• HariKishore Reddy

Coconut Cultivation| Health Benefits| Pest & Disease Control| Profits| BestPractiz-Agri

Updated: Jan 12

The scientific and botanical name of coconut is Cocos nucifera which has a place with the family "Arecaceae (Palm family)" and to the variety "Cocos". The coconut palm (Cocos nucifera linn) is one of the most valuable palms on the planet. All aspects of the tree is valuable for human for some reason or the other. In this way, the coconut palm is additionally called as 'Kalpavriksha' which means the tree of paradise.


India is positioned as first biggest Cultivator of coconut on the world. Significant coconut developing states in India are Kerala,Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The coconut creation assumes a significant job in the economy of the world and has gained a spot in the agribusiness.



Advantages of Coconut:


Coconuts are a Excellent Source of Energy and have incredible application in our life. The portion of coconut, generally known as copra is eaten for its energy boosting feature and the excellent medicinal value. What's more, the coconut oil has wide application in Cosmetics. It is utilized in the creation of hair oil, different sorts of cleansers, cosmetic goods, and so on. Indeed, even the husk of coconut is also utilized generally by the sizable coir industry.


The Kernel or nut of coconut is brimming with water, an extraordinary refreshment everywhere throughout the world. The Virgin coconut oil (VCO) acquired from the new coconut piece or nut with no sort of concoction handling is ample in minerals, nutrients, and enemies of oxidants since which it is known as 'mother all things considered".


Health Benefits of Coconut:


There are bunches of medical advantages of coconut of which, few are recorded underneath:


• Coconut is loaded with minerals, nutrients, supplements and other greasy and non-unsaturated fats.


• Coconut advances weight reduction so is useful for weight the executives.


• Coconut is against viral, hostile to contagious, antibacterial, and hostile to parasite which helps in boosting invulnerable wellbeing.


• It improves insulin discharge and treats indications of diabetes.


• Excellent wellspring of vitality and furthermore improve the athletic presentation.


• It evacuates insulin and furthermore expels the free radicals which are useful in gives assurance against degenerative illness.


• It likewise improves the thyroid capacity.


• It improves cholesterol (HDL) and furthermore limit the heart wellbeing


• It is likewise useful in giving security from bladder contamination and kidney illness


• It is likewise useful for keeping hair sparkly and skin gleaming and solid


• It likewise expels the wrinkles, age spots, and furthermore it protects from sun.


Coconuts are profoundly used for coconut oil creation,


Optimum Conditions Required For Coconut Cultivation:


Climate Requirement:

Coconut is a palm which can develop all through the entire year under different atmosphere and climate conditions. Fundamentally, it is a tropical plant crop that is generally developed between the 20° S to 20° N scopes by the producers.


However, the optimum temp requirement for healthy plant growth and food production is 22° C to 32 ° C along with more than 60 relative humidity. For growing this palm plants on the elevation, they can be grown up to 600 meters above MSL. However, it is also possible to grow coconut palm up to an elevation of 1000 meters above MSL.


Soil Conditions:

Coconut is grown in die rent soil types such as laterite, coastal sandy, alluvial and also in reclaimed soils of the marshy lowlands. It endures saltiness and a wide scope of pH from 5.0 to 8.0. Legitimate waste, great water holding limit, ideal soil dampness and nonappearance of rock or any hard foundation inside 2 m of the surface are perfect for better development and execution of the palm.


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Cultivation of Coconut:


Cultivation involves different stages:

Nursery stage:



Selection & preparation of site

· Well drained


· Light textured soil


· Not too much shade


1. Selection of mother palms:

Select mother palms dependent on following attributes:


· Regular bearing


· Yield at least 80 nuts/annum


· Age Dwarf - 5 years in the wake of arriving at full bearing capacity;Tall-20 years or more


· More than 30 completely opened leaves


· Bearing 12 lots of nuts


· Shape of crown : Spherical or semi-round


· Petioles: short and strong and have the option to give e­ffective help to the coconut packs.


· Bunch stalks: short and solid and ought not have the propensity of hang down.


Keep away from palms which have the accompanying attributes:


· Long, slim and pendulous inflorescence stalks


· Long, limited, little measured or infertile nuts


· Alternate bearing propensity.


· Immature nuts shedding in huge numbers


· Grown under great ecological conditions


2. Selection of seed nut:


· Nuts of medium size and oblong shape


· Age – above 11 month old


· Husked nuts more than 600 g weight


· Mean copra content 150g per nut or more


3. Collection seed nuts

· Time : Vary from region to region according to the seasonal conditions


· Ideal time - December to May


· Lowering of bunches by ropes


4. Storage of seed nuts


· Do not sow immediately after harvest


· To get better quality seedlings, the seed nuts of tall and hybrid are to be air cured for one month followed by sand curing


· Store for 60 days till the husk becomes dry


· Storing - prepare 8cm sand layer – keep seed nuts with stalk end up-cover with sand – keep upto ‑ five layers


5. Bed preparation:


· Width – 1.5 m


· Length – Convenient


· Space between beds – 75 cm


· Spacing Between columns – 30 cm


· Spacing between nuts – 30 cm


· No. of columns per bed – 4-5


· Sow in channels 25-30 cm profound


· Method of planting – two sorts Vertical and Horizontal


· Time of planting – May-June


6.Care and management of nursery:


· Keep nursery beds free of weeds


· Irrigation – once in two days


· Termite attack – dust soil and nuts with Chlorpyrifos


· Fungal infection – Spray 1% Bordeaux mixture/copper fungicide


Selection of good quality seedling:


· 9-12 month old seedling


· At least four leaves for 9 month old seedling


· Six to eight leaves for 10-12 month old seedling


· Early germination, rapid growth & seedling vigour


· Collar girth : 10-12 cm


· Early splitting of leaves


· Remove seed nuts do not germinate within 6 months after sowing


· Percentage of recovery : 60-65 per cent

Problems at Nursery stage:

Nematodes are the parasites in the soil that will affect coconut plants in the initial stages and leads to death of 36% nursery coconut plants.


Control:


1. Cultural control:

  • Use of less susceptible, tolerant cultivars or hybrids of coconut and inter-crops in infested areas.

  • Avoid use of banana as a shade crop in coconut nurseries.

2. Biological control:

  • Application of cow dung, FYM, oil cakes and green manure to the basins.

  • Crotalaria juncea may be cultivated in the basin and interspaces and used as green manure.

  • Incorporate leaves and tender stem of Crotalaria juncea, Pueraria javanica and Glyricidia maculata into the soil in Sep-Oct.

Pre-Planting stage:


Planting Season:


Planting Season:


· Depends upon the local climatic condition


· Varies from State to State


· Proper time of planting : at the advent of the monsoon


· Under assured irrigation: planting at any time.


· In low lying areas: planting either after the monsoon or long before the monsoon.


Preparation of land and planting of seedlings:


· Size of pit in loamy soil – 1m x 1m x 1m


· Size of pit in laterite soils – 1.2 m x 1.2m x 1.2m


· Size of pit in sandy soil – 0.75m x 0.75m x 0.75 m


· Lateritic area – 2kg common salt per pit can be applied


· Fill pit to a height 60 cm with top soil


· Plant seedlings at the centre of the pit


· Ideal time of planting : May


· In low lying areas – plant seedlings in September



Spacing:


A spacing of 7.5 x 7.5 m is generally recommended for Coconut. Spacing depends upon the planting system, soil type etc.


Planting system Spacing Approximate number of plants/ ha


Triangular 7.6 m 198


Square 7.6 m to 9 m 170-120


Single hedge 6.5 m in the rows 9 m between 220


the rows


Double hedge 6.5m * 6.5 min rows 9m between 280


pairs of rows



Irrigation & Shading:


  • 45 litres of water once in 4 days has been found to be satisfactory in all soil types

  • Provide adequate shade to the transplanted seedlings

Weeding and inter-culture:

· Keep the pits free of weeds by periodical weeding


· Remove the soil covering the collar of seedlings.


· As the seedlings grow ‑ ll up the pits gradually by cutting the sides.

Problems at Pre-planting stage:


Soil borne pathogens, wilt, nematodes and resting stages of insect pests will be a problem for the growth of the coconut plant at this stage and so controlling and preventing them is essential.


Cultural control:


· Deep ploughing of fields during summer.


· Early sowing of the crop prevents it from nematode infestation


· Liming the soil to pH 6.0-7.0, as well as reducing nitrogen levels in the soil, significantly reduces wilt.

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Growth stage:


Provide timely irrigation, organic manure, fertilizer as per the recommended dose, drainage, weeding, mulching, inter culture etc. Manuring and Fertilizer application:


15 days before fertilizer application apply lime or dolomite 1 kg/palm/year if soil is acidic.


Method of fertilizer application:


· Make circular basin at a radius of 1.8 - 2.0 m from the base of the palm and 25 cm deep


· Apply 1 Kg lime/dolomite prior to fertilizer application to neutralize soil pH.


· Apply organic manure – 10 kg/pit in the ‑ rst three years & 15-25 kg after 3 years of


planting


· Rain fed conditions – apply fertilizers in two split doses, 1/3rd at the time of early southwest monsoon showers in April-June and 2/3rd in September-October


· Irrigated conditions – apply fertilizers in three or four equal doses in April-May, august-September, December and February-March.


Manuring and Fertilizer application:


· Regular manuring from the ‑ 1rst year of planting is essential to achieve higher productivity.


· Organic manure: 20 - 50 kg per palm per year with the onset of south west monsoon, when soil moisture content is high. Different forms of organic manures like compost, farm yard manure, bone meal, ‑fish meal, blood meal, Neem cake, groundnut cake etc. could be made use for this purpose.


· Lime or dolomite – 1 Kg/palm/year


· Magnesium sulphate – 0.5 Kg/palm/year


· Fertilizer recommendation : 500:320:1200 g N,P2O5,K2 per palm per year


Irrigation:


· Irrigate palms during summer months


· 600 – 1600 litres of water/irrigation/palm in a basin of 1.8 m radius based on soil texture


· Drip irrigation in case of scarcity of water


· 3-4 drippers are given per palm in drip irrigation


· It saves water, energy, labour work and increase plant growth and yield


Harvesting and Yielding:


Stage of Harvesting:


· For getting copra fully matured nuts (Ripen nuts ) are harvested


· Usually harvesting varies based on the yield and varieties of the palm and so harvesting takes place once in month.


Number of harvests per year: Usually nuts are harvested 6 to 10 times in a year.


Season of Harvesting: Like I mentioned before harvesting occurs through the year but for better price most of the Tender Coconuts are harvested at summer.


Yield: 80 to 100 nuts per palm per year. (National average yield is 44 nuts per palm per year)


Hybrids: 100 to 130 nuts per palm per year.


· In some regions Tender Coconuts are harvested and in some regions Matured Coconuts are harvested for making oil from Copra.


Post Harvest:


  • Fully matured nuts should be harvested

  • For collection of seed nuts/tender coconuts bunch should be harvested and brought down by using ropes to prevent the damage of nuts.

  • Copra to be dried to 6% moisture by sun drying or by using copra driers

  • The storage period of copra can be increased up to 6 months by storing the copra in polythene tar coated gunny bags.

  • For household storage the nuts may be kept in vertical position.

  • In some regions Tender Coconuts are harvested and in some regions Matured Coconuts are harvested for making oil from Copra.



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