The coconut palm eulogized as "Kalpavriksha" is one of the most valuable gifts of nature to mankind. It serves as a veritable source of food and drink to million of people in the tropics. India produces about 10.148 Mmt of Coconut from an area of 1.903 Mha with an average productivity of 5.3 mt/ha. Major producing states are Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.  
  There are 2 types of varieties of coconuts, e.g. tall and dwarf. The tall palms are most commonly cultivated. They grow to a height of 25-30m, the pre-bearing age being 6-10 years.  
  Anandaganga, Chandrakalpa (LO), Chandralaksha, Chandrasankara, Kerasankara, Keraganga, Lakshaganga, Philippines Ordinary, Pratap (BGR), VHC1, VHC2, ECTxGB.  
  Agro climatic conditions suitable for the crop:
  Coconut can be successfully cultivated up to 600m above mean sea-level, though it is cultivated even above 900m. Well-distributed rainfall of 800-2,500mm/year is ideal. To get highest yield mean annual temperature of 27°C with a diurnal variation of 50.7°C is optimum. The humidity should be 80-90%.  
  Soil type suitability:  
  Laterite, lateritic red, sandy, alluvial sandy, alluvial coastal, & black soils are good for cultivation  
  Preparation of land:  
  The preparation of land for field planting depends upon topography, soil type and water table. Adequate drain¬age is also necessary in the initial years in waterlogged areas so that the roots of coconut palms do not come in contact directly with water. In waterlogged areas, coconut should be planted on raised mounds or bunds.  
  Season of planting:  
  Planting season is from June- July, December- January. The planting can also be taken up in other season wherever irrigation and drainage facilities are available.  
  Soil sterilization:  
  Treat the soil with formalin (commercial formulation 37%) at the rate of 20ml/lit of water and apply 2 lit/cu.ft. Then the medium should be covered with polyethylene sheet (25 micron black polythene film) for 14 to 36 hours and aerated for 15 days.  
  Select seed nuts from high yielding middle-aged mother palms giving not less than 100 nuts per year. Keep them in shade, arrange them in layers, and cover with sand and sprinkle water on the heaps regularly to prevent drying of nuts in storage. Planting of nuts horizontally in the nursery may be done in June or July after the onset of monsoon at a spacing of 30 x 30 cm.  
  Selection of Seedlings:  
  Select vigorously growing seedlings characterized by early germination, good girth at the collar, more number of functional leaves and early splitting of leaflets, at the age of about nine to twelve months.  
  Use 9-12 months old seedlings for planting, in pits dug to a dimension of 1x1x1 meter and fill the pit to a height of two feet (60 cm) with 10 kg of FYM, red earth and sand mixed in equal proportions and 30 to 60 g of 5% carbaryl. Add sand to this mixture if the soil is heavy black clay. Give a spacing of 8 x 8 m for hybrids and tall varieties in the main field.  
  Irrigation scheduling/crop water requirement:  
16 Lpd First year
30-35 Lpd Second year
64 -80 Lpd Third year onwards
  Drip system requirement:  
Irrigation System Online System
Lateral Spacing 7.5 m
Dripper Spacing 7.5 m
Dripper Discharge   8.0 Lph
  Fertigation schedule:  
  Monthly once fertigation has been given  
  Fertilizer dose for coconut (g/tree)  
Age May-June September-October
N P205 K N P2O5 K2O
First year - - - 50 40 135
Second year 50 40 135 110 80 270
Third year 110 80 270 220 160 540
Fourth year on wards 170 120 400 330 200 800
  Mulching with 100 micron thickness with 2x2m size of black polythene mulch around the trunk is recommended for effective control of weeds.  
  Inter cropping:  
  Pine apple, banana, elephant foot yam, groundnut, chillies, sweet potato and tapioca can be raised in coconut gardens until the palms attain a height of 5 to 6 meters. In older plantations, cocoa, Pepper, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg can be grown as mixed crop.
  Plant protection: Pest  
  Rhinoceros beetle:  
  Attack on spathe causes wilting of inflorescence, Use biocontrol agents like Baculovirus of Oryctes and entomogenous fungus Metarhizium anisoplia.  
  Red palm weevil:  
  Presence of hole, oozing out of a viscous fluid, presence of chewed up fibres etc. The cut injuries, if any, may be treated with coaltar + Carbaryl. The timely curative insecticidal treatment of affected palms with 0.1% Endosulfan! Dichlorvos or 1% Carbaryl saves the palm.  
  Balck headed caterpillar:  
  Caterpillars feed on undersur¬face of leaflets protected in silken galleries and present a burnt look. Application of a low residual insecticide like Dichlorvos (0.2%) or EndosulfanlMalathion (0.05%) is useful.  
  The foliage mites colonize the foliage and suck the leaf sap. 0.05% DimethoatelDicofol or 0.2% wettable sulphur can be applied.  
  The rats cause extensive damage to tender nuts. Use live or death traps. Remove weed growth and accumulated debris. Use anticoagulant bromodiolone (0.005%). Poison baiting with zinc phosphide (mixing 95 parts of raw rice, 3 parts of coconut oil and 2 parts of zinc phosphide).
  Root wilt Phytoplasma:
Abnormal bending or ribbing of leaflets (flaccidity), general yellow¬ing, necrosis of leaflets are the symptoms. Removal of the affected palms and replanting with hybrids.
  Yellowing of one or two young leaves surrounding the Spindle. The curative measures are, Prophylactic spray of Bordeaux mixture (1%) during pre-and post-monsoon periods, removal of the rotten tissues, brushing with Bordeaux paste (10%) and covering with a polythene sheet.
  Basal stem-rot:  
  Withering followed by yellowing and drooping of outer whorl leaves, root decay and bole rot, appearance of bleeding patches at the base of the stem .The palm dies within 6 months to 2 years. Application of balanced dose of NPK fertilizers and neem cake (5kg/palmlyear) in addition to 50kg organic manures.  
  Stem bleeding:  
  Exudation of reddish-brown liquid through cracks on the trunk later start decaying. Remove the affected tissues using a chisel and dress the wounds with hot coal tar and Bordeaux mixture.  
  Yield and quality control:  
  Coconut starts yielding from 5th year onwards. On an average, coconut yields 44 nuts/palm/year. The hybrids yield 100-140 nuts/palm/year.  
  Post harvest handling and storage:  
  The harvested nuts are stored in heaps under shade for a few days since the stored nuts are easy to husk. The moisture content of the meat decreases, whereas thickness of the meat layer increases. Post harvest management of coconut involves its conversion into copra and coconut oil.  
  Cost Economics:  
  B/C ratio: 5th year – 2.03; 6th year – 3.1; 7th year – 6.1  
  For more information, kindly Contact:  
  Professor & Principal Investigator, Precision Farming Development Centre (PFDC)  
  Dept. of Soil & Water Conservation Engg. Agrl.Engg.College & Res.Institute,  
  Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore – 641 003.  
  Phone: 0422-5511258 – Office Email: