agriculture

Manures and Fertilizers Used in Coconut Farming

Manures and Fertilizers Used in Coconut Farming

Coconut trees require manures and fertilizers to grow and flourish. They offer the nutrients the coconut trees require in order to produce healthy fruit. As they supply the critical nutrients required for coconut trees to grow and flourish, manures and fertilizers are crucial for coconut cultivation. Coconut plantations need these nutrients to grow healthy, superior coconuts. Manures and fertilizers are crucial in coconut cultivation for a variety of reasons, some of which are listed below:

  1. Coconut trees can cause the soil's nutrients to become depleted if they are grown continuously. These nutrients are replenished using manures and fertilizers, which increases soil fertility and promotes crop development.
  2. Nutritional shortages: Due to limited supplies of vital elements including nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, coconut trees may experience nutritional shortages. These vital elements are supplied by manures and fertilizers, ensuring a balanced diet for the coconut tree.
  3. Increased production: Applying manures and fertilizers may greatly increase coconut production. This is so that the coconut tree may grow and develop more effectively, producing bigger harvests thanks to the nutrients these inputs give.
  4. Resistance to Pests and Disease: Coconut trees that receive enough nutrients are more resilient to pests and illnesses. This is because they are more able to develop robust, healthy tissues that are resistant to pests and disease assaults.
  5. Manures and fertilizers must be used to produce coconuts in a sustainable manner. By improving crop yields, lowering the use of dangerous pesticides, and maintaining soil fertility, they help keep coconut cultivation lucrative and sustainable.

For coconut plantations, manure may be an important source of nutrients and can improve soil fertility in several ways. Manure is a rich source of minerals including potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, which are vital for plant growth. It can offer a slow-release source of essential nutrients when used on coconut fields, enhancing soil fertility over time. Manure is also a great source of organic matter, which helps to build up the soil's fertility and structure. Plants can more easily obtain water because organic matter increases the soil's ability to store water. Additionally, it increases soil aeration, lowering the possibility of soil compaction.

Microbial activity is a wide variety of microorganisms present in a coconut farm, including bacteria, fungi, and other beneficial soil organisms, that may be found in the manure of these coconut farms. These bacteria contribute to the decomposition of organic debris and the release of plant-useable nutrients. They also support healthy plant development and reduce hazardous soil infections.

It's critical to apply manure appropriately if you want to utilize it efficiently in coconut fields. To make sure that the nutrients are soaked into the soil, use manure during the wet season or before irrigation. Also:

‚óŹ Avoid applying too much manure, since this might cause runoff and nutrient leaching.

‚óŹ Before spreading manure to the coconut farm, mix it with soil or compost to increase fertilizer availability and decrease the chance of nutrient loss.

‚óŹ To lessen the possibility of plant damage from high amounts of ammonia and other toxic substances, use aged or composted manure.

‚óŹ Use several types of manure, such as chicken or cow dung, to offer a variety of nutrients and microbes.

Different Manures

Manures and fertilizers must be employed in coconut farming to raise yields, improve soil fertility, and supply the nutrients required for crop growth. The following manures and fertilizers are widely used in the cultivation of coconuts:

  1. Organic Manures: In the growing of coconuts, organic manures including cow dung, chicken manure, and green manure are frequently employed. They replenish the soil with vital elements including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, increasing soil fertility and promoting crop development.
  2. Chemical Fertilisers: Coconut cultivation also makes use of chemical fertilizers including urea, superphosphate, and muriate of potash. They supply the soil with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, three minerals that are crucial for the growth and development of coconut plants.
  3. Compost: Another organic fertilizer frequently used in the cultivation of coconuts is compost. It is produced by the breakdown of organic material, including grass, leaves, and kitchen trash. Compost boosts soil structure, water-holding capacity, and soil fertility.
  4. Vermicompost: Earthworms decompose organic materials to create vermicompost, another type of organic fertilizer. It increases soil fertility and is a rich source of nutrients.
  5. Biofertilizers: Microbial preparations known as "biofertilizers" are used to increase soil fertility and boost crop development. They include helpful microbes such as mycorrhizal fungus, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and bacteria that can dissolve phosphorus.

The soil type, climate, and coconut variety are only a few of the variables that affect the manures and fertilizers that are utilized in coconut cultivation. To promote optimal crop development and maximum production, manures and fertilizers must be applied in the proper quantity and at the proper time.

Coconut Tonic by TNAU

The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) in India is the creator of the liquid fertilizer known as TNAU Coconut Tonic. It is intended primarily to boost the development and output of coconut palms, which are widely grown across India and other tropical parts of the world.

A mix of vital plant nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and micronutrients like zinc, iron, and manganese, are used in the formulation of the TNAU Coconut Tonic. These nutrients come from a combination of organic and inorganic sources, ensuring that the coconut palms have a balanced and easy-to-access supply of nutrients.

The TNAU Coconut Tonic can be sprayed on the plant's leaves or put into the soil at the coconut palm's base. It may be used all year long, however, it is advised to use it while coconut palms are actively growing, which is often during India's monsoon season. The benefits of using TNAU Coconut Tonic include:

  1. Enhanced growth and productivity of coconut palms
  2. Improved nutrient uptake and utilization by the plant
  3. Increased resistance to pests and diseases
  4. Improved fruit quality and yield
  5. Increased root development and overall plant vigor

It is important to follow the recommended application rates and timings when using TNAU Coconut Tonic to avoid over-fertilization or nutrient imbalances, which can be harmful to the coconut palms.

Bio- Fertilizer Recommendations

A bio-fertilizer is a type of fertilizer that consists of living microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and algae, which are used to enhance the fertility of soil and plant growth. These microorganisms are beneficial to plants because they can fix atmospheric nitrogen, solubilize phosphorus, produce plant growth hormones, and help control soil-borne diseases.

Bio-fertilizers are eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to synthetic fertilizers that can harm the environment and deplete soil nutrients over time. By using bio-fertilizers, farmers and gardeners can reduce their reliance on chemical fertilizers, improve soil health, and increase crop yields.

Some common types of bio-fertilizers include rhizobium, which is used to fix nitrogen in leguminous crops, and mycorrhizae, which are used to enhance the uptake of nutrients by plant roots. Other types of bio-fertilizers include azotobacter, azospirillum, phosphate-solubilizing bacteria, and blue-green algae.

The choice of bio-fertilizers depends on the type of crop, soil type, and climate conditions. Here are some common bio-fertilizers and their recommended applications:

  1. Rhizobium: Rhizobium is a type of bacteria that fixes atmospheric nitrogen in the roots of leguminous crops, such as peas, beans, and clover. It is recommended to apply rhizobium at the time of planting or seeding.
  2. Azospirillum: This bacterium encourages the development of roots and improves plants' ability to absorb nitrogen. For non-leguminous crops like wheat, maize, and rice, it is advised. Azospirillum can be sprayed on leaves during the vegetative stage or administered to seeds prior to sowing.
  3. Insoluble phosphates in the soil are solubilized by phosphate-solubilizing bacteria, making them absorbable by plants. They are advised for crops like potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries that need a lot of phosphorus. When planting, phosphate-solubilizing bacteria can be added to the soil, or during the vegetative stage, they can be sprayed on the leaves.
  4. Mycorrhizae: Mycorrhizae are fungi that collaborate with plant roots to improve water and nutrient absorption. They are advised for all crops and can be sprayed on the leaves during the vegetative stage or applied to the soil during planting.

It is significant to remember that a variety of conditions, including soil pH, temperature, moisture, and the presence of other microbes, affect how efficient bio-fertilizers are.

Ideally for coconut farming, mix 50 g of Azospirillum, 50 g of Phosphobacteria (or) 100 g Azophos, and 50 g of VAM in sufficient quantity of compost or FYM and apply near feeding roots once in 6 months/palm starting from the coconut planting. Don’t mix with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Organic Recycling:

Organic recycling in coconut farming is a practice that involves the use of organic waste materials produced by coconut trees, such as coconut shells, fronds, and husks, as a source of nutrients and organic matter for the soil. This practice is a sustainable way to manage organic waste and enhance soil fertility, which is essential for the growth and productivity of coconut trees.

The organic waste materials from coconut trees can be recycled in several ways, including:

  1. Mulching: The coconut fronds and husks can be shredded and spread on the ground around the base of the coconut trees. This acts as a natural mulch layer, which helps to retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth.
  2. Composting: Coconut shells and other organic waste materials can be composted to produce a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer. This fertilizer can be used to nourish the coconut trees and improve soil fertility.
  3. Vermicomposting: Coconut waste materials can also be processed through vermicomposting, a process that involves the use of earthworms to break down organic matter and produce nutrient-rich compost.

Organic recycling in coconut farming not only helps to improve soil fertility and productivity but also contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing the amount of organic waste that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills. For a good yield in coconut plantations, Sow sunn hemp @ 50 g/palm in the basin and incorporate before flowering. Coir pith compost/vermicompost made from coir pith/ coconut leaves/ other wastes from coconut grove can be applied.

Inter-cultural operation weed management    

Intercultural operation weed management in coconut farms refers to the various practices and techniques used to control and manage weeds in coconut plantations without causing harm to the coconut trees. Weed management is essential in coconut farming, as weeds compete with coconut trees for nutrients, water, and sunlight, which can reduce the yield and quality of the crop.

Some inter-cultural operation weed management techniques that can be used in coconut farming include:

  1. Hand weeding: This involves manually removing weeds from around the base of the coconut trees. This is a labour-intensive process but can be effective in managing weed growth.
  2. Mulching: Coconut fronds and husks can be shredded and spread around the base of the coconut trees, acting as a natural mulch layer that helps suppress weed growth.
  3. Mechanical weed control: This involves using machinery such as weed cutters, tillers, and cultivators to remove weeds from the coconut plantation. Care must be taken not to damage the coconut trees during this process.
  4. Chemical weed control: Herbicides can be used to control weeds in coconut plantations. However, care must be taken to select the appropriate herbicide and apply it correctly to avoid harming the coconut trees.
  5. Crop rotation: Planting other crops alongside coconut trees can help to suppress weed growth and improve soil fertility.

Effective weed management requires a combination of these techniques, tailored to the specific conditions and challenges of the coconut plantation. It is essential to implement weed management practices that are sustainable, environmentally friendly, and do not harm the coconut trees or other crops on the plantation.