Nutrient Management in Coconut Plantations

Nutrient Management in Coconut Plantations

Every crop needs its fair share of nutrients and when given in the right amounts tend to produce a good yield for that year. Likewise, coconut planting also requires sufficient amounts of nutrients to allow it to fully thrive under various environmental conditions. It becomes an essential requirement that certain nutrients be added to the coconut palm plant as an additional source. Some of the essential nutrients for the coconut palm plants are required to be sprayed superficially.

Of the most primary nutrients such as potash(K) which has generally been found to be far more important to any crop the most important in coconut cultivation, followed by the adequate use of nitrogen(N). There is always a general response to the application of K and N; while the response to the use of phosphorous (P) is specifically seen only in certain restricted as well as localized coconut farms. Among those that are categorized as secondary nutrients, magnesium (Mg) and chlorine (Cl) have several beneficial effects, followed by calcium (Ca), frequent doses of Sulphur(S), as well as sodium (Na). Among the many micro-nutrients, zinc (Zn), boron (B), as well as manganese (Mn) are typically required under certain highly restricted farming conditions.

Effect of Potash on Coconut Farms

With an adequate supply of equally distributed potash, it is generally possible to effectively help with the overall development of kernel growth along with the formation of oil in it. It is also usually reflected in very high setting percentages and can even result in better copra outturn.

K content of the coconut leaves is highly reported to reach up to the maximum of 0.8 to 1.0%. An annual increase in the overall level of potash found in the leaves improves the precocity of the flowering process, increasing the overall number of all the female flowers as well as the setting percentage; the number of bunches that are available per palm; with a count of an average copra per nut, and just a total copra production per palm. It is also said to improve all the nut characteristics by a whopping 14% with the inclusion of the overall quality and quantity of copra.

K tends to increase the overall resistance to certain pests as well as diseases. K in the right combination with Cl tends to effectively reduce the leaf spots that can be a sign of disease incidence.

K also helps to regulate the water economy and allows the coconut palm plants to withstand severe drought. K is also widely known to help with overall root development in a wide range of locations, permitting the coconut palm plant to take up more nutrients from the soil.

Effect of Nitrogen on Coconut Cultivation

Nitrogen is a great constituent of all the plant cells as well as the green colouring matter i.e., the chlorophyll present on the leaves. Nitrogen hunger is said to be very common amongst most of the plants; and in the case of the coconut palm plants, it is often much more apparent in young plantations. An increase in nitrogen doses is always the cause for the absence of P, which leads to a corresponding increase in several incidences of underlying leaf-spot diseases.

The deficiency of N is usually reflected in the restricted growth and yellowing of all the young and old leaves to much varied degrees. The actual causes of N deficiency are mostly climatic, pedagogical as well as based on agronomic conditions.

For the coconut farms that are situated on coastal sandy soils, it is a possibility that Urea-formaldehyde can be far more preferable as an N source.

Effect of Phosphate

Phosphate in general tends to promote actual root growth as it helps to enhance the overall flowering process as well as the ripening of the fruits. However, an overdose of phosphate on a coconut planting can usually result in the overall production of several barren nuts or just nuts that have very poor copra content. Phosphate is also so much more essential when found in the leaves as well as seeds as the actual vigorous division takes place like growing parts of the shoot and root.

Among phosphatic fertilizers, di-calcium phosphate application significantly increases the production of nuts and copra content per nut. It cannot be denied that the rock phosphate application tends to prove to be so much better than other forms of superphosphate for most acidic soils.

Potassium and Nitrogen Interaction with Coconut Plantations

The K and N ratio is probably critical as otherwise the absorption of N may be hindered. K mostly alleviates the possibility of several injurious effects with an over-supply of nitrogen. A high level of N is generally found to create an adverse effect on the response to K. This kind of response to the overall yield is always particularly marked in the ample application of K and N fertilizers. K and N sprayed in a particular ratio can likely show a positive effect on the actual number of bunches as well as the number of flowers that are available per bunch.

Potassium and Phosphate Interaction with Coconut Plantings

The general response of several adult palms to that of phosphate can become far more pronounced only when it is used in moderate combinations with potash or with nitrogen. Having a balanced availability of phosphate as well as the right composition of potash can help in the optimum formation of essential sugars, starch, and moderate usage of fat as well as protein in the kernel. Both the potash as well as the phosphate sprayed in the coconut plantation can surely promote the entire flowering, fruit set, and root development; enhance ripening, as well as increase resistance to several diseases as well as pests. There is also a highly positive effect of P and K in general on the copra content per nut, keeping in mind the number of nuts per palm.

Effect of N, P, K in Combination at Coconut Farms

The essential beneficial effects in the growth, as well as the overall productivity of the coconut palm plants, are being adequately manifested only when P and K are being provided with equal distributions of N as well as the complete effects of having N in plant metabolism which can be essentially achieved.

Effects of Lime on Coconut Farming

Calcium is said to be particularly important as an essential nutrient in the application of acid laterite soils, where it can effectively increase P availability. Lime is also supposed to help regulate the overall base saturation as well as pH if generally applied in larger quantities and thus is why the lime tends to serve two-fold functions. It can surely exert multiple beneficial effects by effectively counteracting all the toxic effects of having a high content of soluble aluminium (A1) salts. However, the issue is that the actual lime requirement of coconut is only small which can only be met by the amounts of calcium in the bonemeal or the superphosphate, etc. However, with quick lime or freshly slaked lime, you can help to increase the coconut yield. 

Lime and Potassium Interaction with Coconut Palm Plants

Lime influences water-soluble K which is present in the soils and its absorption in plants.

While potassium tends to depress the Ca levels found in the leaves to a major extent. Some of the best utilizations of the growth factors by the palms are generally obtained at pH 6.0 which is at an equal concentration of Ca as well as with that of potash. A good potassium status is ideally about 300 kg and is required for about 10 times more than Ca (3000 kg CaO) for addressing the adequacy in nutrient balance. Thus Ca: K in close interaction with the soils as well as the plants is observed. At times, over-limiting of the soil tends to cause potash and boron deficiency in the acidic soil and induces lime-related chlorosis in coconut palm palms.

Effect of Magnesium on the Coconut Plantings

Magnesium (Mg) and chlorine (CI) have beneficial effects on the general growth and productivity of palm. Mg deficiency is most prevalent in acidic sandy soils. It is reported that the overall quantity of Mg in the sandy soils is just about effectively correlated with the availability of most organic matter. For Mg, however, hunger may prevail to exist at levels that are usually under 0.2% of the entire leaf magnesium. There is also a very significant as well as a positive effect of magnesium sulfate on the overall production of more female flowers, with a very high setting percentage, thus there is more number of nuts per bunch. 

Effect of Chlorine (Cl) on Coconut Farms

There is a very close interaction between the nutrient application of K and Cl in the entire physiology of the coconut palm plants. All the chlorine tends to enhance the coconut plantation with better absorption of potash, phosphate as well as magnesium. It is also possible to have the Chlorine to help effectively accelerate the overall growth, there are always signs of early flowering, proper setting of the fruits as well as an adequate increase in the overall copra weight per nut.

Application of Potassium Chloride (KCl) on the Coconut Palm Plants

Among the many different sources of effectively addressing the need for potassium muriate of potash (MOP/KCl), there is no doubt that it is an ideal fertilizer for the coconut palm plants in almost all soils and appears to be so much better than that of potassium sulfate (K2SO4) as well as wood ash on equivalency in the potash basis. Potassium chloride also allows us to meet the demand of K and can provide us with the essential quantities of chlorine as well, which generally appears to be so deficient very often.

Effect of Sodium (Na) on Coconut Farming

The adequate addition of sodium in the form of just the plain old common salt that is put in the basin of the coconut can almost usually be a very common practice. Coconut is thus noted to be kept in a semi-halophyte state that can ideally resist the actual action of the common salt, but that is not always the case as the general does not mean that it will require any amounts of salt. It is also said to reportedly have an excessive amount of sodium, which is always possible to be promoted at the early growth of the seedlings, as well as the overall development of all the existing young palms, and can generally act as an enhancer for several inflorescences. This nutrient can also be very helpful in the overall production of the female flowers as well as the setting down of the fruits. In the case of most of the hard laterite soils, there is a possible addition of common salt in the actual planting pits that appears to fully soften with the laterite bed and is highly helpful at the very early penetration stage of the tender roots.

Sodium can also replace potassium to some major extent when K can be found to be fully deficient in the soil. Sodium is supposedly reported to have a substituting K in certain crops apart from the coconut palm plants which can even go up 70% of the overall K needed. It is noteworthy that the coastal sandy soils are not always fully saturated with the right amount of salt. 

Effect of Sulphur (S) on the Coconut Farms

Sulfur increases the oil content and reduces N and sugar content. The application of sulfur @ 450 g as flour/palm changes chloritic leaves to green. The application of sulfur has shown a 9.5% yield improvement. The sulfur requirement is generally met through the application of ammonium sulfate/superphosphate to the crops. Sulfur deficiency causes uniform yellowing of the leaves, reduces vegetative growth, and hinders the hardening of the kernel.

Effect of Manganese (Mn) and Iron (Fe) on the Coconut Plantations

Manganese is one nutrient that is indirectly related to the actual formation of chlorophyll in the crop as well as in facilitating the early growth of the seedlings. In the case of coconut palm plants facing an acute iron deficiency, it is also possible to result in chlorosis. For young palms, using a very small amount of ferrous sulfate (FeSO4) is more than enough to produce the required amount of lime-rich soils. In the case of several adult palms that act as a dressing of iron in the form of ferrous sulfate, this is usually present at the base of the palm in a hole