Crop Production




  • Nursery management techniques comprising selection of garden, mother palm and seed nuts, planting and maintaining the nursery, and the technique for raising polybag nursery were standardized.
  • Square system of planting at a spacing of 7.5 x 7.5 m with a plant density of 175 palms/ ha is recommended for monocrop and coconut based cropping system.
  • Recommended dose of fertilizer for coconut palm is application of  Organic Manure @50kg/palm or 30 kg green manure, 500 g N, 320 g P2O5 and 1200 g K2O/palm/year in two split doses during September and May.  Application of magnesium @500 g MgO per palm was found to be advantageous in areas where palms show yellowing of leaves (Coconut root (wilt) affected gardens) through soil application.
  • Application of 200 litres of water once in four days was recommended for irrigating coconut palms by basin irrigation method.
  • Drip irrigation @ 66 % of the open pan evaporation (27 to 32 litres of water per palm per day under Kasaragod conditions) from December to May is ideally suited for coconut resulting in 34 per cent saving of water.
  • Sprinkler irrigation or perfo irrigation with 20 mm (IW / CPE = 1) water was found to be the best suited to inter or mixed cropping systems where the entire surface requires wetting.
  • Fertilizer saving through drip fertigation i.e., 50% of the recommended dose of fertilizer when applied through drip fertigation is sufficient to give a yield equivalent to 100 % of the recommended dose of fertilizer. Fertilizers viz., 70 g   Urea, 60 g DAP and 170 g Muriate of Potash are recommended for a single dose for one palm. A total of 7 times the fertigation can be applied through drip irrigation. For phosphorus application, commercial phosphoric acid also can be used.
  • Moisture conservation methods such as mulching with coconut husk, coir dust, coconut leaves, etc. in addition to application organic manures or green manures, intercrop cultivation, bunding, terracing, etc. are recommended.
  • In sloppy terrains, trench filled with coconut husk, half moon bund, staggered catch pit reinforced with pineapple and growing CO3 grass across the slope, were proved successful in soil and water conservation.
  • Surface runoff water harvesting and Roof water harvesting were successfully implemented and harvested water was utilised for irrigation.
  • The technique for utilization of leguminous cover crops such as Pueraria phaseoloides, Mimosa invisa  and Calopogonium species as green manures to supply biologically fixed nitrogen and easily decomposable biomass to coconut, to substitute  50 % nitrogen fertilizer, was standardized.
  • Growing Glyricidia as green manure crop and using the biomass as green manure was found to be ideal for management of littoral sandy soils.




  • The technology for vermicomposting of coconut palm wastes by using a local earthworm, Eudrilus sp., closely related to the African night crawler, was standardized.
  • Multiplication technique for the local Eudrilus sp. of earthworm using 1:1 cow dung-decayed leaves mixture was standardized and the earthworms are being distributed to the farmers to initiate vermicomposting.
  • Production of vermiwash from coconut leaf vermicompost has been standardized and its beneficial impact on crop growth is being assessed.
  • Utilization of coconut wastes for oyster mushroom cultivation (P. florida, P. sajor caju, P. flabellatus, P. opuntia and P. eous) was found to be economically feasible.
  • Beijerinckia indica, Azospirillum spp., Burkholderia sp., Azoarcus sp., etc. were effective bioinoculants for better establishment of nursery seedlings.
  • Four coconut PGPRS - P. putida KnSF 208, B. coagulans RSB 14, B. megaterium TSB 16 and B. megaterium TEB 2 and four cocoa PGPRs - P. putida KDSF 23, B. licheniformis KGEB 16, B. cereus ASB 3 and B. subtilis VEB 4 gave the highest increase in planr growth parameters. All the eight isolates have been identified using biochemical, BIOLOG and molecular based procedures.
  • Developed organic farming practices for coconut to achieve coconut yield of over 100 nuts per palm per year with recycling of farm wastes, application of nitrogen fixing legumes and biofertilizers.
  • Coconut based cropping systems involving cultivation of compatible crops like tubers, flowering, medicinal and aromatic crops, fruits, vegetables, spice crops, in the interspaces of coconut was economically superior to coconut monocropping.
  • Coconut-based high-density multispecies cropping systems (HDMSCS) involving many crops like  banana, pineapple, clove, and pepper was established.
  • Application of 2/3rd of recommended NPK along with recycling available biomass in the farm of vermicompost resulted in sustainable yield in the system.The system provided a net income of Rs.85000/- per ha/annum.
  • Mixed farming system  including coconut, dairy, poultry, rabbitry, sericulture and pisciculture has been successfully demonstrated in coconut,under kasaragod condition.System provided organic manures for recycling,additional man power and additional income to a coconut farmer.
  • Mixed cropping with CO3 hybrid Nopier fooder grass provided sufficient green grass to feed 5 to 7 cows from one ha coconut  garden.
  • Banana variety, Grand Naine, Elephant foot yarn(gajendra),pinapple,vegetables were found to be a suitable intercrop for coconut gardens in littoral sandy soil with coir pith and husk as amendments.
  • Using Remote Sensing and GIS map, coconut plantation area and coconut root (wilt) disease affected coconut palms were identified with > 98% accuracy.
  • Carbon sequestration potential of coconut, arecanut and cocoa were determined and the values were 8 to 32 t CO2/ ha/ year in coconut, 5.14 to 10.94 t CO2/ ha/ year in arecanut and 2.02 to 3.89 t CO2/ ha/ year in cocoa depending on cultivar, agro-climatic zone, soil type and management practices.



A spacing of 2.7 X 2.7 m is found to be optimum for the growth of arecanut crop.

Irrigation with 200 litres of water per palm once in 6 days through hose is recommended.

Recommended fertilizer dose for arecanut is 100g N, 40g  POand 140g KO / palm / year.

Studies in arecanut - cocoa cropping system revealed that it is possible for carbon sequestration to the tune of 7.16 t/ha to 14.83 t/ha annually.

Drip irrigation @ 20liters of water per palm per day results in 45% yield increase and 44% saving in water in arecanut.

With respect to optimization of fertigation dose and frequency, 50% and 75% of the standardized fertilizer dose was sufficient for pre-bearing and bearing arecanut palms, respectively through drip fertigation.

During bearing stage, the cost of cultivation was estimated at Rs. 60,242 and Rs. 26,377/- for conventional method and drip fertigation, respectively. Fertigation of 75% NPK at 10 days interval was highly profitable with highest net returns per rupee investment of 4.57 followed 75% NPK fertigation at 20 days interval (4.44).

In 12 year old arecanut (cv. Sreemangala), total biomass production was significantly greater in high yielders (43.6 kg palm-1) than in low yielders (30.8 kg palm-1).  Trunk biomass accounted for 69% of the total biomass in high yielders and 74% in low yielders indicating less partitioning to other parts.

Total uptake of macronutrients by arecanut was in the order of N > K > Ca > P > Mg. The order of total uptake of micronutrients was Fe > Mn > Cu > B > Zn.

The yield levels of arecanut can be sustained at around 2600 kg ha-1 due to organic waste recycling. However, the response of arecanut to chemical fertilizers was more pronounced as the yield increase was 73-85% with NPK application compared to VC application alone (48-59%) and integrated treatments (46-63%) over control.

Vermicompost maintained higher SOC, soil test levels of P, Ca, and Mg than chemical fertilizers. Depletion of soil available K and accumulation of micronutrients was noticed in arecanut basins with vermicompost.

In arecanut based high density cropping systems having component crops like cocoa, pepper, banana and clove, comparatively similar yield levels and soil nutrient status was noticed with OMR and integrated use of chemical fertilizers and OMR.

The result emphasizes that the system can be self-sustainable over a long term period. Application of N and P through inorganic fertilizers could be reduced or skipped, while the system proved exhaustive with regard to the availability of K.

Intercropping of MAPs in arecanut increased the productivity per unit area by 272 to 1524 kg ha-1. This amounted to the total system productivity of arecanut + MAPs intercropping system to the tune of 2990 to 4144 kg ha-1 while the average sole arecanut yield was 2795 kg ha-1.

The net return per rupee investment was highest in Cymbopogon flexuosus (4.25) followed by Bacopa monnieri (3.64), Ocimum basilicum (3.46) and Artemisia pallens (3.12).

On the basis of yield, quality and economic feasibility, recycling of gliricidia prunings from standards and vermicompost application alone or in combination with husk mulching are better options for intercropped vanilla in arecanut.

Growing of vanilla on gliricidia standards did not affect the arecanut yield and the average kernel yield of arecanut during the experimental period was 3114 kg ha-1.

Optimum foliar concentrations for N, P, K, Ca and Mg were established as 2.70, 0.23, 1.12, 0.61 and 0.20%, respectively. Optimum micronutrient concentrations (mg kg-1) were estimated at 146 for Fe, 56.5 for Mn, 2.6 for Cu, 45.8 for Zn, 39.5 for B, 432 for Al and 63 for Na.

Optimum soil nutrient limits were higher for laterite soils in arecanut tract than generalized guidelines for interpretation of soil analysis data. At 0-30cm soil depth, optimum nutrient concentration for P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn and B was established as 15, 192, 925, 179, 37, 88, 26, 5.5 and 1.4 mg kg-1, respectively.

Nutritional disorders like crown choking, crown bending and oblique nodes in arecanut are due to deficiency of zinc and zinc deficiency in arecanut may be the result of complex interactions between DTPA extractable Zn and other nutrients in soil.










































Softwood grafting is the most successful propagation technology

Canopy architecture by pruning and planned cutting of branches have been standardized for canopy management under intercropping and in sole crop

Cocoa is planted at a spacing of 2.7m x 5.4m in pits of 60 cm3 filled with compost in areca garden planted at a spacing of 2.7m x 2.7m with provision of shade.

When cocoa is to be raised as a mixed crop with coconut, cocoa can be planted at 2.7 m apart in single hedge system and 2.5m apart in paired rows in double hedge system between two rows of coconut palms.

The crop is to be irrigated once in a week during November-December, once in 6 days during January-March and once in 4-5 days during April-May with about 175 liters of water.

Systematic study for 10 years on drip irrigation and fertilizer requirement of cocoa mixed cropped in arecanut revealed that drip irrigation at E0 of unity (20 liters of water per day per tree) and a fertilizer dose of 100: 40: 140 g of N, P2O5 and K2O per tree per year would be optimum for cocoa.










ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute
Kasaragod,Kerala, 671124

Last Updated on : 21 / January / 2020


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Time: 2020-10-23 13:36:37


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