportationofthenutsisrequired,suchasa
tractor-drawn trailer. A good road or waterway network is needed in order to collect nuts
infield. Harvested nuts are best stored in a clean, well-ventilated area, off the ground (on a
rack)andawayfromdirectsunlight.
Itisdesirabletokeeparecordofthenutsharvestedperplot.Theyielddatacanbecorrelated
with factors such as leaf analyses and fertiliser inputs. It can also assist in making important
managementdecisionstoimproveyieldandproductivityofthecrop(DeTaffin,1998).
Harvestingcoconutsforseed(TNAU,2012)
Coconuts take about 12 months after pollination to fully ripen to the dry nut stage. Twelve
montholdnutscanbeharvestedforseed.InthecaseofTallvarieties,suchnutscanbestored
for2-3monthsbeforesowing,whereasinthecaseofDwarfsandhybrids,nutsshouldbesown
withinaperiodof10–15daysofharvest.
InmanyCaribbeancountries,thedominantcoconutvarietiesarederivativesofthePacificTall
orAtlanticTall.Mostofthesetreesareover60–80yearsoldandmorethan30mtallthereby
presentingaproblemforpickingofthematurenuts.Consequently,drynutsareallowedtofall
and then collected from the ground beneath the trees. The best nuts are then selected as
seednuts.
Harvestingcoconutsforcopraorwetprocessingofhardendosperm(TNAU,2012)
At the 12 - 13 month stage, the water (liquid endosperm) converts to the white meat (solid
endosperm)liningtheinsideoftheendocarp(shell).Meatharvestedatthisstageisoftendried
toproducecopraorwetprocessedtoextractcoconutoil(Plate39).Inpractice,theharvesting
cycle varies from 45 - 60 or 90-day periods with high copra and oil recovery. Harvesting too
earlycanunfavourablyaffectthequalityofthecopraintermsofoilcontent.Asmentionedin
theprevioussection,inmanycases,drynutsareallowedtofree-fallandthencollectedfrom
thegroundbeneaththetreespriortotheirprocessing.
45
Plate39.Processingofdriedcoconutkernel(copra)andfromfreshkernelto
produceoil(Photocredits:EatingAsia,2008;Venture,2011;
Veganbaking.net,2016).
Nutsharvestedforcoprashouldyieldupto180gcoprapernut.Followingtheharvest,thenuts
shouldbestoredasdescribedinSection1.8Plate18.
Theharvestingprocess(TNAU,2012)
Therearetwocommonmethodsofharvestingcoconuts.Thesearethepoleandtheclimbing
methods (Plate 40). Although both the pole and the climbing methods of harvesting require
considerable experience and skill to be performed safely and efficiently, each has its own
advantagesanddisadvantages.
Harvesting using bamboo poles is generally faster and less dangerous when compared with
climbing.Withbamboopoles,aharvestercouldalsoharvestmorenutsperunitoftimefrom
moretrees(upto100treesaday).However,oneshouldavoidcuttingthefrondtoharvestthe
bunchsincethefrondisstillfunctional(DeTaffin,1998).Also,poleharvestingcausesthenuts
tofalltothegroundandbedamagedandcanbeaverytediousprocessespeciallyfortalltrees.
Ontheotherhand,theadvantageofharvestingbyclimbingisthattheclimber/harvestercould
clean(removalofdryleaves,sheathsandspathes)andinspectthecrownofthepalmforpest
anddiseaseattack.However,thecutsmadetoconstructstepsinthetrunkincertaincountries
to facilitate climbing make the trees less suitable for timber purposes and fractures serve as
entrypointsforpests.
46
A palm-climbing machine (Plate 40) is useful and advantageous for harvesting operations in
placeswheretraditionalpalmclimbersarenotavailableandtreesareverytall.Thedeviceis
more efficient than manual climbing. With its use, around 80 trees are harvested each day.
Thereisalsolessriskoftheclimberfallingfromthetree.
Plate40.Climbersusingfootrope,poleandclimbingmachine(Photocredits:GoaChitra,2009;
Dept.ofAgriculture,2013;OneStopofX,2014;Indiamart,2016b;PeasantAutonomy,2016).
3.7Varietalconservationprogramme
Farm productivity and competitiveness of coconut plantations/estates can be increased by
developing and or introducing improved varieties that possess the capacity for high
productivity. Other benefits include resistance/tolerance to pathogens and adaptation to the
various environmental growing conditions. The importance of conserving coconut genetic
resources for breeding programmes cannot be overemphasised. A conservation programme
shouldaimforagermplasmcollectiontobeformedwhichcontainsthehighestpossiblelevelof
genetic variability present across the genepool. Maximum use of this germplasm and genetic
diversityshouldbemadeinplantbreedingforhigheryields,multipleusesandpestanddisease
resistance. Consequently, germplasm collections are required for all coconut producing
countriesbecauseofthehighrateofgeneticerosion(Santosetal.,1996).
In the Caribbean, market forces are rapidly moving farmers to plant early-bearing Dwarf
varieties for coconut water production instead of the Tall varieties that take much longer to
47
bear fruit and present difficulties for harvesting. Only in some countries such as Jamaica and
Belize are efforts being made to conserve Tall varieties and to use these in hybridisation
programmes for the production of hybrids useful for the production of both water, oil and
otherproducts.
48
Chapter4-IntegratedPestManagement
(Mainreferences:Manoharan,2012;Satayagopaletal.,2014;TNAU,2014;
UF/IFAS,2015b;KissanKerala,2016)
4.1Introduction
Integrated pest management (IPM) is a holistic approach to crop protection based on the
integration of multiple strategies, namely, cultural, physical, mechanical, biological and
chemical. IPM programmes are often devised to keep the pest populations to a level that is
lowerthantheeconomicalthresholdlevels.ModernIPMincorporatesagro-ecosystemanalysis,
ecological engineering, pesticide application techniques, plant health at different stages, pest
and defender population dynamics, soil conditions, climatic factors and utilisation of farmers’
past experience (FAO, 2013). Farmers are encouraged to make decisions based on their
collectiveobservationsandtosharetheirknowledgewitheachother.
The reliance of pesticides in farming is a major cause of widespread ecological imbalance
resulting in pesticide residue contamination, insect resistance and pest resurgence. There is
rising public concern about potential adverse effects of pesticides on human health,
environment and biodiversity. These effects can be minimised through the development,
dissemination and promotion of sustainable bio intensive approaches. This approach will
enablefarmerstotakeinformeddecisionsandwillalsoresultinuseofchemicalpesticidesonly
asalastresortandinasafeandjudiciousmanner.
Resistance to pesticides occurs when there is a heritable change in the sensitivity of a pest
populationthatisreflectedintherepeatedfailureofaproducttoachievetheexpectedlevelof
control when used according to the label recommendation for that pest species. The causes
and rate at which pesticide resistance develops depend on several factors, including how
rapidlythepestreproduces,thepest’slevelofresistance,themigrationandhostrangeofthe
pest,thepest’spersistenceandspecificity,andtherate,timingandnumberofapplicationsof
pesticide made. For instance, insect pests that survive in large populations and breed quickly
areatgreateradvantageofdevelopingresistanceespeciallywheninsecticidesaremisusedor
over-used.
4.2 IPMstrategiestoavoidpesticideresistance
ThefollowingIPMstrategiesarerecommendedtoavoidpesticideresistance:
1. Monitoring
Pestpopulationdevelopmentinthefieldshouldbemonitoredtodetermineifandwhen
controlmeasuresarewarranted.Also,oneshouldmonitorandconsiderthenumberof
natural enemies when making control decisions. After treatment, continue monitoring
toassesspestpopulations.Pesticidesshouldbeusedonlyasalastresortwhenallother
non-chemical management options are exhausted. Apply bio-pesticides or chemical
49
2.
3.
4.
5.
insecticides judiciously when the pests are in most vulnerable life stage. One should
adheretoapplicationratesandintervalsasperlabeldirections.
Pesticideselection
Pesticides should be selected with care and considerations should be made on the
impactonfuturepestpopulationsandtheenvironment.Forexample,oneshouldavoid
broad-spectruminsecticideswhenaspecificinsecticidewillwork.Preferenceshouldbe
giventogreenlabelledinsecticides.
Pesticideapplication
Whileapplyingpesticides,extremecareshouldbetakenintheirapplicationintermsof
dose,volume,timing,coverageandapplicationtechniquesasperlabeldirections.
Pesticiderotation
One should avoid the repeated use of the same pesticide, pesticides in the same
chemical class, or pesticides in different classes with same mode of action and
rotate/alternatepesticideclassesandmodesofaction.
Maintenanceofconservationareas
Careshouldbetakentopreservesusceptibleindividualswithinthetargetpopulationby
leaving unsprayed areas within treated fields. These susceptible individuals may
outcompete and interbreed with resistant individuals, diluting the resistant genes and
thereforetheimpactofresistance.
4.3Surveillance
As an IPM requirement, surveillance or plantation scouting on pest occurrence and other
observationsattheplantationshouldcommencesoonafterplantestablishmentandbedone
onaweeklybasis.Decisionsshouldbetakenbasedonanalysisofthefieldsituation,viz.,soil
conditions, weather, disease type and severity, pest levels, damage severity and number of
natural enemies. Farmers are encouraged to keep a record of their observations and data
collected. Keeping records of what happened helps in making an analysis and drawing
conclusions.
Thefarmershouldbeabletoprovideanswerstothefollowingquestions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Isthereachangeinthecropsituationcomparedtothelastsurveillance?
Whatkindofchange?
Isthereanyseriouspestordiseaseoutbreak?
Aretherebeneficialinsects?
Is there a balance in the field between pests and defenders (beneficial
insects/predators)?
6. Wereallthepestanddiseasesidentifiable?
7. Isthecrophealthy?
50
8. Whatmanagementpracticesareneededatthismoment?
9. Whenwillitbedone?
10. Whowilldoit?
11. Whoisresponsibleforwhatactivity?
12. Whatcanbedonetoavoidtheproblemsobserved?
Propersurveillancerequiresskillandknowledgeandthefarmerhastobeproperlytrainedto
undertakethisexercise.Forexample,whenscoutingfordiseases,thefarmermustbeawareof
problems caused by biotic factors such as fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens, or abiotic
factorssuchasweather,nutrientdeficiencies,pesticidesandsoilproblems.Inmanycases,the
causeofthesymptomisnotobvious.Laboratorycultureandanalysiswillthenberequiredfor
properdiagnosisofthecausalagentofthedisease.
4.4 KeypestissuesfacingCaribbeancoconutpalms(Eden-Green,2013)
•Thecriticalimportanceofredpalmmite,associatedwithproductionlossesof
morethan75%inTrinidad,25-30%inGuyanaandclearlycausingwidespread
damageinmanyothercountries.
•Thecontinuingthreatoflethalyellowingdisease,eveninJamaicawhere
“resistant”MalayanDwarfandMaypanvarietieshavesuccumbedinlargenumbers.
•Theneedtobringredring,itsSouthAmericanpalmweevilvector,andotherstem-
andflower-damaginginsectsundercontrol,especiallyforreplantingprogrammes.
•Theimportanceofbudrotdiseaseinsomecountries,notablyDominicanRepublic.
•Mostotherpestshavelimitedorsporadicdistributionbutcancauseseriouslocal
losses.
4.5 IPMpracticesforcoconutatdifferentgrowthstages
Pestsattackthecoconutplantatvariousstagesofgrowth.Fromthetimeofgermination
andearlyseedlinggrowthinthenurseryandearlygrowthinthefield(refertoChapters2
and 3), the grower must be pro-active in the control of pests and diseases since they
negativelyaffectlaterplantgrowthandyield.
4.5.1Nurserystage
•
•
•
•
Elite mother palms should be selected to obtain seed nuts for high quality seedling
production. One should avoid collecting immature nuts for use as seednuts and
overcrowdinginstorage.
SeednutsshouldbepreferablysowninMay-Junewiththecommencementoftherainy
season.Irrigation,drainageandshadeshouldbeprovidedforbedsasrequired.
Stringent selection of seedlings should be practised, by rogueing of undesirable
seedlings.
Goodculturalpracticessuchasirrigation,weedcontrol,mulchingandshadingshouldbe
providedfornurserybeds.
51
•
•
Seednutsthathavenotgerminatedwithin5monthsmustberemovedfromthenursery
bed.
Weedingandirrigationshouldbeconductedonatimelybasis.
4.5.2Pre-plantingstage
Thefollowingfactorsshouldbeconsideredatthepre-plantingstage:
• Propersiteselection.
• Adequatelandpreparationoperations.
• Provisionofadrainagenetwork.
• Provisionofaccessroads.
• Constructionofpondsandirrigationsystems.
• Preparationofcamberedbedsystemwheredrainageispoor.
• Preparationofplantingholesusingrecommendedspecifications.
• Plotsshouldbelined-upattherecommendedspacing.
• Useoftheappropriatevarietyfortheintendedproductsuchaswateroroil.
• Quality seedlings 8 – 9 months old should be planted in the field at the onset of the
rainyseason,orwhenirrigationisavailable.
• Therecommendedplantingtechniqueshouldbefollowed.
• Fertilisersandmicronutrientsshouldbeusedaspersoiltestrecommendations.
4.5.3Earlygrowthstage
Thefollowingarerecommendedpracticesattheearlygrowthstage:
• Carry out irrigation using 45 litres of water per seedling once every 4 days during dry
spells. For drip irrigation, 30 - 35 litres of water should be applied per palm per day.
Irrigationshouldnotbeexcessive.
• Weeklysurveillanceandassessmentsoftheestateshouldbeconductedanddecisions
takenonmanagementpracticesbasedonobservationsofPest:Defender(P:D)ratio.
• Affected portions of palms, buttons, wilted palms and dead palms should be cut and
burnt.
• Deadordamagedseedlingsshouldbepromptlyremoved.
• Naturalenemiesmustbeconservedthroughjudicialuseofbio-rationalpesticides.
4.6 MajorArthropodpestsofcoconutintheCaribbeanregion
4.6.1Rhinocerosbeetle(Oryctesrhinoceros)
Thisnocturnalpestisprevalentinnewly-clearedlandswhereitsfoodsourcewasdestroyedand
replacedbycoconutseedlings.Thepopulationseemstobehigherintherainyseason.
Identificationofthepest
Theadultbeetleisstout,brownishblackorblackandhasalonghornwhichprojectsdorsally
fromtheheadinmales(Plate41).Thefemalehasashorterhornandlays140–150eggswhich
52
areoval,creamywhiteandfoundinmanurepitsordecayingvegetablematteratadepthof5-
15cm.Theeggshatchintogrubs,whicharestout,sluggish,white“C”-shapedwithpalebrown
heads.Thegrubsarefoundatadepthof5-30cminthesoilandpupateinearthencellsata
depthof0.3-1m.
Symptomsofdamage(Manoharan,2012)
The adult beetle bores into unopened fronds, spathes and leaf midribs. The attacked fronds
whenfullyopen,showcharacteristictriangularcuts(Plate41).Thebeetlesalsoboreintothe
crowntofeed,therebydestroyingthemeristemandcausingplantdeath.Thecentralspindle
appearscutortoppledandthereareholeswithchewedfibresstickingout.
Plate41.Coconutrhinocerosbeetle(Oryctesrhinoceros)(Photocredits:AmericanPublic
GardensAssociation,2012;TNAU,2014;FAO,2013;Hara,2014;StateofHawaii,2014;UF/IFAS,
2015b).
Management
i.Culturalcontrol:
53
•
Cleancultivationispractisedbyremovalandburningofdeadplantpartsorwholedead
plantssincelarvaeshelterinrottingwood.
• Thevariouslifestagesofthebeetlemustbecollectedanddestroyedfromitsbreeding
ground,forexample,incowdung.
• Alldeadcoconutpalmsonthefarm(whicharelikelytoserveasbreedingsites)mustbe
removedandburnttomaintaingoodsanitation.
ii.Mechanicalcontrol:
• Duringpeakperiodofpopulationbuildup,theadultbeetlemaybeextractedfromthe
palmcrownusingGImetalhooks.
iii.Chemicalcontrol:
•Aggregationpheromonetrapsshouldbeinstalledintheperipheryoftheplantationata
heightof0.6-1mtolure,captureandkillthebeetles.
• As a prophylactic measure, 10.5 g Naphthalene balls (approx. three to four balls) are
applied to the topmost three leaf axils, then covered with fine sand. This should be
repeatedonceevery45days.
• Manure pits and other possible breeding sites should be treated with 0.01% Carbaryl
(50%WP)onawetweightbasis;thistreatmentshouldberepeatedevery3months.
iv.Biologicalcontrol:
• The Oryctes virus used as an inoculum at a rate of 6 beetles/acre can reduce the leaf
andcrowndamagecausedbythebeetles.
• Castorcakeshouldbesoaked(1kgin5litresofwater)insmallmudpotsandkeptin
coconutcultivationstoattracttheadults,whicharethenkilled.
4.6.2Coconuteriophyidmite(AceriaguerreronisKeifer)
Biology(Manoharan,2012;TNAU,2014)
Eriophyidmitesaretranslucent,cigar-shapedmicroscopicmitesthatcausedeformitiesto
coconutfruits.Theyarenoticedwhentheirfeedingcausesabnormalities.
Themite(Plate42)isusuallyfoundunderthebractsoffertilisedfemaleflowersanddoesnot
infesttheunfertilisedflowers.Thesemitesareveryminuteinsizemeasuring200–250micron
inlengthand36–52microninwidthwithtwopairsoflegs.Thenymphandadultarepalein
colourwithanelongatedbodyandworm-likeappearance.Thelifecycleofthismiteconsistsof
theegg,twolarvalinstarsandanadultstageandiscompletedin7-10days.Themiteresides
underthesepalsofdevelopingnutsupto6monthsandfeedsonthemesocarp.
Symptomsofdamage
§ Triangularpaleoryellowpatchesclosetoperianth.
§ Necrotictissue.
§ Browncolourpatches,longitudinalfissuresandsplitsonthehusk.
§ Oozingofthegummyexudationfromtheaffectedsurface.
§ Reducedsizeandcopracontent.
§ Malformed,smallernutswithcracksandhardenedhusk.
54
Inseverecases,thenutsaremalformedwithcracksandhardenedhusk.Themitescausethe
nutstobescarredbutthewaterqualityisunaffected.However,severely-scarredtendernuts
maynotfindacceptancebyconsumers.Thesemitesdonotcauseanydamagetoleaftissueas
withredpalmmites(RaoiellaindicaL.).
Plate42.Coconuteriophyidmite(AceriaguerreronisKeifer)(Photocredits:TNAU,
2014;Infonet-Biovision,2016;KissanKerala,2016;Pestnet,2016)
Management
i.Culturalcontrol:
§ Allmatureandprematurely-fallennutsoftheaffectedpalmshouldbecollectedand
destroyed.
§ Adequate irrigation and fertilisation based on soil test should be provided to increase
tolerancetothefeedinganddamagebythemite.
ii.Chemicalcontrol:
§ Borax (50 g) + gypsum (1.0 kg) + Manganese sulphate (0.5 kg) should be applied per
palmannually.
§ Youngbunchesshouldbesprayedwith5%wettablesulphur.
iii.Spotapplicationofecofriendlybotanicals:
§ Azadirachtin1%(5mlin1litreofwater)+Teepol(30mlin1litreofwater)shouldbe
alternated and applied to the crown region by a climber, covering only the top six
bunchesduringthedryseason.
55
4.6.3Redpalmmite(RaoiellaindicaHirst)
The red palm mite (RPM) is the most important pest from an economic standpoint and is
rampant in high populations in most Caribbean countries. It is an invasive alien species and
enteredtheCaribbeanregionin2004.Themitesaredispersedbywindaswellasoninfested
plantsorplantmaterial.DamagetococonutsfromRPMcanresultina70%yieldreductionand
possibly to job losses leading to major socio-economic problems for some Caribbean islands
(Sujatha, 2013). Although there is a good knowledge base in the region, there is a lack of
farmer awareness. In Trinidad, augmentative biocontrol is under investigation but classical
biological control agents may be needed and varietal tolerance needs to be assessed (EdenGreen,2013).
The RPM can be identified by its bright red colour and all stages including the eggs are red
(Plate 43). The adult females have black patches on their backs after feeding and grow to a
length of 0.32 mm and a width of 0.22 mm. The RPM forms colonies on the undersides of
leaves and causes damage by feeding through the stomata on the underside of the lamina
damaging guard cells. Mites can be detected on infected plants by rubbing a finger on the
undersideofleaves.Thisactiongivesareddish–browndiscolorationonthefingers.Population
levelsoftheRPMincreaseduringthedryseasonwithlonghoursofsunshinewhilehighrainfall
andrelativehumiditycontributetoreducedpopulations.
HighRPMinfestationsleadtouncontrolledwaterlossintheplantthroughtranspiration.This
leads to yellowing, necrosis and death of infested leaves (Plate 43). Severe RPM infestation
leads to fruit drop, aborted inflorescences, loss of vitality and significant yield reduction
(Sujatha,2013).
Plate43.Redpalmmite(RaoiellaindicaHirst)(Photocredit:UF/IFAS,2012).
56
Integratedmanagementstrategyforsuppressionofredpalmmite
There are no means presently available to efficiently manage RPM. Approaches to effectively
manageincludeutilisationofgoodagriculturalpracticessuchasfertiliserapplication,irrigation
andweedcontroltoreducecompetitionforwaterandnutrients.Treesthatareingoodhealth
andreceivingadequatequantitiesofwaterandnutrientsaregenerallybetterabletoresistpest
anddisease.Severelyinfestedleavesincludingdriedleavesshouldberemovedanddestroyed.
Theuseofbio-rationals/eco-friendlyacaricidessuchasneem(Azadirachtaindica)formulations
have assisted in reducing populations of RPM but is only practicable on seedlings and short
trees(lessthan4mtall).BananaandplantainplantsarealternatehoststoRPM.Consequently,
regulardetrashingofthesespecieswhenintercroppedwithcoconutisrequiredtoreduceRPM
populations.
Classical biological control studies are underway at the Central Experiment Station, Centeno,
Ministry of Agriculture, Trinidad to collect, identify and multiply native biolological agents
which are predatory species of mites such as the Phytoseiidae mite (Amblyseius largoensis),
predatoryinsectssuchaslacewings(Chrysopidaesp.)andvariousbeetles(Sujatha,2013).
4.6.4 Redpalmweevil(RhynchophorusferrugineusOlivier)
Theredpalmweevilisoneofthemostdestructivepestsofcoconut,oilpalmsandornamental
palms.
Identificationofthepest
Eggsareovalandcreamywhiteincolourandarelaidinscoopedoutsmallcavities,woundsand
othercutinjuriesinthetrunk.Thegrubislightyellowishwithoutlegs.Itisstoutandfleshywith
aconicalbodybulgedinthemiddleandtaperingtowardstheend.Thefullgrownlarvapupates
inside the stem and the cocoon is made out of fibrous strands. The adult weevil is reddish
brownandhassixdarkspotsonthethorax.Themalehasaconspicuouslongsnoutwithatuft
ofhair(Plate44).
57
Plate44.Theredpalmweevil(RhynchophorusferrugineusOlivier)(Photocredits:Pigletin
Portugal,2011;TNAU,2014;ValenciaInternational,2014; JardinesyServices
Aguber,2016)
Symptomsofdamage
§ Holescanbeseenonthestem(Plate44)withchewedupfibresprotrudingoutwards.
§ Reddishbrownliquidcanbeseenoozingoutfromthehole.
§ Thegrubscausedamageinsidethestemorcrownbyfeedingonsofttissueandoften
cause severe damage especially when a large number of them bore into the soft,
growing parts. In case of severe infestations, the inside portion of the trunk is
completelyeatenandbecomefullofrottingfibres.
§ Inthecaseofyoungpalms,thetopwitherswhileinolderpalmsthetopportionofthe
trunkbendsandultimatelybreaksatthebend.
§ Sometimesthegnawingsoundproducedbythefeedinggrubsinsideisaudible.
§ Intheadvancedstageofinfestation,yellowingoftheinnerwhorlofleavesoccur.The
crownfallsdownordryuplaterwhenthepalmisdead(Plate44).
Management
i.Culturalcontrol:
• All wilting or damaged palms in coconut plantations should be removed and burnt to
destroynestingsitesofthepest.
58
Cuttingofgreencoconutleavesshouldbeavoided;ifneeded,theyshouldbecutabout
120 cm away from the stem in order to prevent successful inward movement of the
grubsthroughthecutend.
• Properspacingofplantsisrequiredandover-crowdinginbudrotpronelocalitiesshould
beavoided.
ii.Trapmethod:
Step1:Specialisedbucketswith3-4holesaremadeandthebucketsarewrappedwith
coconut fibre/jute sack, so that the pests can easily enter.
Step2:Thelure(Ferrolure+)issuspendedinsidethebucketand1litreofwateris
added along with 100 g pineapple/sugarcane, 2 g yeast and 2 g Carbaryl.
Step 3: The bait buckets are placed at sites where infestation is most observed.
Step4:Afteraweek,thewaterischeckedforthecatchandrefilledtoprevent
mosquitoesfrombreeding.
iii.Chemicalcontrol:
•
§
§
§
§
Where the presence of the red palm weevils are observed, the bore holes are sealed
except the topmost one. Then 1% Carbaryl (20 gm/l) or 0.2% trichlorphon or 0.1%
endosulfan suspension at a rate of 1 litre per palm is poured into the hole, using a
funnel.Theholeispluggedandtheprocessisrepeatedafter1week.
When the pest infestation is through the crown, the crown is cleaned and the
insecticidalsuspensionisslowlypouredinthecrown.
Whereentryoftheweevilisthroughthetrunk,theholeintrunkmaybepluggedwith
cementortar.
Thecrownandtheaxilsoftheuppermostthreeleavesarefilledwitha2:1mixtureof
finesandandneemseedpowderorneemseedkernelpowderonceevery3monthsto
preventtheredpalmweevilfromlayingeggsinthearea.
4.6.5 Leaf-eatingorblack-headedcaterpillar(Opisinaarenosella)
Thiscaterpillarcausesseveredamagetopalmsbutitsappearanceissporadicandnot
widespreadintheCaribbean.
Identificationofthepest
Thecaterpillarorlarvaisgreenishbrownwithadarkbrownheadandprothorax,areddish
mesothoraxandbrownstripesonthebody(Plate45).Thenthepupapupatesinathinsilken
cocoon.Themothisgreyishwhiteincolourandthefemalehaslongantennaandthreefaint
spotsontheforewings.Themalehasfringedhairsonitshindwingsandapicalandanal
margins.
Symptomsofdamage
Coconuttreesofallagesareattackedleavingdrieduppatchesonleafletsofthelowerleaves
alongwithsilkandfrass(Plate45).Onlythe3-4youngestleavesatthecentreofthecrown
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remaingreen.Incaseofasevereinfestation,thewholeplantationhasascorchedappearance
(Plate45).
Plate45.Leaf-eatingorblack-headedcaterpillar(Opisinaarenosella)(Photocredits:Deejay
Farms,2015;TNAU,2014;Rotor,2014;AmpolfoodGroup,2016)
Management
i.Culturalcontrol:
Asaprophylacticmeasure,thefirstaffectedleavesshouldbecutandburnt.
ii.Chemicalcontrol:
When infestation is very severe in young palms and if biocontrol is not likely to be effective,
theundersurfaceofthefrondsshouldbesprayedwithdichlorvos0.02%(Dichlorovos100EC)
which can be alternated with malathion 50 EC 0.05% (1 ml/l), quinalphos 0.05%, endosulfan
0.05%orphosalone0.05%.
iii.Steminjection
Aslantingholeshouldbedrilled1mabovegroundleveland10mlofMonocrotophos36WSC
appliedwithasyringeandneedletothehole.Aftertheinsecticidehasbeenabsorbed,thehole
shouldbepluggedwithclaymixedwithcopperoxychloride.
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4.6.6 Scaleinsect(AspidiotusdestructorSignoret)
Symptomsofdamage
Scaleinsectsaremoreabundantinthedryseasonandtheyaffectleavesandnutsofcoconut
palms.Insevereinfestations,scaleformsacontinuouscrustoverflowerspikes,youngnutsand
thelowersurfaceoftheleaves.
Plate46.Scaleinsect(AspidiotusdestructorSignoret)infestationoncoconutfruit(Photo
credits:TNAU,2014;CopracoProducts,2014;SanPedro,2014;Aguirreand
Opiniano,2016).
On leaves, scales with yellow spots develop where the crawlers have settled and grown into
adults. Entire leaves may turn yellow to brown and fall. Sooty mould may also develop. The
bright yellow colour of affected coconut palms is clearly visible from a great distance. In
extremecases,theleavesdryout,entirefrondsdropoffandthecrowndies.Heavyinfestation
results in stunting of new leaves, reduction of crop yield or complete crop failure. Infested
coconut fronds exhibit yellow areas on the upper surface, formed by numerous yellow spots
eachmarkingthepositionofthecoconutscaleontheundersurface(Plate46).
Pestidentification
Eggslaidontheundersidesofleaves,hatchintonymphswhicharecoveredwithcircularwaxy
secretions(Plate46).Theadultscaleisbrightyellowandroundorreddish(female)andthe
malesareoval.Femalesarealwayswinglessandremainundertheirscaletheirentirelife.Adult
maleshaveonepairofmembranouswingsandmoveaboutactivelyinsearchoffemalesand
61
donotfeedduringtheadultstage.
Management
Chemicalcontrol:
1. Spray applications of Fish Oil Rosin Soap (FORS) 2.5%, Fenthion or Malathiomade are
recommended.Asecondapplicationshouldbemadeafter20days.
2. Afterharvestingthenuts,Monocrotophos36WSCatarateof2ml/haisapplied.Nuts
mustnotbeharvestedfor45daysafterspraying.
4.6.7.Coconutmealybug(NipaecoccusnipaeMaskell)
Plate47.Mealybugs(NipaecoccusnipaeMaskell)oncoconutleavesandfruit(Photo
credits:USDA–UF,2013;TNAU,2014;Alfaimg,2016;FlickrHiveMind,2016).
Symptoms
Flattenedovaltorounddisc-likeinsectcoveredinwaxysubstanceonpalmfronds;insectcolony
may be associated with growth of sooty mold due to fungal colonization of sugary honeydew
excreted by the insect. Severely infested plants may wilt due to sap depletion; leaves turn
yellow,graduallydryandultimatelyfalloff.Feedingonnutsresultsindiscoloured,bumpy,and
scarrednuts,withlowmarketvalue.
62
Management
Mealybugs can potentially be controlled by natural enemies such as lady beetles but are
commonly controlled using chemicals. However, chemical pesticides may also decrease
populationsofnaturalenemiesleadingtomealybugoutbreaks.
4.7CoconutdiseasesofregionalsignificanceintheCaribbean
4.7.1Redringdisease
OneofthemostimportantdiseasespresentlyaffectingthecoconutindustryintheCaribbean
region is red ring disease (RRD). This disease causes significant losses in Trinidad, Guyana,
Suriname, and Belize. RRD is a major threat to replanting where infestations are left
uncontrolled and traditional phytosanitary practices are no longer carried out (Eden-Green,
2013).
Thisfataldiseaseranksamongtheprincipallong-termproblemsofthecoconutindustry.Itwas
firstreportedasoccurringinTrinidadbyHartin1905(Griffith,1987).Therehasbeennorecord
of recovery in palms once affected. It is caused by a nematode, Bursaphelenchus cocophilus
Cobb. which is transmitted by the South American palm weevil Rhynchophorus palmarum L.
(Plate48).Thevectorisalsoapestandfeedsontheapicalmeristematthecrownandresultsin
stuntedgrowthoffronds;this“witchesbroomeffect”iscalledLittleLeafSyndrome(Plate49).
Theweevilredringcomplexisdescribedbelow.
Theredringnematodeistransmittedduringweevilfeedingandoviposition.Theheaviestlosses
duetoRRDoccurattheendofthewetseasonandthefirst2-3monthsofthedryseasoni.e.
betweenDecemberandMarchinTrinidad.Thisdiseaseoccursmostcommonlyintrees2½-10
years old, with greatest incidence in trees 4 - 7 years old. Replanting efforts are seriously
affectedbyRRD(Ramkhelawan,2013).
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Plate48.SouthAmericancoconutpalmweevil(RhynchophoruspalmarumL.)
(PlateredrawnfromBrammerandCrow,2001).
Theweevil(Plate49)isablackinsectandmeasures4–5cminlength,1.4cmwideandweighs
1.6 – 2.0 g. The male has a characteristic patch of stiff hair on the top of the rostrum. The
female has a long, ventrally curved rostrum which is used to pierce palm tissue and create
accesswoundsinwhicheggsaredeposited.Asmanyas700eggscanbedepositedincracksor
wounds in the bark and on hatching, the larva (Plate 49) tunnels through the tissues during
feeding.Thelifecyclefromeggtoemergenceofadultis77–80daysandtheadultweevillives
forabout48days.Thenematodesareinjectedintothesofttissuesofthecoconuttreewhen
theweevillayseggsintheleafaxiland/orcrownofthepalm.Thenematodesrapidlymultiply
andabout66,000nematodescanbefoundpermetreofstem.Manyoftheconductingvessel
elementsinthetreebecomeblockedandtheuptakeofwaterandnutrientsisreduced.
ThemainsymptomofRRDisaprogressiveyellowingandbrowningofthefronds,startingfrom
thelowestleafandprogressingtotheyoungestleafatthetopofthetree(Plate49).Theyellow
discoloration usually starts from the tip of the leaflets. Nuts at all stages of development are
shed prematurely with the development of leaf symptoms. There is necrosis in the flowers,
tunnelsinthestemmadebytheweevillarvaeandtheaffectedplanttissuerots,producinga
characteristicfoulodour.Theringofdarklycolourednecrotictissueobservedinthecutcrosssectionsofstemsofpalms(Plate48)hasgiventheafflictionthenameredringdisease.
SymptomsoffrondyellowingcausedbyRRDarenotevidentuntil2-3monthsafterinfection.
The crown of the tree then topples over about 4 - 6 weeks after the symptoms first appear
64
givingtheheadlessstematelephonepoleappearance(Plate49).Thisoccursduetothesevere
feeding damage caused by the palm weevil larvae. Adult weevils emerge from exit holes in
diseasedtreesandcancarrynematodestoothertrees.
ManycoconuttreeswhichshowyellowingandbrowningofleavesmaynotbeduetoRRD.This
may be attributed to other problems such as potassium deficiency, severe drought,
waterlogged conditions, red palm mite infestation and coconut lethal yellowing disease. To
ascertainthepresenceofRRD,a5mmlengthofpipecanbedrivenintotheleafaxilofthetree
up to a depth of 7.5 cm. The pipe is then removed and if the plug of tissue has a reddish or
brownish discoloration about 4 cm from the surface, then the disease is RRD. If the tissue is
entirely white, then the tree does not have RRD. The artificial hole should be plugged with a
wooden dowel and sealed with a wound protectant containing bitumen. The weevil is only
noticedwhenthediseaseisinanadvancedstage;bythistime,thedamageisirreparableand
thetreedies.
Management
SinceRRDcanbespreadviathevector(fromonepalmtoanother),thereisneedforagood
publicawarenessprogrammeregardingitsmanagement.Themosteffectivestrategytolower
the incidence of RRD is the rapid elimination of nematode infected palms coupled with a
reductionoftheweevilpopulationthroughtheeliminationofbreedingsitesandthetrapping
of adult weevils. Diseased palms can be killed by augering 3 holes about 10 cm deep with a
12.5mmdiameteraugeraroundthetreetrunk.Theholesshouldbemadeslantingdownatan
angleofabout45°andatalevel15cmabovethesoilsurface.Then,anarboricideortreekiller
(containing the active ingredients ammonium sulphamate and synthetic plant-growth
regulatorsbasedonphenoxyaceticacid)shouldbeappliedtoeachholeattherecommended
rate.Thiswillkillthetreewithin7-10days.IfthetreeisinanadvancedstageofRRD,such
treesshouldbecutdown.Allpartsofthetree,includingpiecesoftissueandthestumpshould
be sprayed with a biological insecticide such as Neemex to deter palm weevils from feeding
there.After14days,thedried-outremainscanbeburntorcomposted;thiswilldestroylarvae
andpupaewhichareinsidethetrunk.
Ramkhelawan (2013) in field trials at the Centeno Research Station in Trinidad, found that
mixingonetablespoonCarbaryl80(3%a.i.)withcoconutcoir,andplacementintheleafaxils,
atfourorfivelocationsandalsointheupperpartofthecrown,killedalightingweevils.
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Plate49.Thecoconutweevil,Rhynchophoruspalmarum,anditsassociationwiththeredring
nematode,Bursaphelenchuscocophilus.(Photocredits:BrammerandCrow,2001;Caspercorp,
2011;Dilbar,2013;Wikipedia,2014;AnaamayaOrganicClub,2015).
Chemicalcontroloftheweevilalonewillnotbesuccessfulsincethelarvaespendtheirentire
lifeinsidethetrunk.AnIPMprogrammeshouldbecarriedoutandthisinvolvesthefollowing:
•
•
•
•
Earlydetection,destructionandremovalofinfestedpalms.
Diseasedpalmsshouldbecutdownthenchoppedintosmallpiecesandsprayedwithan
insecticide,e.g.Cabaryl,tokillthelarvaeoftheweevil.Treesshouldthenberemoved
and burnt to kill any remaining larvae or young weevils as well as nematodes in the
planttissues.
Theweevilpopulationcanbereducedbythecaptureofadultswithtrapsbaitedwith
rotted plant materials, such as palm tissue, pineapple and sugarcane treated with an
insecticide and synthetic aggregation pheromones (Rhynchophorol). Sugarcane and
pineapple attractants should be replaced after 2 weeks; after this the bait should be
safelydisposedofandreplaced.Thepheromonecanattractweevilswithinaradiusof1
km and its efficacy lasts for 4 weeks, after which it is replaced. These traps are more
effective in the dry season where the weevils are most active in the cooler night
temperatures.Trappingshouldcontinueyear-roundtoreducethepopulationofweevils
tothebarestminimum.
Certainchemicalsfoundinredringdiseasedpalmsandthosethatarewounded,attract
the palm weevil. Therefore, one should avoid unnecessary pruning of fronds and
wounding of the tree during nut harvesting and cultural practices since the exposed
tissuescommonlyattractthevector.
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•
Thereisaneedforarea-widecontrolmeasuresbackedbyresearchonalternativesto
obsoleteinsecticidesandsemiochemicals(theseincludepheromones).Also,biocontrol
methodsareurgentlyneeded(Eden-Green,2013).
4.7.2 Budrot(Heartrot)
Bud rot is a fatal disease of coconut palms caused by the fungus-like organism Phytophthora
palmivoraButler,whichdestroystheterminalbudandadjacentleavesandeventuallykillsthe
palm.Itcanresultinheavyeconomiclossestofarmersiftheproblembecomeswidespread.It
occursthroughouttheCaribbeanregion,butisusuallysporadicandcanbedifficulttodiagnose
(Eden-Green, 2013). Outbreaks in the Dominican Republic are thought to be associated with
introductionofhybridsfromWestAfrica.
Diseasesymptoms
Coconut palms of all ages are liable to be attacked particularly during the rainy season when
therelativehumidityisveryhigh.Inseedlings,thespearleafbecomeschlorotic,rapidlyturns
necrotic (black spots appear on spindle leaves and basal tissues), rots rapidly and comes off
withagentlepull.
Infectionspreadstotheolderleaves,causingsunkenleafspotscoveringtheentireleafblade.
Spot margins are irregular and water-soaked, and when the leaves are unfolded the
characteristicirregularspotsareconspicuousontheblade.Infectedinflorescencesabortnuts.
Inthelaterstages,thespindlewithersanddropsdown(Plate50).Thetenderleafbaseandsoft
tissuesofthecrownrotintoaslimymassofdecayedmaterialemittingafoulsmell.Ultimately,
theentirecrownfallsdownandthepalmdies(Plate50).
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Plate50.Budrotincoconut(Photocredits:Prabu,2007;TNAU,2014;ProMED-mail,2014).
Management
Controlofthediseaseisreliantongoodsanitationpracticesandtheuseofappropriatesystemic
fungicides.Thefollowingintegratedmanagementstrategiesarerecommendedforthecontrol
ofbudrotdisease(Nambiar,1999;GhoseandGopalakrishnan,2013;TNAU,2014):
• Beforetheonsetoftherainyseason,alldeadanddiseasedpalmsshouldberemoved
fromthefieldanddestroyed,includingtheinfectedcrownregion.
• Thecrownshouldbecleaned.
• Field hygiene should be maintained by controlling weeds, removing fallen coconut
fronds,otherplantpartsandreducingexcessiveshadefromothertrees.
• Drainageaswellasthecontrolofotherpestsanddiseasesarenecessary.
• Irrigation should be applied to palms early in the day to allow surfaces to dry off as
quicklyaspossible.
• Fertiliser (organic and inorganic) should be applied in recommended quantities just
beforetheonsetoftherainyseasontoboostthepalms’defences.
• Surveillance to identify bud rot symptoms should be conducted early and curative
treatment adopted in the initial stage of the disease. All infected tissues of the crown
should be removed and Bordeaux paste applied on cut ends; a protective plastic
coveringshouldbeprovideduntilnormalshootsemerge.
• Bordeaux mixture (1%) should be sprayed on the crowns of neighboring palms as a
prophylacticmeasureatthestartoftherainyseason(duringthemonthofMay).Ifthe
diseaseoccursfrequently,thesamemixtureshouldbere-appliedinNovember.
68
•
Asafurtherprophylactictreatment,Mancozebsolution(5gin300mlwaterperpalm)
shouldbeappliedatbi-monthlyintervals.Alternatively,twoperforatedsachetseach
containing5gMancozebcanbeplacedintheinnermostleafaxilsofeachpalm.
These recommended management practices can provide effective control of bud rot and
require active involvement and participation of farmers, cooperatives, self-help groups,
extensionagenciesandhomegardeners.
4.7.3 Lethalyellowing
Lethalyellowingisafataldiseasecausedbyaphytoplasmawhichisacellwall-lessbacterium
foundonlyinthephloemofhostplants.ItisspreadbytheplanthopperMynduscrudusVan
Duzee (oftheCixidaefamily),asitfeedsfrompalmtopalm.Confirmationoflethalyellowingis
basedonamoleculardiagnosticassayusingpolymerasechainreaction(PCR).
No single symptom is diagnostic of lethal yellowing. Rather, it is the appearance and
chronological progression of symptoms that accurately identify the disease. The first obvious
symptom on mature palms is a premature drop of most or all fruits. For coconut, the calyx
(stem)endofthefruitwillusuallyhaveabrowntoblack,water-soakedappearance(Plate51).
Plate-51.Lethalyellowingeffectsonfloweringandfruitingofcoconut
(Photocredits:HarrisonandElliott,2008;Myrie,2013).
Next, inflorescence necrosis (death) occurs. Normally light yellow to creamy white in colour,
emergingflowerspikeletsareinsteadpartiallyortotallyblackened.Maleflowersabscisefrom
69
flowerspikeletsandthereisnofruit.Theentireflowerstalkturnsblack.Thelower,olderleaves
turn yellow from the tip towards the trunk then they turn brown. For most Tall coconut
cultivars, leaves turn a golden yellow before dying, while on Dwarf cultivars, leaves generally
turn a reddish to grayish-brown. These leaves become dry, and later hang limply from the
canopy before falling. Infected plants normally die within 3 - 6 months of infection leaving
headlesstrunks(Plate52).
Distribution
LethalyellowinghasbeenfoundtobeverydestructiveinthenorthwesternCaribbean
(Jamaica,Cuba,Haiti,Belize,CaymanIslands,Guatemala,Bahamas,Florida,Mexicoand
Honduras).IthasrecentlyspreadtoStKitts-NevisandAntiguabutisnotyetwidespreadinthe
DominicanRepublic(Eden-Green,2013).
Plate52.Adultcoconuttreeskilledbylethalyellowingdisease
(Photocredits:CIRAD,2009;Invasive.org,2010;Myrie,2013).
Management
Thereare no direct control methods,consequently, trees should be felledassoonas thefirst
symptomsappear.Goodweedmanagementisessentialsincemanygrassesactashoststothe
insectvector.Cultivarsthatarelesssusceptibletothedisease,suchasMalayanYellow,Green
and Red Dwarfs, Panama Tall and Maypan (Panama Tall x Malayan Yellow Dwarf), should be
used.However,thepreviouslyresistantMalayanDwarfandMaypanarenowbeingaffectedin
Jamaica(Eden-Green,2013).
70
The Coconut Industry Board in Jamaica is breeding hybrids with better resistance but these
require further testing and deployment. There is also the need to screen varieties for
alternativesourcesofresistance.Itappearsthatthediseaseinlesssusceptiblevarietiescanbe
managedbyrigorousphytosanitationandintensivecultivation(Eden-Green,2013).DeTaffin
(1998)stressedthatstrictphytosanitaryquarantineproceduresshouldbeenforcedtoprevent
themovementofcoconutseeds,seedlings,andmaturepalmsfromlethalyellowingepidemic
areas.
Antibioticinjectiontreatment[oxytetracyclineHCl(Terramycin)]every4monthsiseffectivebut
not usually practical for largescale plantings. It should be noted that the Jamaica Tall coconut
cultivar was nearly wiped out by lethal yellowing. The spread of the disease in Jamaica is
depictedinPlate53.
Plate53.LethalyellowingadvanceinJamaicasince1952(Diagramredrawnfrom
Myrie,2013).
71
Chapter5-COCONUTINTERCROPPINGSYSTEMS
5.0Introduction
Thepressureofincreasingpopulationinthehumidtropicshaspromptedacceleratedinterestin
methods for increasing agricultural production and income from unit area of land.
Intensification of cropping in areas planted with coconuts, in response to current market
demandsisaverypromisingstepinthisdirection.Mono-croppingcoconutsprovidesverylow
incomes for farmers even at optimum planting density (Proud, 2005). Clearly, coconut
monocropping has a very low utilisation efficiency of agricultural land and even with varietal
improvementislikelytoremainso(Magat,1990).
Thereisalargeareaoflandbeneaththecanopyofcoconutplantationsavailableforthefarmer
to use (Figure 2). Diversifying the farming system by intercropping i.e. crops grown within
establishedcoconutstands(Reynolds,1988),canimprovetheproductivityoflandandlabour
and provide the grower with an income until the plantation becomes productive (Oommen,
2001).
Intercropping takes advantage of the nature of the coconut tree’s canopy of fronds, and its
rooting system. On average, 56% of solar radiation reaches the ground, although this varies
withtheageofthecoconutstand,itsplantingdensity,anditsalignment.Arectangularsystem,
alignedinanE-Wdirection,allowsmoresunlighttoreachthealleysbetweentherowsoftrees.
Over80%oftheactiverootsoccurinthe25–60cmsoillayerina2mradiusaroundthepalm,
leaving70-75%ofthesoilavailableforusebyothercrops(Proud,2005).
Intercroppingwithperennial,short-term,orcovercropsrarelyaffectstheyieldorgrowthofthe
coconut crop adversely. Practices such as weeding and fertilising the intercrops may also
increase coconut yields. With widely spaced coconuts, i.e. above 7.6 m, intercropping is
possibleirrespectiveoftheageofthepalms.However,closelyspacedpalms,aged8-25years,
aregenerallynotsuitableforinter-andmixedcropping.Matureplantationsover25yearsold
allow sufficient light to enter the understorey making conditions suitable for underplanting
(Proud,2005).
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Figure2.Areaoflandbeneaththecanopyofcoconutplantationsavailableforintercropping
(RedrawnfromReynolds,1995c).
The coconut intercropping system is based on the premise that the intercrop is beneficial to
coconut production and productivity and that the income and efficiency of resource use
including labour, land and input supplies from the integrated system is greater (Reynolds,
1988).Coconutfarmerscanincreasetheirprofitabilitywhilereducingfinancialrisksbyadopting
anintegratedfarmingsystemthatincludesanimalsorintercrops.Theconstraintsandproblems
initspatharemany,butthepotentialisgreatindeed.Thisisachallengetobothfarmersand
scientists.
5.1Ecologicalconsiderationsforgrowthofcoconutandintercrops
Several agro-climatic factors can affect productivity of the coconut palm and intercrops,
namely, sunlight hours and intensity, soil types and their physical and chemical properties,
altitude,rainfall,temperature,relativehumidityandwind(Darwis,1990;WaneyandTujuwale,
2002). These factors as they affect the growth of the coconut plant are discussed in detail in
section3.1ofchapter3.
5.2Factorstoconsiderwhenintercropping
Coconutfarmersmustensurethattheyknowwheretoselltheproductsoftheintercrop.
When coconut plants are young, light penetration of the canopy is restricted (especially in
dwarftypes)andintercropssuchascacaoandcoffeethattoleratemoreshadecanbechosen.
As the palms grow taller and light penetration increases, other types of intercrops can be
chosen.
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The intercrops selected should not compete for sunlight, water and nutrients. In older
plantationswheretreesaretallenoughtoallowmorelightpenetration, intercropsthatrequire
less shading can be used. Irrigation and fertilisation of intercrops tend to favour the coconut
componentandoftenincreaseitsyield.Theintercropcanstimulateincreasedmicrobialactivity
of the rhizosphere and recycle crop biomass left in the field. Nitrogen-fixing and phosphate
solubilizingbacterialactivitycanalsobebeneficial.Allthesefactorscancontributetoincreased
coconutyields.
However, some intercrops favour the build-up of pest and disease populations unfavorable to
thecoconutplant.Bananaandplantainplantsaresecondaryhoststotheredpalmmitewhich
can decrease coconut yields by as much as 70%. Plantain plants can also serve as secondary
hosts to the palm weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarum L.) which transmits the nematode
(Bursaphelenchus cocophilus Cobb) which causes red ring disease. Also, the injudicious use of
insecticidescankillimportantcoconutpollinators.
5.3Plantingpatternanddensity
Fieldspacingshouldbeinformedbyvariousfactorsincludingecologicalconditionssuchassoil
fertility, slope, other enterprises within the field such as forage for livestock, mechanization,
weed management, harvesting, crop protection practices, shade for livestock, choice of
intercropsandplantingsystems.Itisthedensityofcoconutsperhectarethatdetermineshow
much sunlight will get through to the understorey and influence what crops can be grown
successfully.
The arrangement of the components depends on the nature of the intercrop. Generally, a
circular area of radius 2 m around the palm is left free of intercrops. These are grown in the
interspaces according to the recommended planting system for the particular intercrop
concerned. Over 80% of the active roots occur in the 25 – 60 cm soil layer in the 2 m radius
aroundthepalm,leaving70-75%ofthesoilavailableforusebyothercrops.Onaverage,56%
of solar radiation is available for intercrops, although this will vary with age of the coconut
standandplantingdensity.
Thecoconutpalmgrowssymmetricallyandmaximumlightavailabilityisobtainedbyplanting
palm trees in an equilateral triangle (Plate 31 – Chapter 3), such that each row of trees is
staggeredbyhalftheplantingdistanceinrelationtothetreesintherowsoneitherside.Each
tree is thus equidistant from the six nearest trees. Trees are usually planted in rows running
north to south. Other planting patterns and spacings (square and single hedge) for coconut
varietiesunderfavourableagroecologicalconditionsareshowninPlate31–Chapter3.
5.4Intercroppingarrangementpatterns
The arrangement of the components depends on the nature of the intercrop (Liyanage et al.,
1986;AgFishTechPortal,2012).Generally,acircularareaofradius2maroundthepalmisleft
freeofintercropsandtheintercropsaregrownintheinterspacesofcoconutrowsaccordingto
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therecommendedplantingsystemforthesolecropoftheintercropconcerned.Theplanting
systemsincludethefollowing:
o Sequential cropping: two or more crops in single stand one after the other on the
sameplotduringthesameyear(Figure3).
o Simultaneous cropping: twoormoreintercropsgrownatsametime.
o Row intercropping: simultaneous growing of two or more crop species in a welldefinedrowarrangement.
o Stripintercropping:simultaneousgrowingoftwoormorecropspeciesinastripwide
enoughtoallowindependentcultivation,butatthesametime,sufficientlynarrow
toinducecropinteractions.
o Relay intercropping: planting one or two crops within an established cropping
pattern wherein the final stage of the first crop coincides with the initial
developmentoftheothercrops.
o Multistory cropping: for instance, coconut + black pepper + cacao + pineapple are
plantedsothateachcropproducescanopiesatdifferentheights.
Figure3.Intercroppingpineappleandbananawithcoconut.
In Africa, Asia and the Pacific, where intercropping practices are common, various species of
annualshavebeengrown,mostofwhichhavegivenupto60%increasesintheiryields,aswell
asthatofcoconut,comparedtothesamegrownareaofmonocrops(Creencia,1978;Cuavas,
1975 and Opio, 1992). There are many common annuals and perennials recommended for
coconut intercropping systems. Many are shade-loving (coffee, cocoa, papaya, pepper) or
shade-tolerantoradaptedtopartialshade(avocado,citrus,soursop,pommecythere,WIcherry,
carambola,mango).SomecropscommonlyintercroppedwithcoconutareindicatedinTable2.
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Table2:Cropscommonlyintercroppedwithcoconut
(AdaptedfromPlucknett,1979)
Crop
Scientificname
1.CEREALS
Rice
Oryzasativa
Maize
Zeamays
2.PULSES
Mungbean
Vigraradiata
Pigeonpea
Cajanuscajan
Cornpea
Vigraunguiculata
Soyabean
Glysinemax
Groundnut
Arachishypogiea
3.ROOTCROPS
Cassava
Manihotesculenta
Sweetpotato
Ipomoeabatatas
Yam
Dioscoreaspp
Taro
Colocasiaspp
4.SPICESandCONDIMENTS
Ginger
Zingiberofficinale
Tumeric
Curcumalonga
Chillies
Capsicumannuum
5.TREECROPS
Cocoa
Theobromacacao
Coffee
Coffeecanephora
6.OTHERCROPS
Cotton
Gossypiumspp
Sugarcane
Saccharumofficinarum
5.5ExamplesofIntercropping
5.5.1Coconut+cocoa
Cocoacanbeintercroppedwithnewlyplantedcoconutbutshadeisrequired.Banana,plantain
ordwarfcavendish(cookingbanana)canprovidetheshadeforthefirst3to4yearswhenthe
cocoatreescommencebearing(Plate54).TheseshadeplantsbelongingtotheMusafamilywill
also bring in a source of income every 12 months or there about. Studies have shown that
intercroppingcoconutwithcocoaimprovedcoconutyields(Devanathan,2013;FAO,2013).
Cocoaisaself-mulchingcropandhaslargeleaveswhichitshedsperiodically,providinggood
mulching material, conserving moisture, increasing soil organic matter and stimulating
microbial activity, such as nitrogen-fixing and phosphate-solubilizing processes in the
rhizosphere. Along the row, one cocoa plant can be accommodated between two coconut
76
plants leaving a space of at least 2 m from each coconut plant. Separate fertilization of the
coconuts,cocoaandshadeplantsisrecommended.
Plate54.Coconut+cocoacroppingmodel[squareplanting(left)andtriangularplanting
system(right)](DiagramsredrawnfromMagatandSecretaria,2007).
5.5.2Coconut+corn
Thecoconutandcornareplantedatthesametimewiththecornrowsatleast2mawayfrom
thebaseofthecoconuttreesand6-9rowsofcorncanbeaccommodatedbetweenthe
coconutrows(Figure4).
Figure4.Coconut+cornintercroppingmodel.
77
Papayacanalsobeintercroppedwithcoconutinthesamearrangement.Tworowsofpapaya
canbeaccommodatedwhenspaced3mx3mbetweenthecoconutrows(Plate55)
Plate55.Coconut+papayaintercroppingsystem.
5.5.3.Coconut+banana+plantain
Bananaandplantaincanbeintercroppedwithcoconut(Plate56)assoonasthecoconutis
plantedandcanberatooneduptothe4thyear,andspaced2.5mapart,alongtherows.
Plate56.Mixedcroppingmodel(Coconut+banana+plantainintercropping)inJamaica.
78
5.5.4Coconutmultistorycropping(coconut+papaya+pineapple+peanut)
The basic principle related to multistorey cropping systems (Figure 5 and Plate 57) is crop
compatibility, combining different crop heights and rooting systems. In this system, land is
preparedforpineappleplanting(45cmx45cm)alongrowsofcoconut.Papayaseedlingsare
nextplantedat3mx3mwithonerowinbetweenrowsofcoconuts.Duringthefirstyear,the
annual legume peanut may be planted between rows of papaya (6 rows of peanut at 50 cm
apart).Papayaisharvestedayearafter,untilthethirdyear.Inthesecondyear,pineapplecan
be harvested and allowed to ratoon until the third year. Coconut harvesting for fresh nuts is
done7monthsafterfloweringandfordrynuts12monthsafterflowering.
Figure5.Mixedcroppingmodel
79
Plate57.YoungAtlanticTallcoconutvarietyintercroppedwithcitrus,papayaand
ColumbiancedarinTrinidad.
5.5.5Coconut+rootcrop
Rootcropssuchascassava,sweetpotato,ginger,eddoanddasheen(Figure6)canbeplanted
simultaneously with coconut. They are especially compatible as coconut intercrops in view of
their shade tolerant nature. Recommended spacing is 0.75 m – 1 m rows depending on the
choiceofintercrop,withatleast2mofspacefromthecoconutrow.Theinterrowspacingfor
the intercrop varies from 0.25 m - 0.75 m. These intercrops require adequate fertilizing to
compensatefortheirhighlevelofsoilnutrientremoval.
Figure6.Coconut+rootcropintercroppingmodel.
80
5.5.6Coconut+coffee
Coffeeisplanted2mawayfromthecoconuttrees(Figure7)whicharespaced8mx10mina
squareplantingpattern.Coffeeplantscanbespaced2mapartwithplants1.5mapartwithin
the row. Initially, coffee requires shade to become established. As with cocoa, shade can be
provided by banana, plantain and cavendish species for approximately 4 - 5 years until the
coffeeplantscomeintobearing.
Figure7.Coconut+coffeeintercroppingsystem.
5.6 DisadvantagesofIntercropping
Thedisadvantagesofintercroppingwithcoconutincludethefollowing:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
viii.
Competitionbetweenintercropsandcoconut,forwaterandplantnutrients.
Intercrops may be uneconomical (losses to farmer) when planted where light is
insufficientbecausecoconuttreesaretooclosetogether.
Intercropsmayharbourdiseasesorattractpestsharmfultococonuts.
Raisingmorethanonecroponthesamelandareacouldincreasetheneedforfertiliser
andagrochemicalswhichmaynotbeavailable.
Initially, as palms are shallow-rooted, tillage and cultivation operations required for
intercropsmaycauserootdamagetothemaincropreducingyields.
The growth habit of some intercrops may cause difficulty in certain coconut
managementoperations(e.g.fertilizerapplication,harvesting).
Intercroppingmaydemandahigherlevelofskillfromthefarmer.
Undersmallholderproductionsystems,thesupplyoffamilylabourisoftenlimitedand
greatpressurecanbeexertedonthehouseholdtoallocatelabourtotheproductionof
food crops and other more profitable cash enterprises, at the expense of coconut
production.
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5.7 Advantagesofintercropping
Theadvantagesofintercroppingwithcoconutinclude:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
viii.
Intercropping with perennials is popular on large-scale plantations. Perennials are
particularlysuitedtointercroppingwithcoconutbecauseoncetheyreachmaturitythey
continue to provide a steady flow of income with little maintenance requirement. An
increased farm income is expected. Also, many bi-products from tree crop processing
are readily available and potentially valuable for ruminant feeding and strategic
supplementation.
Increasedcoconutyieldsandfoodproductionandbetteruseofscarcelandresources.
Increased stability for coconut farms through diversification and reduced dependence
uponproductswithunstablemarketpricessuchas,copra,coconutoil,coirandotherbiproducts.
Care and attention given to management of intercrop tillage, weed control, use of
fertilizers,amongothers,mayleadtoimprovedgrowthandyieldsofcoconutpalmsand
ease in finding the fallen nuts. Coconut yields may receive more of a boost resulting
from clearing undergrowth from existing areas than by planting large areas of new
trees.
Dwarf palms require 7 - 8 years to produce economic yields. Using cash crops,
intercroppedbetweentheyoungcoconuts,forfoodorsale,mayhelptooffsetthecost
of coconut establishment and reduce the time to full bearing through improved palm
growth.
Theremaybebetterutilizationofunderemployedlabourthroughouttheyearandthe
coconutfarmer'sskilllevelmayberaised.
Using legumes as intercrops may lead to increased soil fertility. This can increase the
productivelifeoftheplantation.
Coconut canopies may result not only in lower air temperatures beneath the canopy,
butalsoinlowersoiltemperatureswhichmaybeimportantforbetterseedlingsurvival,
soil water relations, increased rate of litter breakdown and nitrogen mineralization.
Also,airrelativehumiditywillbehigherandsoilwateravailabilityforintercropswillbe
maintainedatahigherlevelthanintheopen,becauseoflessevaporationfromthesoil
andlowercroptranspirationrates.
5.8Institutionalsupport
This is required in areas of policy, credit, subsidies, incentives, industry strategy, land
availability and tenure, farmer associations’ formation and strengthening, marketing and
import/export facilitation for coconut and intercrop products, technical assistance, extension
service and training. In the Caribbean, research and development thrusts are necessary for
coconutintercropping,productstandards,foodsafetyand,environmentalimpact.
82
Ifproductionisincreasedbyadoptingsuccessfulintercroppingprogrammes,pricesatthelocal
markets can drop and farmers may no longer be motivated to intercrop. Therefore, a wellorganizedsystemisnecessarytoensurecollectionandassemblageoftheproduceforthesmall
farmers and its transportation to larger central markets. This is particularly important for
perishable crops such as cassava, pineapple and cocoa. Coconut farmers must ensure they
know where to sell the products of the intercrop for the most favourable price. The
acceptabilityoftheintercroppingprogrammewilldependupontheincomegeneratedfromthe
integrated intercropping system and the management inputs required. Careful analysis will
havetobedoneoncomparativecoconutyields,constraints,benefitsandprofitmargins.
5.9 Concludingremarks
The acceptability of any intercropping programme will depend upon the farmer’s own
judgmentandevaluationofthepractice.Decisionswillhavetobetakenastowhethertherea
needtoincreasecoconutplantspacing(adjustplantdensity)tobetteraccommodatecoconut
intercropping systems in new plantations. The answer lies in the income generated from the
integrated intercropping system and the management inputs required. Careful analysis will
havetobedoneoncomparativecoconutyields,constraints,benefitsandprofitmargins.The
logisticsofmultiplecroppinghavetoincludeschemestoensurethatthenecessaryinputsare
availabletothefarmersintherightformandattherighttime.Farmersshouldhavethemeans
topurchasetheseinputsandthereshouldbeareliableandapproachablemarketattheendof
the season, at a price sufficient to ensure a reasonable profit and an adequate incentive to
continue.
83
Chapter6–COCONUTANIMALPRODUCTIONSYSTEMS
6.0Introduction
Thecoconut-animalproductionsystemisbasedonthepremisethattheanimalcomponentis
beneficial to coconut production and productivity and that the income from the integrated
system is greater (Reynolds, 1988). Coconut farmers can increase their profitability while
reducing financial risks by adopting an integrated farming system that includes animals or
intercrops. In coconut-animal production systems, the general rule is to plant the coconut
component at the traditional spacing and adjust the animal stocking rate to the available
understoreyspace.Theanimalcomponentisoftentreatedasanaid(especiallyinweedcontrol
and the provision of additional income) to the coconut enterprise which takes priority
(Reynolds,1988).
Live weight gains of animals under coconut-animal production systems were found to be
associatedwithanumberofmanagementandenvironmentalfactorssuchaslighttransmission,
pasture species and forage quality, soil type, fertiliser use, animal size, stocking rate,
supplementaryfeedand,grazingsystem.Otherfactorsincludecoconutvarieties,density,age
and height. Coconut yields, on the other hand, depend on pasture species, fertiliser use, soil
moisture, grazing system, stocking rate, nut collection system, height of forage, legume
introduction,weedcontrol,cultivationmethodsandIPMpractices(Reynolds,1988).
StudiesdoneinSriLankashowthattherearenoadverseeffectsonnutyieldbyintercropping
coconutwithpastureprovidedbothcropsareadequatelyfertilisedandgrownunderadequate
soil moisture conditions. There was also a long term beneficial effect on nut production by
intercroppingwithcertainpasturespecies.Thesebeneficialeffectswerethoughttobedueto
thepasture’simprovementofsoilstructure,betterrecyclingofnutrients,andimprovedwater
percolation(Ferdinandez,1978).
6.1 Theanimalcomponent
The various factors in a coconut-animal production system which influence coconut yields
include: amount and intensity of light, pasture species, available soil nutrients and moisture,
grazingsystem,stockingrate,nutcollectionsystem,heightofforage,legumecomponent,weed
control, cultivation damage to coconut roots, animals causing soil compaction and producing
toxic wastes in the manure; animal dung serving as a breeding ground for rhinoceros beetle
and,thedegreeofcompetitionbetweentheforagespeciesandthecoconutplants(Reynolds,
1988).
Grazingcattle(Plate58)andintercroppingundercoconutsisanoldsystempractisedinmany
tropicalcountries(Plucknett,1979;EtheringtonandKarunanayake,1981).Lighttransmissionin
the commonly used Tall coconut varieties decreases from over 90% in recently planted
coconutstoaminimumofaround40%atanageof5-15years,andthenincreasesagainwith
84
time until the coconuts are due for replanting at age 50 - 60 years. Light transmission varies
depending on variety (Dwarf or hybrid varieties intercept more light than Tall varieties), tree
spacingandmanagement(Reynolds,1988).
Asfarasanimalproductionisconcerned,theprovisionofshadeandthuslowerheatloadson
animalsislikelytohaveapositiveeffectonanimalproductivity.Thenutritivequalityofforages
growninpartiallyshadedenvironmentssuchasoldcoconutsiscomparabletothosegrownin
fullsun(Nortonetal.,1991).
Plate58.CattlegrazingunderTallcoconuttrees--usefulforweedcontrol.
6.1.1Productionsystems
Smallholderfarmersoftenhaveoneortwocattlewhicharegrazedonwhateverfeedresources
are available in their area and do not seek to optimise the coconut-animal system (Plate 59)
that might require a high labour input and other investment costs. However, in intensive
farming systems, cattle are generally fed supplementary ration and shortfalls in feed are
overcomebycuttingnaturallyoccurringgrassesandtreelegumesfromcommunalareassuch
asroadsides(Reynolds,1988).
85
Plate59.Cattlegrazingundercoconuts(Photocredit:Rozotte,2013).
6.1.2Livestockmanagement(DallaRosa,1993)
Cattledobestincoolweatherandheathasanegativeeffectonthewell-beingofmostcattle
breeds(Plucknett,1974).Risingbodytemperaturesuppressesanimalmetabolismcausinglack
of movement, loss of appetite, and a marked reduction in productivity (Guzman and Allo,
1975).Thetemperatureinthespaceundercoconutsisgenerallylowerbyabout6°Cthaninthe
openandthisissuitablefortherearingofbetterbreedsofanimals(Ferdinandez,1978).Cattle
canthusbenefitfromthepresenceofcoconutpalmsoverhead.
6.1.3Cattlenutrition
Withtheappropriatespeciesmixandcattlestockingdensity,pasturesinthepartialshadeof
coconuts can provide adequate feed. Pasture under the relatively open, mature stand, can
produce liveweight gains and milk yields comparable to those from pasture under open
conditions(Reynolds,1988).
6.1.4Potentialproblems
Damage to fronds of young coconuts could be caused by grazing animals and it is usual
practicetokeepcattleawayfromyoungcoconutsuntilfrondsareoutofreachofthegrazing
animals.Thetimerequiredforcoconutstogrowbeyondthereachofcattlevariesfrom5years
withtheDwarfsto10yearswithTalls.Animalschewingonfrondscanstunttheirgrowth;they
can also kill a young palm if the growing point is damaged. Damage to stems of coconuts is
minimalalthoughthereareconcernsoverpossiblesoilcompactionandincreasederosionthat
mayoccurwhentheunderstoryvegetationisovergrazed(Reynolds,1988).Anotherpotential
problem is the gradual compaction of soil by trampling. One preventative practice is disking
every 4 - 5 years (Guzman and Allo, 1975). This will also stimulate coconut root function if
limitedtotheupper30cm.
Therhinocerosbeetle(Oryctesrhinoceros),hasatendencytomakeitshomewherethereisa
lotofcattledung.Freerangingcattlemaythusincreasetheincidenceofthisseriouscoconut
86
pest.Anotherproblemisthedegreeofpersistenceofweedspeciesandcontrolofunpalatable
weedinfestations(Ohler,1992;Shelton,1991a,1991b).
6.2Theforagecomponent
Ingeneralterms,yieldofforagesislinearlyrelatedtotheamountoflightavailable,provided
thatotherfactorsaffectinggrowtharenotlimiting.Thusinacoconutplantationwith50%light
transmission, the yield of a highly productive grass like Panicum maximum will be
approximately50%oftheyieldachievedinfullsunlight.Thereareforagespeciesthatexhibit
varyingdegreesofshadetoleranceandthisshouldbeanimportantfactorforconsiderationin
thechoiceofpasturespecies(Ferdinandez,1978).
Generally,naturally-occurringpasturespeciesincoconutplantationsareunproductiveanddo
not respond sufficiently to added fertilisers (Ferdinandez, 1978). They also have a carrying
capacity of no more than one animal to 2.3 ha. Consequently, improved species should be
introduced. Their suitability is measured in terms of production during the growing season,
palatability,nutritivevalue,digestibility,andtolerancetoextremesofsoilmoistureconditions
(Ferdinandez,1978).
Wheretheaimistodomorethanmerelykeepweedsundercontrol,sothatfallennutscanbe
located,thenvariousexoticgrassandlegumespeciesareavailable.Palisadegrass(Brachiaria
brizantha), Signal grass (B. decumbens), Cori grass (B. miliformis), Para grass (B. mutica),
Pangola grass (Digitaria decumbens) and Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) have performed
well in various countries under coconut canopies (Ferdinandez, 1978; Dalla Rosa, 1993;
Reynolds,1995a).
6.2.1Mixedpastures
Legumesincreasethenutritivevalueanddigestibilityofpasturesandtransferfixednitrogento
thegrass.Legumesalsomaintainadequatelevelsofprotein,palatability,digestibilityand
voluntaryintakeasgrassesmatureandhavegreaterfibrecontentandlowercrudeproteinand
digestibilityparticularlyduringthedryseason(Ferdinandez,1978).
Thelegumesthathavebeenfoundtoperformwellinmixedpasturesundercoconutsandare,
therefore, most suited to coconut plantations include Centrosema (Centrosema pubescens),
Siratro(Macroptiliumatropurpureum),Puero(Pueraria phaseoloides),Stylosantes (Stylosantes
guianensis), Desmodium (Desmodium triflorum L.), Vigna (Vigna unguiculata), and Mimosa
(Albiziajulibrisin).LegumesthatcombineparticularlywellwithB.brizanthaandD.decumbens
includeD.heterophyllum,D.triflorumL.andAlysicarpus vaginalis.Animportanttreelegumeis
Leucaena leucocephala but this does not demonstrate good shade tolerance under coconut
(Ferdinandez,1978).
87
6.2.2Fertiliserrequirementsofpastureundercoconut
Thekeytoobtaininghighpastureyieldscombinedwithhighcoconutyieldsistoeliminate
competitionfornutrientsbetweenthetwocrops.SplitNPKfertilisationisessentialfor
optimumyields;inthecaseofcoconut,thefertiliserisplacedatthedripoftheleaveswhileitis
broadcastinthepasture.Anitrogenapplicationof60kg/ha/yearwasfoundtogiveoptimum
yieldsofpasturespecies(Ferdinandez,1978).
6.2.3Grazingcontrol
Propergrazingcontrolisthekeytoanyproductivelivestockoperation.Inthecoconut
system,grazingcanbeusedasatoolbothtomaximisepastureyield,andto
minimisecompetitionbetweenthepastureplantsandthecoconutsforsoilnutrients
andmoisture.Theregularandproperlytimedgrazingoftopgrowthcangreatlyreduce
excessivepastureplanttranspirationandthuscompetitionforwater.Cattlerecycle
plantbiomassandreturnnutrientstothesysteminorganicmanure.
Grazingcontrolisespeciallyimportantfor"local"pasture.Localpasturevegetationcan
oftenprovejustasproductiveasimprovedpasturemixes,withawellmonitored
rotationalgrazingprogram,someseedingofleguminousforagespecies,andan
occasionaladditionofNPKfertiliser(DallaRosa,1993).
Grazingcanreducecompetitionfromtheunderstoreyvegetationbyrecyclingnutrients
lockedupinsidethestandingbiomass(Reynolds,1988).Short-grazedvegetationalso
permitsahigherrecoveryrateofnuts.Shadingbythecoconutplantsprovidesalower
heatloadonanimalsandpositivelyaffectsanimalproductivity.Grazingshouldnotbe
permittedinyoungcoconutplantationsuntilfrondsareoutofreachofgrazinganimals.
A near doubling of coconut yield was reported by several researchers when previously
ungrazedcoconutplantationsweregrazed.Thiswasprobablyonlypartlyrelatedtoincreased
nutrient cycling; the main effect of grazing being related to a higher recovery rate of nuts in
shortgrazedvegetation.Negativeeffectsofanyunderstoreyvegetationoncoconutyieldmust
beexpectedifrainfallorsoilfertilityismarginalforcoconutgrowth,althoughthelattercanbe
amelioratedbysufficientfertilisation.Competitionformoistureislikelytooccurwhereannual
rainfallisbelow1750mm,particularlyifrainfallisnotevenlydistributed(Reynolds,1988).
Cut-and-carrysystemsextractaconsiderableamountofnutrientsfromtheforageproduction
areasoparticularcareisrequiredtonotremovetheforageawayfromthecoconutunderstorey
soastoreturnnutrientstotheforagearea.Suchremovalmayresultinlossofcoconutyield
andcauseasharpdeclineinforageyield.
Ploughingordiskingevery4yearsorsoisadvisedforanypasture.Thiswillpreventexcessive
soilcompactionfromanimaltraffic.Theshallowcultivationofcoconutlandtoabout25cmalso
prunes the uppermost coconut roots. This is reported to stimulate the roots which tend to
explorethedeepersoillayers(Asghar,1987;DallaRosa,1993).
88
6.2.4Thepastureblockrotationsystem(DallaRosa,1993)
Thefollowingrotationsystemisrecommendedforoptimalproductivity:
Stage 1: 0 - 5 years. Cattle must be kept off to prevent damage to young coconuts.
Adequate sunlight reaches the ground between the coconuts and sun-loving forage crops
can be raised as "cut and carry" animal feed. Alternatively, more light-demanding food
cropscanbegrown,suchaschilies,cabbage,cassavaandginger.
Stage2:5-20years.Pastureproductivitywillberelativelylowduetodenseshading.More
shade-tolerantfood/cashcropscanbegrown,suchascacaoandkava.
Stage3:From20yearsuntilcoconutreplacementthereareidealconditionsforpastureand
cattleproduction.
Thelengthsofthesecoconutgrowthphasesaredeterminedbythecattlebreedandgrowing
environment.Thephasescanbeshortenedorlengthenedtosuitmanagementgoals,sizeofthe
herd,sizeofpastureandotherfactors.
6.3 Future(Reynolds,1995b)
Thefollowingfactorsserveasguidestothefutureofcoconut-animalproductionsystemsbased
onpastexperiencesoflivestockproductionintegratedincoconutplantations:
i) For the immediate future, the large majority of coconut areas will remain planted at
traditional spacings, so there is a continuing need to identify grass and legume species for
reducedlightsituations(andespeciallylessthan50%lighttransmission).
ii)Wherehighyieldinghybridsareplantedatevencloserspacingsthanthosetraditionallyused,
itremainstobeseenifintergrazingisfeasiblepriortocanopyclosure.
iii)Theidentificationofforagespeciesbetteradaptedtothelowlightenvironmentofcoconut
plantations(lessthan50%)whicharecapableofpersistingunderheavygrazingpressure.
iv) The adoption of coconut planting (rectangular) configurations with wide between row
spacing which allow for maximum light penetration, encourage cultivation, improve forage
yieldsandtowhich,toalargeextent,foragespeciesalreadyavailablewouldbewelladapted.
v) More detailed and systematic studies of the pasture-livestock-crop-coconut system and to
developmanagementoptionsforthefarmer.
vi)Betterutilisationofexistingby-productsandalternativefeedresourcesforlivestockinthe
smallholdercoconutbasedfarmingsystems.
6.4 Researchneeds(DallaRosa,1993)andfutureoutlook(Reynolds,1995b)
Thereisaneedtoidentifygoodpasturespeciescombinations,optimalcoconutstanddensities,
and appropriate spatial and temporal arrangements in a range of environments. Further
screeningandevaluationofshade-tolerantpasturespeciesthatwillnotcompeteaggressively
withcoconutpalmswouldassistinterestedfarmersimmensely.Promisingspeciesmustthenbe
tested under various cutting, grazing and fertilisation regimes. Also, economic studies
89
comparing the cattle-under-coconut system to cattle and coconut production as separate
enterprisesareurgentlyneeded.
There is need to adopt coconut planting (rectangular) configurations with wide between-row
spacingtoallowformaximumlightpenetrationsoastofacilitatebetterforageyields.Better
utilisationofexistingby-productsandalternativefeedresourcesshouldbemadeforlivestock
in the smallholder coconut based farming systems. Research should continue to identify
alternative tree legumes to supplement Leucaena where infestation of the Leucaena psyllid
(Heteropsylla cubana) has devastated production and severely affected smallholder cattle
feedingsystems(DallaRosa,1993;Reynolds,1995b).
6.5 Socio-economicaspectsofproduction
Thefollowingfactorsmustbetakenintoaccountwhenconsideringcoconut-animalproduction
systems:
-Financing.
-Informationsystems.
-Plantationinfrastructure(machineryandequipment,irrigationanddrainagesystem,access
roads).
-Labouravailabilityandcostcomparedtococonutmonoculture.
-Marketingsystem,costofproduction,netincome.
-Environmentalimpact(animalgrazingchangingpasturecompositionanddestroyingother
usefulvegetation,toxicanimalwastes,animalmanure,soilcompaction,animaldestructionof
youngcoconutplants).
6.6Systemconstraints(Reynolds,1995b)
Constraintstococonut-animalproductionsystemsinclude:
i.
Drought.
ii.
Flooding.
iii.
Technicalknow-howandlackofinformationoncoconut/animalsystems.
iv.
Costandavailabilityoflabour.
v.
Availabilityofimprovedanimalstock.
vi.
Transportation.
vii. Pestsanddiseases.
viii. Environmentalimpactoftoxicanimalwastes.
ix.
Animaldestructionofyoungcoconutplants.
x.
Soilcompaction.
xi.
Animalinterferencewithharvestingoperations.
xii.
Financialaspects(marketing,lackoffinancing,priceinstability).
90
6.7Disadvantagesofcoconutanimalproductionsystems
(Reynolds,1995b)
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
viii.
ix.
x.
xi.
Competition between intercropped pasture species and coconut for water or plant
nutrients.
Intercropped pastures may be uneconomical when planted where light is insufficient
becausecoconuttreesaretooclosetogether.
Intercroppedpasturesmayharbourdiseasesorattractpestsharmfultococonuts.
Raising more than one crop (e.g. coconut and pasture species) on the same land area
couldincreasetheneedforfertiliser,whichmaynotbeavailable.
Initially, as palms are shallow-rooted, tillage and cultivation operations required for
intercroppedpasturesmaycauserootdamagetothemaincroptherebyreducingyields.
Thegrowthhabitofsomeintercroppedpasturespeciesmaycausedifficultyincertain
coconutmanagementoperations(e.g.fertiliserapplication,harvesting).
Where grazed pasture is the intercrop, cattle can damage young palms or cause soil
compaction. This disadvantage should be compared with possible soil erosion and
decliningsoilfertilitywhereotherintercropsareused.
Coconut-animalproductionsystemsoftendemandagreaterinputoflabour.
Grazing cattle under coconuts requires the farmer to learn additional techniques
associatedwithanimalhusbandryandpasturemanagement.Lackofsuchskillsmaylead
to failure. Invasion of unpalatable weeds can compete for moisture and nutrients,
hindernutcollectionandmakethecattle-coconutsystemunviable.
While technically feasible, the integration of ruminants with tree crops may not be
socially acceptable or may require labour resources which the farmer wishes to use
elsewhereorrequireinitialcapitalinvestmentwhichthefarmercannotafford.
Cattledungmayserveasabreedingplaceforrhinocerosbeetle(Oryctesrhinoceros),a
majorinsectpestofcoconut.
6.8Potentialbenefitsofcoconutanimalproductionsystems
(Reynolds,1995b;DallaRosa,1993)
i.
Increased and diversified farm income, greater employment, reduced market and
financialrisks,weedcontroland,increasedsoilfertility.
ii.
Increasedcoconutandanimalyieldsandincreasedfoodproduction.
iii.
Increased stability for coconut farms through diversification and reduced dependence
uponproductswithunstablemarketpricessuchas,copra,coconutoil,coirandothers.
iv.
Careandattentiongiventomanagementofintercroppedpasturetillage,weedcontrol,
useoffertilisers,amongothers,mayleadtoimprovedgrowthandyieldsofcoconutand
ease in finding the fallen nuts. Coconut yields may receive more of a boost resulting
from clearing undergrowth from existing areas than by planting large areas of new
trees.
v.
Asmanagementofthegroundundercoconutsisnecessary,income-producingpastures
arepreferabletoweeds.
vi.
Thecostofweedcontrolshoulddecrease.
91
vii.
ix.
x.
xi.
xii.
xiii.
xiv.
xv.
Young palms require 6 - 7 years to produce economic yields. Using animals and
intercroppedpasturesbetweentheyoungcoconuts,forfoodorsale,mayhelptooffset
thecostofcoconutestablishmentandreducethetimetofullbearingthroughimproved
palmgrowth.
Theremaybebetterutilisationofunderemployedlabourthroughouttheyearandthe
coconutfarmer'sskilllevelmayberaised.
Therecanbeapossiblereductionoftheeffectofnaturalcalamitiessuchashurricanes,
pestsanddiseasesontotalproductionsincethesedonotusuallyaffectallcropspecies
inthecoconutanimalproductionsystemtothesameextent.
They can be helpful in conserving foreign exchange by supplying the domestic market
withessentialfoodproductsthusreducingtheneedtoimport.
Usinglegumesasintercroppedpasturesmayleadtoincreasedsoilfertilitywhilecattle
fertilise (with manure and urine) the soil. This can increase the productive life of the
plantation.
Thereisbetteruseofscarcelandresources.
Coconuts may provide a better grazing environment for cattle than open areas. The
temperature under coconut shade is approximately 4 – 6°C lower than in open areas;
thusdecreasingthenegativeeffectsofheatstress(Robinson,1983).
Many by-products from tree crop processing are readily available and potentially
valuableforruminantfeedingandstrategicsupplementation.
6.9Institutionalsupport
In coconut-animal production systems, institutional support required is as stated for
intercroppingsystemsinSection5.8–Chapter5.
6.10 Concludingremarks
Thecoconutproducermustconsidertheneedtoincreasecoconutplantspacing(adjustplant
density) to better accommodate pasture-livestock-coconut systems in new plantations. This
decision will be based on the income generated from the integrated system, management
inputsrequiredandassociatedcost.Coconutplantationsofferanexcellentopportunityforthe
integration of cattle and a tree crop, particularly where the land under coconuts is not fully
utilisedandisweedinfested.Whileresearchworkisongoingtoidentifyadaptedforages,there
isaneedtodevelopandapplylowinputsystemsinmanycoconutareaswherepoorfarmers
arefacedwithfeedshortagesespeciallyinthedryseason(Reynolds,1995b).
92
APPENDIX1-Coconutproductiondatainthe25mostimportantcoconut
producingcountriesoftheworld(2013)(Ref:Worldatlas,2015)
Rank
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Country
Indonesia
Philippines
India
Brazil
SriLanka
Vietnam
PapuaNewGuinea
Mexico
Thailand
Malaysia
UnitedRepublicof
Tanzania
Myanmar
SolomonIslands
Vanuatu
Ghana
Jamaica
DominicanRepublic
Nigeria
Venezuela
Mozambique
China
Fiji
Coted'Ivoire
Samoa
Kiribati
Production(tonnes)
16,601,480
13,928,188
10,822,714
2,622,023
2,279,755
1,182,811
1,088,622
965,607
916,256
586,886
480,807
385,553
371,945
371,945
332,195
281,227
260,302
240,403
239,376
235,868
230,987
204,116
176,901
172,365
154,221
93
APPENDIX2-CoconutproductionintheCaribbeancountries(2013)
Main
sources:
Country
1. Factfish.2016
2. Singhetal.,2008
Locationof
main
cultivated
areas
Mainvarieties
Mainchallenges
St.Thomas,
Portland,
St.Mary
Samana
Peninsula,
Maria
Trinidad
Sanchez,El
Seibo,La
Altagracia,
Barahona,
Cabral,
Neyba
Pomeroon,
WestBank
Berbice
PanamaTall;
Maypan;
MalayanDwarfs
AfricanTall;
MalayanDwarfs;
TxDhybrid
PB121
Praediallarceny;
coconutmite;rats;
LY;budrot
Highexportmarket
demandmuchgreater
thanlocalsupply;
LY
47,980
281,227
47,898
260,302
PanamaTall;
MalayanDwarfs
6,880
68,356
Cuba
Baracoa,
Criollo,
GreenIndian,
Greenhybrids 18,085
58,621
Haiti
Nodata
Manyfarmsinactive
orabandonedalong
DemeraraandBerbice
coasts;trees40-80
yearsold;Pomeroon
lackspublicutilities;
highproductioncosts;
poordrainage;RPM;
RRD;Cedroswilt
Slowrecoveryfrom
early1990’spostsoviet-bloccollapseof
industry;
coconutmite;LY
LY
8,996
25,401
2,499
14,968
2,999
13,607
Jamaica
Dominican
Republic
Guyana
Trinidad&
Tobago
St.Lucia
Granma,
Ciegode
Avila
PanamaTall;
MalayanDwarfs
NorthEast, TrinidadTall;
Eastern,
MalayanDwarfs;
Southwest Malayasian
coasts
Giant
Soufriere,
PanamaTall;
2/3farmsinactiveor
abandoned;trees50-
80yearsold;praedial
larceny;RPM;RRD
Trees50-80years
Area
(ha)
Production
dehusked
nuts
(tonnes)
94
Suriname
Babano
Coronie,
Saramacca
Dominica
Nodata
Grenada
Nodata
PuertoRico
Nodata
St.Vincent
&the
Grenadines
OrangeHill,
Lowman,
Windwards,
Hudleys,
Springarea
Scattered
across
islands
Scattered
across
islands
Scattered
across
island
Stann
Creek,Cayo,
Orange
Walk
Scattered
across
islands
Scattered
across
island
St.Kitts&
Nevis
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Cayman
Islands
Antigua&
Barbuda
MalayanDwarfs
SurinameTall;
CeylonDwarfs;
SurinameDwarf;
Surinamebrown
Dwarf;
MalayanDwarfs;
MalayanDwarfx
SurinameDwarf
hybrid
PacificTall;
ChineseDwarfs
PanamaTall;
MalayanDwarfs
PanamaTall;
MalayanDwarfs
PanamaTall;
MalayanDwarfs
old;coconutmite
RRD
953
11,347
RPM
2,799
7,257
Nodata
1,749
5,742
Nodata
220
3,765
Trees50-80years
old;praediallarceny;
coconutmite
750
2,721
PanamaTall;
MalayanDwarfs
LY
450
2,721
PanamaTall;
MalayanDwarfs
LY
330
2,358
PanamaTall;
MalayanDwarfs
Nodata
550
1,995
PanamaTall;
Maypan;
MalayanDwarfs
Coconutmite;
RRD;LY
222
944
PanamaTall;
MalayanDwarfs
LY
Nodata
15
PanamaTall;
MalayanDwarfs
LY
Nodata
<15
ALLCOUNTRIES
• Needelite
germplasmand
95
•
•
•
•
plantation
resuscitation.
Lowcoconut
supplyfor
processing.
NeedGAPs/IPM
and
mechanization.
LackVAproducts,
marketingand
financing.
Lowyields.
Notes:
LY=Lethalyellowingdisease
RRD=Redringdisease
RPM=Redpalmmite
GAPs=Goodagriculturalpractices
IPM=Integratedpestmanagement
VA=Valueadded
TxD=TallcrossedwithDwarf
96
APPENDIX3–Economicanalysisfortheproductionof1acre(0.4ha)of
coconutforwaterinTrinidad&Tobago(Ramkhelawan,2013)
Assumptions
Plantingstartedatonsetofrainyseason.
SpacingforDwarftypes:6.5x6.5mor7x7m.
Plantsperacre=100≡247perha.
PlantingmaterialfromcoconutestatesinTrinidad&Tobago.
Adequatesoiltype(bestperformanceonsandyloamorsandyclayloam)withgooddrainage.
Flattopography.
Timetoharvest:3½-4yearsafterplantingwithgoodmanagement.
Cropduration:50years
Labourcostpermanday=US$31.25(1US$≡6.4TT$)
Table3.Summaryofincome,expenditureandprofit(US$)for1acre(0.4ha)ofcoconutfor
waterduringuptoyear8(datafor2013).
Year
Nuts/tree
Nuts/ac
Farmgate
price/nut
(US$)
Income/ac Expenditure/ac
(US$)
*Deficit/ac
orProfit/ac
(US$)
1
0
0
0
0
2,331
-2,331
2
0
0
0
0
1,555
-1,555
3
0
0
0
0
1,711
-1,711
4
40
4,000
0.3125
1,250
1,711
-461
5
60
6,000
0.3125
1,875
**1,805
70
6
85
8,500
0.3125
2,656
**1,805
851
7
110
11,000
0.4688
5,157
**1,805
3,352
8
110
11,000
0.4688
5,157
**1,805
3,352
*Notedeficitsinyears1,2,3and4.
**Increasedexpenditureduringyears5-8duetoincreasedcostofagrochemicalsandlabour.
97
Table4.Costofproduction(US$)for1acre(0.4ha)ofcoconut(forwater)
ITEMS
YEAR1
YEAR2
YEAR3
(US$)
(US$)
(US$)
Cropestablishment
(a)LandClearing
195.31
_
_
(b)Plough
125.00
_
_
(c)Rotovate
93.75
_
_
(d)Drainage:5mandays
156.25
_
156.25
(e)[email protected]$10.00each
156.25
_
_
(f)Labourtoplant:4mandays
125.00
_
_
(g)Moulding:4mandays
125.00
_
_
Sub-totalestablishment
976.56
-
156.25
Cropmaintenance
(a) (i)Fertiliser(12-24-12)
125.00
125.00
125.00
(ii)Labour:2mandays
62.50
62.50
62.50
(b) (i)WeedControl
54.69
54.69
54.69
(systemicherbicide)
(ii)Labour(application,
468.75
468.75
468.75
roundweed,weedwacker)
15mandays
(c) Irrigation:20mandays
625.00
625.00
625.00
(d) (i)Pestanddiseasecontrol
31.25
31.25
31.25
(chemical)
(ii)labour:6mandays
187.50
187.50
187.50
Sub-totalcropmaintenance 1,554.69
1,554.69
1,554.69
TOTAL 2,531.25
1,554.69
1,710.94
98
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