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mikey

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #45 on: May 13, 2008, 08:42:04 AM »
Tofu and Soymilk Production
By Pinoy Farmer | May 12, 2008





Although the highest quality protein is found in animal products (meat, milk, eggs and fish), these products are expensive and often exceed the financial capacity of people in the developing world. The soya bean is high in nutritional value and provides a satisfactory alternative to animal products. It belongs to the grain legumes (also called pulses) and contains good quality protein, oil, vitamins (from the B-group) and minerals (iron and calcium).

The production of tofu consists of two main steps:

the preparation of soymilk
the coagulation of soymilk to form curds which are pressed to form tofu cakes
Preparation of Soymilk

Soaking the soya beans
Soya beans are soaked in cold water overnight or in very hot water for 2 to 3 hours, using 3 to 4 cups of water for each cup of dry soya beans. When the beans split open easily and are flat on the inside, they are ready to be drained. After the water is discarded, they should be washed in clean water.

Grinding and cooking the soya beans
A grinding rock, hand mill or meat grinder can be used to grind the beans into flour. When all the beans have been ground, boiling water (for each cup of dry soya beans about 8 cups of cooking water are used) is gradually mixed to the pulp and then it is left to simmer on the fire for 20 minutes. The soymilk is stirred regularly to avoid burning.

Straining the soymilk
The cooked milk is now sieved to extract the soymilk from the pulp using a filtering cloth. It is placed into a sieve which is positioned over a pot, lined with a filtering cloth. The cloth should be made from nylon or porous material - either a flour or sugar bag can be used. The sides of the cloth are held in each hand and moved up and down to roll the pulp back and forth so it forms a ball. The cloth is twisted tightly and held over a clean container while pressure is exerted onto it to extract the milk.

Soymilk
Soymilk is easily digestible and one pint of it can provide over one half of a young childs daily protein requirement. It can be sweetened with sugar or flavoured with chocolate, cinnamon or vanilla. Salt may also be added.

Coagulating Soymilk

Soymilk is heated over a fire and boiled for 3 to 5 minutes with continuous stirring. The pot is removed from the heat and a 4% acetic acid solution is added to the soymilk and stirred constantly until a good coagulum is formed. Vinegar usually contains 4% acetic acid solution and for every litre of soymilk, 2 tablespoons of vinegar are used.

Straining the curds
When large white curds can be seen floating in a clear yellow liquid, called whey, the soymilk is completely curded and ready to be filtered through a clean cloth into a suitable mould. The same method is used here as used in straining the soymilk.

To form a block of tofu, press the cloth lined tofu with a weight for about 20 minutes which will reduce its water content by approximately 60%. This can be sliced and fried or eaten plain with salt. Alternatively, the loose curds can be scrambled in a pan with onion, tomatoes and salt and served on bread.

Preservation of Soymilk andTofu

Soymilk can be stored in a bottle placed in a container of cold water. However, even in cool weather, soymilk can only be kept for a day using this method. Unseasoned block tofu should be stored under water to prevent drying out and can be kept for 2 days in moderate temperatures.

When refrigeration is available, soymilk can be kept for up to 5 days and tofu for about 10 days.

Soymilk that sours will form into curds by natural fermentation. Providing the curds are solid and not discoloured or slimy, they can be boiled for 30 to 40 minutes to kill the bacteria and made into cheese. Tofu that becomes slightly sour can also be eaten if boiled for 20 to 30 minutes.

source : http://www.practicalaction.org



mikey

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #46 on: May 13, 2008, 08:45:49 AM »
Tofu and Soymilk Production
By Pinoy Farmer | May 12, 2008





Although the highest quality protein is found in animal products (meat, milk, eggs and fish), these products are expensive and often exceed the financial capacity of people in the developing world. The soya bean is high in nutritional value and provides a satisfactory alternative to animal products. It belongs to the grain legumes (also called pulses) and contains good quality protein, oil, vitamins (from the B-group) and minerals (iron and calcium).

The production of tofu consists of two main steps:

the preparation of soymilk
the coagulation of soymilk to form curds which are pressed to form tofu cakes
Preparation of Soymilk

Soaking the soya beans
Soya beans are soaked in cold water overnight or in very hot water for 2 to 3 hours, using 3 to 4 cups of water for each cup of dry soya beans. When the beans split open easily and are flat on the inside, they are ready to be drained. After the water is discarded, they should be washed in clean water.

Grinding and cooking the soya beans
A grinding rock, hand mill or meat grinder can be used to grind the beans into flour. When all the beans have been ground, boiling water (for each cup of dry soya beans about 8 cups of cooking water are used) is gradually mixed to the pulp and then it is left to simmer on the fire for 20 minutes. The soymilk is stirred regularly to avoid burning.

Straining the soymilk
The cooked milk is now sieved to extract the soymilk from the pulp using a filtering cloth. It is placed into a sieve which is positioned over a pot, lined with a filtering cloth. The cloth should be made from nylon or porous material - either a flour or sugar bag can be used. The sides of the cloth are held in each hand and moved up and down to roll the pulp back and forth so it forms a ball. The cloth is twisted tightly and held over a clean container while pressure is exerted onto it to extract the milk.

Soymilk
Soymilk is easily digestible and one pint of it can provide over one half of a young childs daily protein requirement. It can be sweetened with sugar or flavoured with chocolate, cinnamon or vanilla. Salt may also be added.

Coagulating Soymilk

Soymilk is heated over a fire and boiled for 3 to 5 minutes with continuous stirring. The pot is removed from the heat and a 4% acetic acid solution is added to the soymilk and stirred constantly until a good coagulum is formed. Vinegar usually contains 4% acetic acid solution and for every litre of soymilk, 2 tablespoons of vinegar are used.

Straining the curds
When large white curds can be seen floating in a clear yellow liquid, called whey, the soymilk is completely curded and ready to be filtered through a clean cloth into a suitable mould. The same method is used here as used in straining the soymilk.

To form a block of tofu, press the cloth lined tofu with a weight for about 20 minutes which will reduce its water content by approximately 60%. This can be sliced and fried or eaten plain with salt. Alternatively, the loose curds can be scrambled in a pan with onion, tomatoes and salt and served on bread.

Preservation of Soymilk andTofu

Soymilk can be stored in a bottle placed in a container of cold water. However, even in cool weather, soymilk can only be kept for a day using this method. Unseasoned block tofu should be stored under water to prevent drying out and can be kept for 2 days in moderate temperatures.

When refrigeration is available, soymilk can be kept for up to 5 days and tofu for about 10 days.

Soymilk that sours will form into curds by natural fermentation. Providing the curds are solid and not discoloured or slimy, they can be boiled for 30 to 40 minutes to kill the bacteria and made into cheese. Tofu that becomes slightly sour can also be eaten if boiled for 20 to 30 minutes.

source : http://www.practicalaction.org



mikey

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2008, 08:46:42 AM »
Fruit Leathers
By Pinoy Farmer | May 12, 2008





Introduction

Fruit leathers are made by drying a very thin layer of fruit puree to produce a product with a texture similar to soft leather. Fruit leathers are eaten as a snack and are often targeted at health food markets, using marketing images such as “pure”, “sun dried” and “rich in vitamins”. Such claims are not unreasonable given that low temperature drying is a gentle process that results in less loss of nutrients than, for example, canning in which up to 65% of minor nutrients can be destroyed. Losses of vitamin A and C are, however high, if the fruit is dried in direct sunlight. Fruit leathers can be made from one type of fruit or blends of different fruits. They may be sweetened, by adding sugar or flavoured with chopped nuts, coconut or spices.

The preservation of fruit leathers depends on their low moisture content, typically 15 to 25%, the natural acidity of the fruit used and high sugar contents. The products have a shelf life of up to 9 months provided they have been sufficiently dried and properly packaged.

Production of Fruit Leathers

This technical brief describes the production of fruit leathers at three scales; from a very small simple home based system, through cottage industry to small industrial production. The following basic steps are involved at all levels of production:

selection and preparation of the fruit including intermediate preservation to allow production to continue out of season.
preparation of the puree
batch preparation
drying
packing and storage.
Selection, Preparation and Intermediate Storage

A high quality product can only be made from good quality raw materials and production should not, as too often happens, be based on second grade fruit that is not suitable for the fresh market. Fruit that has been rejected for being too large, too small or because of surface blemishes is, however, usually acceptable.

Fully ripe soft fruits are very susceptible to bruising when handled and bruised areas will quickly begin to rot. It is thus better to purchase semi-ripe fruit (which is usually cheaper) and allow it to fully ripen in the processing area. This also has the advantage of allowing the daily selection of fruits of equal ripeness.

Incoming fruit should be selected and any unsuitable material removed from the processing area and properly disposed of; not simply put in an open bin outside. Selected fruits are then washed in chlorinated water (one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water) and then peeled, de-stoned etc, depending on the type being used. Only stainless steel knives should be used as mild steel will corrode and stain the flesh. Some fruits require special attention. Banana has a very low level of acidity and is also subject to what is known as enzymatic browning which results in rapid discoloration after peeling and cutting. After peeling, bananas should be quickly immersed in a water containing a small quantity of a chemical, sodium metabisulphite, which controls such browning. The solution should have a concentration of 400 parts per million of sulphur dioxide.

Use of Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
SO2 has been widely used in fruit and vegetable products to control enzymatic colour changes such as the darkening of a freshly cut apple or potato. It also acts as a preservative, controlling the growth of moulds and yeasts. SO2 is produced by either burning a small piece of sulphur or by dissolving sodium metabisulphite in water. The second method is more controllable.

The levels of SO2 used are measured in parts per million or ppm. Concentrations of 400 to 1000ppm are used for dips to control colour changes and retard the growth of moulds and yeasts. A 400ppm bath, for example, is made by dissolving 6g of sodium metabisulphite in 10 litres of water.

NB SO2 gas is harmful if breathed in, it should only be used in a well ventilated room

In recent years, the use of SO2 has been increasingly controlled and it has been banned in many foods in the USA. Similar changes to food laws are is likely in Europe. In such situations browning can be controlled by the addition of citric acid but this is far less efficient than sulphur dioxide.

The most convenient production plan for very small producers is to use fruits that are in season at any given time. This does, however, have disadvantages that include:

one particular flavour of fruit leather may be much more popular than others
it will only be possible to produce small quantities of product in a short season
It is, however, possible to produce all year by preserving prepared fruit (or fruit puree) in sealed drums with added SO2 at a level of 600ppm. Fruit may be stored for many months in this way. Intermediate preservation also allows fruits to be purchased at the peak of the harvest when prices are at their lowest. While most of the SO2 absorbed during intermediate preservation will be lost during drying it is recommended that purees made from preserved fruits should be briefly boiled prior to drying to reduce the level of residual SO2
Preparation of puree
At the simplest level fruit may be pulped to a puree by hand using a food mill, or Mouli Legume as shown in figure 1, in which the food is pushed through a mesh by a rotating paddle. If electric power is available a food liquidiser, followed by sieving will greatly increase production outputs. At larger scale, powered high-speed blender wands are recommended.

Drying

It is recommended that fruit leathers are not dried in direct sunlight as there will be considerable loss of colour and vitamins A and C. Indirect dryers, either solar or mechanical suitable for drying these products are described in Practical Action’s Technical Brief - Small Scale Food Dryers.

After about a day or so, in a solar dryer, or 5 hrs, in an artificial dryer, it will be found possible to lift the leather sheet away from the tray. At this stage the product should be turned over and dried on the other side. Prior to packing fruit leathers are frequently lightly dusted with starch to reduce their stickiness.

Packaging

Fruit leather is normally sold in the form of a roll interleaved with greaseproof paper to avoid it sticking together. Strips, of the required weight, are laid on a piece of greaseproof paper and simply rolled with the paper. The final product should then be packed in polythene or polypropylene heat-sealed bags. The latter, if available, are to be preferred as they provide greater protection against moisture. The bags should then be placed into outer boxes to protect them from light. The product should be clearly labelled stating, as a minimum, the name of the product, net weight, ingredients list and the name and address of the manufacturer. Where available, self-adhesive labels are recommended.

List of Equipment Required

Scales, balance to weigh in grams, plastic containers to wash fruit, stainless steel knives, spoons, chopping boards, double boiling pan, fruit pulper, large sealable food grade bins for intermediate storage of pulps, dryer, heat sealer

source : http://www.practicalaction.org



mikey

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2008, 11:43:21 AM »
Growing Citrus Fruits
By Pinoy Farmer | May 19, 2008





Citrus thrives well in tropical and subtropical climates. Some of the best quality oranges are grown in the non-humid, irrigated, subtropical areas such as the Mountain Province. It can be grown in our four types of climate but areas with well-distributed rainfall throughout the year are best. Those with distinct and long dry periods should bank heavily on irrigation to raise high quality citrus fruits. Fields of citrus in the country are generally low. Citrus plantations are run on modern and intensive technology to allow their produce to compare favorably with those of developed countries.

VALUE

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C. Its mild acid and bitter taste favorable to digestion and blood circulation. Citrus peels are rich in pectin, valuable in making jellies, marmalades, candies, jams and pharmaceutical preparations.

VARIETIES

Several species are highly adapted to the country. The most important include calamondin, mandarin, pummelo, lemon and lime.

Calamondin Locally known as “kalamansi” or “kalamundin”, this is a small tree with upright branches. Its leaves are broadly oval, dark green above and pale green below. Its fruits are small subglobos, ranging from 0.3 to 3.5 cm long and 3.8 to 4.5 cm in diameter. Each fruit has 7 - 10 segments with a very thin rind. The juiceis acidic and usually use for flavoring.
Mandarin Actually it is native to China. Its local names are “sintones” or “dalanghita”. This tree has a dense crown with slender branches, with a few row to ovate and pointed. The fruit is flattened and turns yellow or reddish orange when mature. It consists of 10 - 14 segments easily separated from one another to form an open core. The rind is loose and can be easily removed. Its popular varieties include Szinkom, Ladu, Batangas, and King.
Pummelo It originated from the Malayan and East Indian archipelago. Locally, it is known as “lukban” or “suha”. Its tree which is medium to large and spreading, bears fruit that is large, round to pear-shaped and with a thick and spongy rind. The segments usually open at the sutures. The flesh is commonly firm with large vesicles and with low to high juice content. It usually matures from October to March. Its outstanding varieties include Amoy, Siamese, Pink and Suiwui Luk.
Sweet Orange Locally called “dalandan” or “kahel”, it originated from China. Its varieties cultivated in the country are Hamlin, Pineapple and Valencia. Its typical tree is moderately vigorous, medium-large and productive. The fruit is usually medium-sized and spherical to slightly obovate. Valencia type which is of excellent quality may be seedless pr may have five to six large seeds.
Lemon It is grown primarily for its acidic juice. The tree is medium-sized, elliptical to oblong, sometimes obovate with a short neck or low collar at the base. It usually has 10 segments and the rind turns yellow when it ripens. Its flesh is greenish yellow, tender and juicy. Best commercial varieties grown here are Eureka and Lisbon.
Lime Locally known as “dayap”, this common tree is small and bears seedy small fruits with a very thin, aromatic rind. Its flesh is juicy and very acidic.
PROPAGATION

Citrus can be propagated by seed budding, grafting and marcotting. Commercially, seed budding, which is universally applicable to all citrus species, is the preferred method. Although grafting and marcotting produce satisfactory materials, and therefore may be recommended only for small-scale propagation. Shield budding unites a desired scion variety with a suitable rootstock. Success depends on the skill of the propagation and the conditions of the scion and the rootstock.

I. Rootstock

Must be compatible with the scion variety allowing good growth, long life, good yield and good fruit qualities;
Seeds must be readily available, preferably high poly-embryonic to get uniform seedlings and with high percentage and germination;
Must be adaptable to a wide range of soil depth, texture, structure, pH, salinity, moisture, and nutrient supply; and
Must be resistant to soil-borne diseases, such as Phytophthora grimmosis.
Budwood should be taken from parent trees which:

Hold a record satisfactory production over a period of a t least 5 years;
Are free from systematic diseases; and
Have true-type fruit characters.
Budwood should be plucked from green, vigorous, second-flush growth. Its leaves should be clipped and the budwood is collected. It should be immediately labeled, indicating the name of the variety, source of budwood, and date of collection. Only freshly cut budwood should be used. If it needs storage, it should be kept by wrapping it in moist sphagnum moss or similar materials, put in polyethylene bag and kept in a cool place. This will last for 10 days.

2. Care

By means of shallow cultivation, the nursery is always kept free. Weekly, seedlings are sprayed with the appropriate insecticides to control pests and leaf cutting insects. Every 2 weeks, copper fungicide is mixed with the insecticide to control diseases. Once a month, at time of weeding, one (1) level tbsp 5 g urea is applied around each seedling.

From a budded plant, tape is removed 2 - 3 weeks after budding. If the bud looks fresh and green, the lower half of the tape is left intact until the bud begins to grow. When the budding reaches about 10 cm, lopping can be done to hasten growth. Only one vigorous scion should be allowed. Cultural practices such as weeding, cultivation, watering and fertilization should be continued to promote the development of the plant. To avoid infestation, spraying of appropriate insecticide should be done every 2 weeks.

3. Orchard Establishment

Planting can be done anytime of the year if irrigation is available. Balled or bare-rooted budlings are planted in holes big enough and always enriched with a handful of complete fertilizer, high in phosphorous. Topsoil is used to fill the holes and this is pressed down firmly to avoid large air spaces. Newly planted budlings should be watered immediately.

Planting of citrus follows a certain arrangement in which trees are set out in the orchard. Systems used include square, rectangular, triangular, and quincunx. Rectangular and square systems are to be used where intercropping is to be done. In rectangular and square systems, the rows of trees are set at right angles to each other. In a triangular system, trees are set at the corners of equilateral triangle. In the quincunx system, four trees are set in a square and a tree is planted in the center.

4. Care for the Bearing Groves

Care for the bearing groves is observed through the following:

a. Irrigation. This is important to avoid water stress. Trees are watered until the rainy season begins. Irrigation can be through furrow, hose, or sprinkle.

b. Fertilization. Plants need 2 - 3 fertilizer applications each year.

First, when the rainy season begins;
Second, during the middle of the rainy season; and
Third, when the rainy season is about to end. Fertilizer can be applied or sprayed. Fertilizer can be applied directly or sprayed.
Common Role of Fertilization in Orchard for Each Application


c. Pruning. Pruning means removing diseased and dead twigs, branches, and leaves which are unproductive and are less exposed to sunlight. Best time for pruning is during the dry season or after harvest.

d. Spraying. A certain spray program should be strictly observed. Two or three types of chemicals against a particular pest should be alternated to avoid developing resistance of the chemicals.

e. Propping and Setting of the Windbreaks. To prevent the crop from touching the ground and the branches heavily laden with fruits. Ipil-ipil windbreaks on the windward sides of the orchard can be set up.

5. Pests and Diseases

Many important pests limit citrus growth. A systematic virus-like disease called leaf molting with its insect nectar was responsible for the decline of more than half a million citrus trees. Efficient pest management simply requires an understanding of the nature and cause of diseases, conditions that favor the spread of the diseases and the most effective control measures. Knowledge of the most common and destructive insect pests therefore becomes vital.

To prevent unnecessary injury to plants when using pesticides, make sure that instructions and recommendations in pesticide packages and containers are followed.

6. Harvesting

Periodically, sampling has to be done to check whether fruits are ready for harvesting. Generally, citrus trees start bearing fruits 3 - 5 years from planting and can be harvested 5 - 6 months from flowering depending on the species and the environment. Unlike other fruits, citrus does not ripen further after it has been harvested, so it is important that it is picked at the right stage of maturity. Maturity indices include color, juice content, level of soluble solid (sugar), titratable acidity, and solids to acid ratio.

Table of Minimum Maturity Requirements for Local Citrus

Best time to harvest citrus is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the dew has dried up and fruits have lost their turgor. Fruits, which are frigid, are easily bruised resulting in brown patches on the rind, which indicate direct injury to the oil cells in the rind. This lowers fruit quality.

The proper way to harvest citrus is by pulling or clipping from the stem. “Twist, jerk and pull”, experts say, is the general rule. Use of hand gloves reduces to a great extent injuries on the peel of citrus. Canvas bags of suitable sizes with hooks at the bottom are best for transporting fruits to large, padded, field containers.

source: http://www.da.gov.ph


mikey

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2008, 10:56:58 AM »
Growing Cashew Trees
By Pinoy Farmer | May 19, 2008





I. INTRODUCTION

The Plant

In the Philippines, cashew is called kasoy or balubad in Tagalog or Balogo in Ilokano. It originated from north-eastern Brazil and was brought to the Philippines in the 17th Century. At present, cashew is cultivated in many tropical countries, the main producers are Brazil, India, Mozambique and Tanzania.

The cashew plant is an evergreen tree that grows up to 12 meters tall, with a dome-shaped crown or canopy bearing its foliage on the outside, where flowers and fruits are found.

The fruit has a kidney-shaped nut, about 3 cm x 1.2 cm attached to a much enlarged and swollen pedicel or receptacle forming the fruit-like cashew apple. The cashew apple is pear-shaped, 10-20 cm x 4-8 cm, shiny, red to yellow, soft, and juicy. The seed is kidney-shaped, with reddish-brown testa, two large white cotyledons, and a small embryo. The kernel remaining after the removal of the testa is the cashew nut of commerce.

Production - Cashew is a drought resistant crop. It can grow successfully in areas with a very distinct dry season or where the annual rainfall is as low as 50 cm. It can likewise grow well in areas with high levels of rainfall (as much as 350 cm an-nually) provided the soil is well-drained.

The Philippines produced 7,295 tons of cashew kernels in 1988. The production improved at an average of 22.73%. By the year 2000, production is expected to reach 16,000 tons.

Utilization - Nuts are roasted and eaten. At present, the only commercial scale use for the cashew apple is for livestock feed. However, the cashew apple is now being processed into juice, candy, wine, jam, etc. but only to a certain extent since the market for these end products is still in the development stage.

Cost of Return - The establishment cost per hectare of cashew plantation is P37,186 for five years operation. It has a five-year gestation period. Plant start giving commercial yields after five years.

Supply and Demand - It is projected that in 1996 the supply of cashew would reach 12,961 MT which is still lower than the demand which is going to be 26,995.

Market Situation

The Philippine exported 1,225 tons of cashew in 1989. Average growth from 1984 was 29.43%. The Philippines’ main market is China which is processor rather than a producer.

Practically all Philippine exports go to China. China has minimal production of cashew because of its generally cool weather. It processes and re-exports cashew. The Philippines exports cashew in its raw form (with shell still intact) since it lacks the proper technology to process cashew into its edible form.

Present exports to China amount to a little over a thousand tons, for export as long as the quality is acceptable.

II. GROWING

Nursery Site - The nursery site should be well-drained and exposed to sunlight. It should have a good source of irrigation water for the maintenance of the plant materials. It should be protected against stray animals.

Nut Selection - Nuts for planting should be obtained from mother trees of known performance. They should be fully matured and of high density (heavy) grade to ensure good ger-mination and vigorous seedlings.

Seeds are water tested; those that sink are chosen since they have higher viability and germinate quickly.

Sowing the Seeds - Cashew seeds expire easily. Dry and newly collected seeds must be sown/propagated as soon as pos-sible to prevent loss in viability. They are sown on individual poly-ethylene bags containing an equal mixture of fine sand and organic matter.

Seeds are sown 5-10 cm deep with stalk end facing upward in slanting position. This prevents the emerging cotyledons at the soil surface from being destroyed by rats, ants, snails, and birds.

Care of Seedlings - Seeds will germinate within 1 to 2 weeks after sowing. Excessive watering should be avoided. If seedlings are week and stunted, urea solution at the rate of 10 tbsp per gallon of water should be applied.

The seedlings must be properly taken care of until they are ready for field planting or for use in asex-ual propagation (grafting). Seedlings are ready for field planting when they have attained a height of 20-50 cm.

Propagation

Cashew can be propagated sexually or asexually. Asexual propagation can be done through airlayering, inarching, marcotting or grafting. Grafting is the best method for large-scale asexual propagation of cashew.

With cleft grafting, the seedlings are cut in traverse section (crosswise) and the remaining stem is cut longitudinally (lengthwise). The scion from a selected mother tree cut into the shape of a wedge is put between the two separated parts of the stem of the seedling, and the seedling and the scion are then wrapped with a plastic ribbon.

Up to 100% success has been obtained with 10-week old seedlings. In Palawan, plant propagators can get an average of 95% success in cleft grafting.

The use of young seedlings of about two months old result in more rapid takes, and the plants are ready to be planted at the age of 3 1/2 months.

Sexual propagation is done by sowing the seeds directly on individual polyethylene bags. It should be done during the dry season so that the seedlings could be planted in the field at the start of the rainy season.

Land Preparation

For commercial purposes, the land should be thoroughly prepared. Plow the area 2-3 times followed by harrowing until the desired tilth of the soil is attained. It should be done before the start of the rainy season. For backyard or reforestation purposes, just underbrush the area and if possible collect all cut grasses, shrubs, and other rubbish-es and burn them. The soil should be cultivated properly in order that the seeds may be sown with the required depth or that holes may be dug deep enough to bury the ball of seedlings.

Rows of cashew trees should be properly laid out with the proper distancing by placing markers at the desired distance between hills in a row before digging the holes.

Distance of Planting

Distance of planting varies according to the purpose for which the trees are planted. For reforestation, 3m x 3m is recommended to encourage early shading and to aid in smothering weeds.

For commercial plantings in the Philippines use 6m x 6m which is too close compared to the practice in other countries.

Triangular planting was found to be most productive layout and should be tried. This method, how-ever, is rather difficult for farmers to follow.

High density planting gives more kernel per hectare up to age 7 years. Low density planting gives less per hectare but more per tree.

A. Triangular (12m x 12m x 12m) = 79 plants/ha. An alternative and easier method is the quincunx arrangement and should also be tried.

B. Quincunx (15m x 15m) = 76 plants/ha

C. Square - The simplest recommended planting distances are 9m x 9m at the less fertile lower slopes and 10m x 10m at the more fertile lower slopes.

Lining, Stacking and Digging of Holes - Rows of cashew should be properly laid out by placing markers between rows and between hills in a row. The holes should be dug a month before the planting of seedlings. The holes should have a dimension 20 cm x 20 cm.

Planting Time - In places with distinct dry and wet seasons, planting is best done at the start of the rainy season.

Planting

There are two methods of establishing cashew that may be employed. These are direct seeding and transplanting of seedlings or sexually propagated materials.

In direct seedlings, 2 to 3 seeds are planted 5-10 cm deep with the stalk end facing upward and in a slanting position. This prevents emerging cotyledons at the soil surface from the ravages of field rats, ants, snails and birds.

Seeds are planted 30 cm apart in a triangular position when 3 seeds are used. The seeds will germinate 1-2 weeks after sowing provided that the soil has sufficient moisture.

Thinning should be done leaving only the most vigorous plant to develop 1-2 months from germination. Thinning is preferably done during the start of the rainy season.

When transplanting seedlings or sexually propagated materials, remove carefully the polyethylene plastic before setting the seedlings in the holes. Fill the holes with surface soil first and firm the soil at the base of the seedling carefully allowing the roots to remain in as natural as possible.

III. FIELD MAINTENANCE

Weeding and Cultivation

The plants should be cultivated and free from weeds at a distance of 1 meter around the trunk. The orchard should be weeded as often as necessary. Cut grasses should be left in the area between the hills to dry and to used later for mulching. Mulching helps conserve moisture around the plant during the summer months, keep down the weeds and increase the amount of humus in the soil when decays.

Irrigation

Irrigation is needed during the first dry season. Unlike in the subsequent years, when the root system has already been established and have reached the layer with sufficient moisture. For better yield, it is advisable to irrigate the field regularly especially during summer.

Intercropping and Covercropping

A considerable part of the land is available for intercropping during the early years after the establishment of the cashew orchard.

To provide sufficient protection from the heavy growth of weeds and grass, the spaces between rows may be used for planting cash crops. This would enable the grower to earn additional income.

Annual crops can be interplanted between rows of cashew provided they are not closer than 2 meter from the cashew tree.

When the growing of intercrops is no longer feasible, the field should be planted to leguminous covercrops. The planting of covercrops will prevent further soil erosion, conserve moisture, and add organic matter to the soil. The area within 1 to 1-1/2 meters from the trunk should be kept free from weeds and covercrops should not be allowed to cling to the tree.

Pruning

Little pruning is practiced in ca-shew. However, it may be necessary to prune regularly to get the desirable shape of the tree and to facilitate cultural operations.

It is also necessary to remove the diseased and infected branches and unnecessary water sprouts.

Cut wounds should be properly treated with chemicals (coaltar) to facilitate healing and avoid infections.

Fertilization

It is advisable to apply fertilizers especially when soil analysis dictates specific soil nutrient deficiencies. The general recommendations are the following:

Seed-lings - At planting time apply complete fertilizer (14-14-14) before the seedlings are set in the holes at the rate of 200-300 gm/plant.
Young Trees - Apply complete fertilizer at the rate of 300-500 gm/tree plus Urea (45-0-0) at the Young Trees - Apply complete fertilizer at the rate of 300-500 gm/tree plus Urea (45-0-0) at the rate of 200-300 gm/tree.
Bearing Trees - Apply complete fertilizer (14-14-14) at the rate of 1.5 to 3.0 kg/tree
Recommended rate of fertilizer application is applied two times a year. One half of the total requirement per tree should be applied at the start of the rainy season and the remaining half should be applied toward the end of the rainy season.

On established trees, fertilizer should be dug with a depth of 1-10 cm. The fertilizer is then distributed equally. Cover the holes/canal properly with soil to prevent the fertilizer from evaporating or from being washed out by heavy rains.

IV. CROP PROTECTION

Among the major pests of cashew are:

1. Twig Borer (Niphonoclea alba-ta N. /N. capito P.) This insect pest are common during the dry season. The adult beetle girdles the small branches causing them to dry up or break and drop to the ground. Its creamish larvae bore into the pith of the branches. As they feed, they move downward until they pupate. All affected twigs and small branches may eventually die.

Control Measure: Remove or collect all affected twig as well as dried twigs on the ground. Dispose them properly by burning before applying chemical sprays. In using spray chemicals, mix 3-5 tbsp of Malathion, Carbaryl and/or Methyl Parathion per 5 gallons of water. Repeat application at 7-10 days interval when necessary.

2. Mealybugs (Gray Mealybugs - F. vigata) and Thrips (Red-banded thrips - Selen othrips rubrocintus Glard) . These pests sucks the sap of young leaves and shoots. When severe infestation occurs, the tree is weak-ened and the leaves and fruit may fall prematurely.

Control Measures: Spray trees with any insecticide commonly available at manufacturer’s recom-mended dosage when there are signs of early infestation.

3. Leaf Miner (Acrocercops syn-gramma M.) - Young plants in the nursery and in the orchard are more affected by these pests. Caterpillars of this silvery gray moth mine through the tender leaves, thus, severely damaging them.

Control Measures: Spray 0.05% Phosphamidon at manufacturer’s recommended dosage as soon as infestation is detected on new leaves.

4. Tea Mosquito (Helopeltis Antonil S.) - A reddish-brown mirid bug which normally appears at the time of emergence of new growth and panicles. Nymphs and adults suck the sap from tender nuts.

Control Measures: Spray Malathi-on, Phosphamidon and/or Endo-sulfan at emergence of new growth and inflourescence. A third spray may be done at the time of fruit setting to reduce immature fruit drops.

5. Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle (Cryzaephillus surinamensis L.) - This pest is known to attack the nuts during storage.

Control Measures: Nuts should be thoroughly dried and placed in air tight containers. Surface treatment is recommended. For finished products, fumigation is recommended.

6. Slug Caterpillar (Lamantridae spp.) - The caterpillar feeds on the leaves causing semi-defoliation.

7. Termite - Termites attack the roots and the trunk of cashew trees. They burrow on the bark of roots and branches especially of old trees. They build their soil mounds or nest on dead parts of the tree.

Control Measures: Soil mounds must be destroyed to locate the queen termite. The queen should be killed either mechanically or by spraying with 2% Chlordane. Chlordane should not be applied on living parts of the tree because of its long residual effect. Cistin powder could be applied to any part of the tree infested with ter-mites at the rate recommended by the manufacturer.

Control of Diseases

The major diseases of cashew are as follows:

1. Dieback or Pink Disease - This disease is caused by fungus Corticium salmonicolor B. that usually occurs during the rainy season. Affected shoots initially show white patches on the bark; a film of silky thread or mycelium develops. Later, the fungus develops a pinkish growth which are the spores that make the bark split and peel off. Affected shoots start drying up from the tip.

Control Measures: All possible sources of innoculum should be removed. Affected shoots are pruned and burned. Cut surfaces must be protected by applying Bordeaux moisture paste. The tree should also be sprayed with fungicide at manufacturer’s recommended dos-age.

2. Anthracnose - This disease is cause by fungus Collectorichum gloeospoides that usually infect tender leaves, shoots, inflourescences, young fruits (apples) and young nuts. This disease is most prevalent when there is excessive rainfall coinciding with the appearance of new growth and flowering. Infected parts in its early stage show shiny, watersoaked lesions which later turn reddish-brown. At the lesion site, resinous exudation can be seen. As the disease pro-gresses, the lesions enlarge in size, all affected tender leaves wrinkle, and the young apples and nuts become shrivelled. Inflorescences become black.

Control Measures: Remove all infected parts (source of innoculum) before spraying the tree with fungicide at manufacturer’s recommended dosage of application.

3. Damping-off - This disease is caused by fungus Fusarium. This disease normally occurs in the nursery and effects cashew seedlings especially when the soil medium gets too wet.

Control Measures: Seeds for planting should be treated with Arasan 75 at the rate of 1/4 tsp per ganta of seeds before sowing. Soil media for potting should be treated with soil fumingants.

V. CASHEW BY-PRODUCTS

Shell oil represents about a quarter of the mass of an unshelled nut and approximately equal to that of the kernel. This fluid, that is not an oil as the term “shell oil” indicates, but a mixture of anacardic acid and cardol is the main by-product.

There are more than 200 registered patents of different uses of shell oil. One of the most important uses is in the manufacture of brake linings. Shell oil is used in the manufacture of numerous materials that have to be resistant to heat, friction, acids and caustic products, for example clutch plates, special isolators, varnish and plastic materials. The wood is insect repellent and used in making book cases and packing crates. The gum is a replacement for gum arabic and used as insect repellent glue in book bindings. In the nut and the apple, a compound has been found that combats tooth decay.

The apple is highly perishable but very healthy. It can be eaten fresh or juiced. Syrup, wine, brandy, gin, preserved fruit, pickles and glazed fruit are also made from the cashew apple. In Brazil, fresh cashew-apples are packed in trays and marketed in retail fresh produce outlets.

The indigenous people in cashew-producing regions use different parts of the plant such as the leaves, bark, gum, wood, juice and roots for the preparation of local medicines or insect-repellent mixtures. The bark is rich in tannins and is used in leather tanning. The papery seed coat around the kernel can serve as cattle feed.

Uses of Cashews

The biggest use of cashews is as a snack. But many innovative food companies are discovering the versatility and exotic value of cashews as an ingredient.

A premium snack : Natural, roasted, salted, honey, chocolate, yogurt or spice-coated.
A distinctive garnish : Cashew Splits are embedded in pastry and many oriental sweets.
The nutty ingredient in Ice-creams and Chocolates : The soft-nut texture and enhanced flavor of dry-roasted cashews is unmistakable.
Toppings Galore : On its own, Coated or mixed in with other granules, Granulated dry roasted cashews add value to many products.
Cashew Flour and Paste are used in many Asian sweets, gravies and fancy
Cashews particularly are a natural source of folate, phytosterols, magnesium, potassium, selenium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese & pantothenic acid (Vitamin B-5), amino acids such as lysine, tryptophan, threonine, leneine, isolencine and valine.

source: http://www.nda.agric.za

mikey

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2008, 12:07:32 PM »
Cultivation of Pineapples
By Pinoy Farmer | June 3, 2008
The crop requires areas where the climate is warm, humid and free from extreme temperatures (25 °C being optimal). These areas have a great potential for pineapple production.

There are 5 major pineapple groups grown throughout the world. Two of these, Cayenne and Queen, are widely cultivated in South Africa.
Cayenne and Queen Cultivars

The Smooth Cayenne cultivar is used for both canning (75 % of which is exported) and as fresh fruit. The Queen, because of its high sugar content and unsuitable canning qualities, is cultivated only for fresh consumption. However, because production of the Queen pineapple is more costly, fresh consumption is shifting towards the Cayenne.

Cayenne plants and the fruit are normally larger than that of the Queen, with succulent yellow fruit. Queen fruit has a golden yellow colour and is less juicy.

Planting Requirements

Pineapples can be grown in a variety of soil types but prefer mildly acid soils (pH 5,5_6,5). However, there are certain requirements for successful pineapple production, which include:

Preparing the soil

Remove trees, stumps and stones
Subsoil (rip) to a depth of 800 to 900 mm under dry conditions
Disc, plough and till the soil a number of times, to achieve a fine tilth, for effective plant rooting
Ridge the soil for better drainage, temperature and to improve aeration
Have soil samples analysed at least 6 months before planting to determine fertilisation and fumigation requirements
Planting material

Unlike many other crops grown from seed, pineapples are grown by planting various parts of the plant according to the cultivar, where it is going to be produced, and the cultivation methods practised in the area.

Although crowns are mostly used as planting material for the Cayenne cultivar, they are considered uneconomical for the Queen cultivar because of the length of time they take to bear.
Suckers are planted in the case of Queen pineapple production. Slips bear sooner than crowns but they require a great deal of labour (to break them out and to remove the small fruit attached to their bases). Stumps are generally used when no other planting material is available.

Planting time

Plant pineapples between July and December.
Why?

For rapid growth and uniform stand
The temperature during this time ranges from satisfactory to ideal
Do not plant between February and April.
Why?

Temperatures become progressively lower
Retarded growth, poor and uneven stand
Farm planning, selection of soils and land layout

Consider the following factors when designing the layout of the land where you are going to plant pineapples as they will have an effect on production:

Climate—is it warm, humid and frost free? The occurrence and intensity of rainfall should also be considered
Soil type—clayey loams or sandy soils are ideal for planting
Natural obstacles—rocky outcrops and vleis
Soil conservation—unprepared soil usually results in poor plant uniformity, root development and weed control
Position of windbreaks—to protect soil and crops
Topography—gentle slopes will require a layout different from that for steep slopes. Steep slopes are more difficult to manage and cultivate (more powerful machinery is required)
The aims in the layout of a pineapple land are to:

- control water runoff and thereby limit soil erosion

- facilitate good drainage and prevent root and heart rot

- uniform distribution of sunlight to all plants

- have roads allowing machinery easy access to the pineapple plants (to expedite harvesting and spraying)

Planting

Planting is done by hand, with or without the aid of a planting machine. Use of the latter results in uniform, neat plantations.

Plant spacing

Spacing from ridge centre to ridge centre: 1,5 m.

Each ridge must carry a double row of plants.

Spacing between rows should be 600 mm.

Spacing between the plants in the row: 300 mm.


1,5 m Spacing from ridge centre to ridge centre


600 mm Spacing between rows


300 mm Spacing between plants in the row

Weed Control

For the control of most broad-leaved weeds and annual grasses, contact herbicides can be used.

Apply pre-emergence herbicides immediately after planting the pineapples, before root development and weed emergence.

The herbicide should be applied according to the type of soil:

Initial weedkiller application (spray)

- 3-5 kg bromacil/ha: low rate for sandy soils

- 3-5 l diuron/ha: low rate for sandy soils

- 5-6 l atrazine/ha: where euphorbia is a problem

- 3-4 l ametryn/ha: if weeds are already present

Booster applications (at 12 months interval)

- 2 l diuron/ha

- 2 kg bromacil/ha: at grower’s discretion

- 4-6 l atrazine/ha: if euphorbia is present

- 3-4 l ametryn/ha: if weeds are already present

Pest and Disease Control

Effective control measures are available for the most important pests and diseases. Pesticides used to control soil pests and diseases should be incorporated into the soil before ridging, with booster applications if required.

Pests above the soil level are usually controlled by spraying with a foliar pesticide during the period when the pests are most active.

Always read the label on the pesticide containers.
Why?

To know if pH sensitive or biodegradable, i.e. whether it breaks down rapidly in direct sunlight
To find out how to get the desired control with minimum impact on the environment
For the safety of workers
Fertilisation

Use the following fertilisers :

Hand applied fertiliser:  ammonium sulphate 100 N (sulphate of ammonia)—10 pockets/ha
Phosphate:  drilled into the ridges 0-300 kg/ha (Saaifos and zinc)
Potassium:  broadcast before ridging 0-400 kg/ha (potassium chloride)
Mixture:  drilled/broadcast 0-600 kg/ha (0:1:6 + Mg/Zn)

Forcing agents

With the use of forcing agents, the pineapples can be made to bear fruit at virtually any time of the year.
Why?

It initiates flowering, shortens crop cycle and increases yield
It ensures uniform, complete and concentrated cropping
Fruit colouring or yellowing

Fruiting agents can also be applied to colour fruit, by spraying or brushing onto fruit. This ensures uniform colouring of the fruit in a plantation.

Irrigation

The pineapple plant is able to utilise rainwater and even dew very effectively. Therefore, the heavy dew that occurs in the coastal regions is so valuable to pineapples that irrigation may not even be necessary. Supplementary irrigation could, however, sometimes be essential and of great value.

Harvesting

Harvesting should be done 7 to 14 days after yellowing. It is labour intensive because workers walk in the space between ridges to pick the fruit by hand, loading it into baskets, or onto a boom harvester.

After harvesting the crowns are broken off (not twisted) and left on top of the plants in the field or are placed in bags to be collected at a later date for planting.

Make sure that the fruit is not too green or too ripe when harvested, not bruised or damaged and that it is not affected to a large extent by any physiological problems.

source : http://www.nda.agric.za


mikey

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2008, 12:12:26 PM »
Growing Patola for Food and Luffa Sponge
By Pinoy Farmer | June 10, 2008

Patola or luffa (scientific name) is commonly planted as vegetable or for food. According to scientists, it contains calcium, iron and plenty of phosphorus.

There are two kinds of patola:

One is the many-sided which is inherently ours and the other is the cylindrical type which is called “patolang Kastila.”
Our local version is the sweeter kind.
Planting

Patola is not difficult to grow, but it likes loose, sandy soil, fertile and does not lodge water. It may be planted at any time of year, but there are more flowers, and fruits are bigger when the weather is cool. Patola is planted two times a year: from March to May and from October to December. But if the fruits will be made into luffa, it is better to plant it in October-December so the harvest falls in summer. Ordinary patola is planted directly in the field; but if it is not in season, plant first in plastic bags (perforated at the bottom) and then latter transfer to the field when it will be needing trellises to climb on.

Land Preparation

Plow the field and clean 2-3 times, with 7 days interval.
Dig trenches 3 meters apart from each other.
Plant the seed in the soil at 3 x 3 (or 2m) meters apart.
Set bamboo poles or posts in rows about 3 meters long and 3 meters apart. Tie strings or wire from post to post about 3 weeks after germination of seeds. Patola will bear fruit even without trellis, but many fruits will turn out in bad shape.
Patola needs watering. Dig canal for irrigation about 1½ meters from the plant or between trenches.
Fertilizer - Apply composting animal manure

Harvesting

About 3-4 months after planting, or 45-50 days after flowering, patola can be harvested. A hectare of patola can yield about 10,000 pieces or more, depending on how well the plants have been maintained.



LUFFA

Patola as sponge has long been known in this country, but abroad, they are just beginning to know its use, and have learned to like it. Patola is sewn on a piece of cloth that serves as a handle for rubbing. Because of this, luffa or matured patola is in demand abroad, but we cannot meet this demand. Australian asks for a million pieces, to be sold in drug stores and department stores as sponge, 30×6 cm sizes. This is flat, but expands when put in water. The U.S. gets its supply from Korea (from where luffa is supplied by a certain “Luffa King” because of his extensive luffa plantation for the purpose), by Japan, China and some other countries.

In France, they like luffa as a natural beautifier and cleanser. In Germany, their import of luffa is as natural as DM 1.83 million from Egypt, Greece, Japan, Cuba, USA, Tinisia, France, Netherlands, Italy, Great Britain and Lebanon. Thus, if we can produce enough patola for export, it will mean bringing in dollars to our country, without much competition.

Manner of Preparation

Let the patola grow mature before harvesting.
Remove the peel and shake off the seeds. It could be easier to clean this by boiling first, but this will diminish the coarseness for rubbing.
Dry in the sun for two days (in Summer) or 4-5 days in rainy weather. It can also be dried in the oven but the quality is inferior to that which is sun dried. Its whiteness is less.
Wash to clean and soften. Bleach to make it white.
Dry in the sun again 3-5 days. Now, the patola becomes wider, softer, and milk colored.
Cut into desired sizes (according to customers taste).
Seal in plastic bag

source : http://www.elgu2.ncc.gov.ph


mikey

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2008, 10:33:57 AM »
Cultivating Pecan Nuts
By Pinoy Farmer | June 3, 2008





Pecan-nut trees are fast growers and can become very tall. The nut has a high nutritional value because it is rich in protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and nut oil.
Nut size and kernel development

Factors causing poorly filled nuts:

A general water shortage
Limited carbohydrate reserve
Early leaf-drop (caused by scab disease or inadequate fertilisation)
Zinc deficiency
General tree starvation
Unfavourable climatic conditions such as cool summers
Climatic Requirements

The pecan-nut tree is well adapted to subtropical areas.
It also grows well in areas with short, cold winters and long, very hot summers
Low temperatures and even frost during June to August are required for successful budding and flower formation
During the summer months (October to April) the tree requires high temperatures for fruit growth
Trees are successfully established in valleys and along rivers where the winter temperature is low and frost occurs
In the subtropical areas only cultivars that are tolerant to scab should be planted since humidity is very high along rivers, in valleys and in low-lying areas
Temperature

The average monthly maximum temperature should be higher than 28 °C during summer and lower than 23 °C in winter.

The average monthly minimum temperature during the summer must rise above 16 °C, but drop below 8 °C in winter.

Humidity and Rainfall

High humidity and rainfall are ideal for the development of scab.

The most suitable production areas are therefore those with short, cold winters and long, hot summers, with no early or late frost and a humidity below 55 % during the greater part of the growing season.

Soil Requirements

The pecan-nut tree performs best in a fertile, well-drained, deep soil with a loose to medium texture.

Cultivars

To produce pecan nuts successfully and profitable, it is essential to plant cultivars that comply with the high standards concerning adaptability to an area, disease tolerance, production, kernel percentage, nut size and shape, appearance and taste of the kernels.

Tolerance to Scab

Scab is a fungal disease that can spread rapidly in areas with a high summer rainfall and humidity.
It can be controlled with fungicides, but the long-term solution is to plant cultivars with a high degree of natural resistance to the disease.
The following cultivars are resistant to scab and can be produced in all production areas: Moore (Bester), Barton, Ukulinga, Shoshoni ( also areas with a high rainfall and humidity).

Soil Preparation

Examine the soil regarding depth, drainage and compacted layers.

The soil should be at least 2 m deep
The physical suitability of a soil can only be evaluated by digging holes in the ground and examining the soil profile.
If these properties are suitable for growing pecans, the soil should be prepared carefully and well in advance of planting.
Soil sampling
A representative sample of the proposed orchard must be taken for soil analysis. This sample should be taken 12 to 24 months, or at least 9 months, before planting. This gives the farmer ample time to thoroughly prepare the soil, particularly if large quantities of lime are required.

Method of soil preparation
If the soil is very acid, heavy lime applications may be necessary. In such a case two-thirds of the recommended agricultural lime must be distributed over the entire area 12 months before planting, mixed into the topsoil by disking, and then ploughed in as deeply as possible. Because calcium (lime) moves very slowly in the soil, it is essential to work it into the future root zone of the trees.

A cover crop can then be planted and ploughed in 6 months later. This will increase the organic matter content of the soil. The remaining lime and all the required phosphate must be applied and lightly worked in simultaneously. The trees can then be planted 3 months later.

If soil samples have not been taken early enough to proceed as described, two-thirds of the lime must be mixed with the soil and ploughed in deeply; the phosphate and the rest of the lime are then distributed and worked in lightly. If large quantities of lime are required, this must be applied at least 3 months before planting, thoroughly mixed with the soil and worked in deeply.

Planting

The pecan-nut tree is deciduous and can therefore only be transplanted during the winter. The best results are obtained when establishing orchards with trees planted during July and August.

Nursery trees

The pecan tree has a long, strong tap-root system.
The tap root has to be cut at a length of 1 m with a sharp spade. The tree should then be carefully removed from the soil and immediately taken to a shed or shady place. Cover the roots with wet sawdust or any other suitable damp material to prevent them from drying out.
Inspect the trees carefully, and discard those with bent roots.
Planting in orchards

Loosen the topsoil to a depth of 1 m before planting.
The depth of the hole must be deeper than 1 m, or at least 200 mm deeper than the length of the tap root.
Some loose soil should be replaced, so that the cut end of the tap root is in loose soil. This promotes vertical root growth during the first season of establishment.
Well-rotted compost (plant material) can be added to the hole.
Zinc fertiliser (22 % Zn) should be added (0,5 kg/ hole) and mixed well with the topsoil. No other fertiliser should be applied at planting.
Plant the tree at exactly the same depth in the orchard as it was in the nursery. If it is planted too shallow, the root collar will be exposed to the sun, causing sunburn and eventual die-back or stunted growth.

Planting Method

Aftercare

Newly planted trees must be irrigated immediately. Thereafter, irrigation should be applied carefully, because too much water given before the tree starts growing, may cause the roots to rot.
They should be treated against possible termite attacks by timeously destroying all termite nests in the vicinity.
The trees should be white-washed to prevent sunburn damage. It is advisable to put a straw mulch around the base of the young tree for better moisture conservation and to protect the roots against high temperatures. After planting, the trees must be topped to encourage branching to form a framework. A height of 1 m is recommended.
Inspect young trees regularly during the first season after planting.
Fertilisation

Do not fertilise young, transplanted trees too soon. They must first become well established and start growing vigorously.
The first application should only be made one year after planting. Never apply fertilisers against the stems of the young trees.
Immediate irrigation is important.
Fertilisers

Fertilisers should be spread evenly about 0,2 m from the stem to about 0,5 m outside the drip area of the tree.
Each fertiliser application must be followed by a light, controlled irrigation. Fertilisers must not be worked in.
Once the trees are established and start growing, fertilisers should be applied regularly according to the table.
Annual application of fertilisers for pecan-nut trees


Application  LAN  Superphosphate Potassium chloride
g/tree/yearMaximum application
kg/tree/year 250
4,5 300
3 100
2

Time of application

August: 1/2 of the LAN + all the superphosphate
October: 1/2 of the LAN + all the potassium chloride
Zinc
Since most soils are low in zinc or the zinc is not available, this element must be added every year. Spray with 150 ml NZN or 200 g zinc oxide/100 l water when the leaf buds are 50 mm long. Repeat at least 3 times at intervals of 2 to 3 weeks. It may be necessary in some cases to spray as many as 5 times.

Boron
Many orchards are low in boron. The trees should be sprayed every 2 years with 100 g borax or 75 g Solubor/100 l water from the start.

Leaf and Soil Analyses

Soil and climatic differences as well as cultural practices greatly affect the quantities of fertilisation that have to be applied.

Soil and leaf analyses give an excellent indication of the actual requirements of a particular planting. If is therefore recommended that, when the trees reach fruit-bearing stage, full use be made of a soil and leaf analysis service. This will make it possible to obtain an accurate and complete fertiliser programme for every planting.

Leaf analysis

Leaf analysis determine the concentrations of specific elements in the plant. Adequate, inadequate or excessive amounts of nutrients could be present in the plant.
It is therefore possible to determine the nutrient status of an orchard and to fertilise accordingly.
Limiting factors that must be taken into account are weather conditions, irrigation water and soil. In the latter case the most important requirements are usually good depth and drainage, correct pH and the absence of high salt concentrations in both the soil and the irrigation water.
Sampling

Leaf samples should be taken during the first 2 weeks of January.
The right leaf must be sampled (see figure). Sample 4 leaves per tree.
A soil sample must accompany the first leaf sample.
It is advisable to have soil analyses done every year.
Leaves for analysis must only be taken from healthy trees and must be free of sunburn, deficiency symptoms, insect damage and disease.
A leaf and soil sample must represent a planting of not more than 3 ha

Pecan Leaf Sample

Method

Select about 20 trees, spread throughout the planting, that are homogeneous in appearance and are representative of the planting.
Strikingly good or poor trees should not be sampled.
The 20 pre-selected trees must be clearly marked, for example with a spot of paint on the stem. Leaf and soil samples are then taken annually at the same marked trees.
The fertilisation programme can then be adapted according to the analysis results. Adjustments to the previous programme, according to leaf and soil analyses, can only be done effectively if the previous applications are known.
A rational fertilisation programme for a specific planting can only be obtained if the leaf samples are analysed annually for a period of at least 5 years. The situation cannot always be rectified in a single season, since it is a gradual process.
Irrigation

Rainfall in South Africa is often insufficient and does not satisfy the water requirements of pecan-nut trees for optimal production. Additional irrigation is usually necessary during the critical growth stage.

The pecan-nut tree has a deep-tap root system, but for optimum irrigation purposes it will be adequate to supply the top 1 m with water.

Recommended wetting area based on tree age

Age (years) Diameter (m) of wetting zone Wetting area (m2)
1­2

3­5

6­10

11­15

15+
 2,0

3,0

4,5

6,5

8,0
 3

7

16

33

50
 

Pruning

Scaffolds

To obtain a well-balanced tree, all scaffolds must develop evenly around the main stem, about 300 to 360 mm apart.
Scaffolds must be pruned back during the second, third and fourth seasons. The primary bud is not removed so that the scaffold can continue growing upwards and outwards.
Primary buds are only removed on the leader shoot to form scaffolds.
Summer pruning

Scaffolds are pruned in summer (Nov/Dec) by removing 100 to 200 mm of the growth. This forces a branch to develop numerous lateral branches which can bear fruit during the same year in which they were pruned.
Summer pruning dwarfs a tree and will increase production considerably during the first 10 years.
After 10 to 15 years the producer can start pruning adult trees, especially if they begin crowding one another.
The young tree must be shaped from the day it is planted.
Control the growth that follows pruning.
Rejuvenation Pruning

Many old trees with declining production and nut quality can be stimulated to more active growth and increased nut production by pruning. By completely pruning back a big tree, the production of 1 or 2 years is lost, but later new growth and the resultant increase in the production of nuts with improved quality compensate for this.

Growth Regulants

A registered plant growth regulant will control excessive vegetative growth. This substance must be applied strictly according to the directions on the label. If pruned trees are treated, the concentration of the recommended dosage must be reduced by half.

Diseases

Scab
Scab is caused by a fungus and is the most important disease in pecan nuts in South Africa.

Early symptoms are the appearance of numerous small, brown to black spots, especially on the underside of the leaves. The spots become larger and merge until the entire leaf turns black. Immature leaves drop off.

Similar spots are visible on the shuck of the nut (see figure). Such nuts suffer from delayed development and they are misshapen. Immature nuts may drop off and have no commercial value.

The fungus winters on branches and old shucks that have dropped. Fungal spores rapidly develop in spring and are spread by wind and rain. New spring growth on the trees is infected when the leaf surfaces are wet, especially after rain.

Susceptibility for the disease varies in different cultivars. Ukulinga, Shoshoni, Moore and Barton are regarded as highly tolerant, while Mohawk, Wichita and Chocktaw are susceptible.

Pests

Pecan nut stem borer

This stem borer is sporadically observed on pecan-nut trees.
The first sign of infestation is red-brown granular excretions around the base of the trunk. This discharge comes from the pink coloured larvae which have burrowed into the trunk and branches of the trees.
The tunnels vary in size according to the age of the larvae and can be as much as pencil thickness. Numerous tunnels occur in a single tree trunk.
Young larvae hatch from the middle of December until the end of February. The larvae reach their maximum size of approximately 40 mm during spring and early summer. At this stage the larvae become inactive and change into pupae in the tunnels. The pupal stage lasts approximately 6 weeks and it appears that only 1 generation occurs per year. The larvae remain in the trunk for about 11 months.
Control

Good chemical control of the larvae in the tunnels can be obtained. By removing larval excreta around the stem just after spraying, the producer can later determine whether some of the tunnels were skipped during spraying.
In young trees a piece of soft wire can be used to kill the larvae in the tunnels. This method, although primitive, is very effective and must be undertaken during winter when the tunnels and the excreta are more noticeable around the stem of the tree.
Bark borer

Larvae of bark borer feed on the living bark of pecan-nut trees, especially in young plantings. They later bore into the hard wood.
Penetration is usually where branches are formed and can occur in branches of any thickness.
The holes in the branches that serve as shelter for the larvae, are about 70 mm long and 5 mm in diameter when the larvae reach maximum size.
Feeding marks on the bark are covered with larval excreta spun together with threads in such a way that the larvae can move freely underneath the threads. As the larva feeds, this “house” of spun threads and excreta becomes bigger and could be found around a branch. Although infested trees do not die, the branch is ring-barked and it could die back.
Control

Good control can be achieved with a registered chemical, even if only the lesions on the branches are treated.
It is not necessary to remove the excreta from the branches before spraying.
Spraying of the entire tree is not recommended.
Parasitic plants in pecan-nut trees

Parasitic plants, Tapinanthus spp. (bird-lime), occur in most pecan-nut producing areas of South Africa. These plants have no root system and parasitise the host plant. They debilitate the tree and reduce the bearing area.

The plants, with their red and yellow flowers, are easily seen in the tops of pecan trees, especially during winter and September.

Control
There is no chemical control method for these parasitic plants. The only way is to prune the parasitic plants. The branch on which the bird-lime grows must be cut off and removed from the orchard.

Harvesting

Depending on the area, pecan nuts usually ripen from April to July. As soon as the nut is physiologically ripe, the green husk becomes dry, cracks open and the nut drops out.

In South Africa the nuts are mainly collected manually from under the trees.

A certain percentage of the nuts, for various reasons, do not drop. These nuts are called stickers and must be shaken from the trees. If a very large percentage of the nuts are stickers, it may be because of poorly filled nuts, scab or other factors such as irrigation and fertilisation.

Storage

The nuts can be stored at room temperature for as long as 6 months before they are marketed. Shelled nuts realise a much higher price than unshelled nuts, but the processing equipment is very expensive and most producers market cooperatively or through a processor. After processing the nuts are usually packed in vacuum-sealed packages, which means that they can be stored for a very long time.

source : http://www.nda.agric.za


 

 

 


mikey

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2008, 10:35:54 AM »
Cultivation of Tobacco
By Pinoy Farmer | June 3, 2008





Motsoko (Tswana)
Tobacco is a high-value cash crop which is planted throughout the country. It grows on a wide variety of soils under dry land conditions or irrigation.

Uses

Pipe and chewing tobacco
Snuff
Tobacco dusts (scraps which are not used) are sold at nurseries to repel insects
Soil and climatic requirements

Tobacco can be cultivated under dryland conditions or irrigation on any soil type. Irrigation is, however, preferred.
The crop prefers long, hot summers and is susceptible to wind damage. Tobacco plants are very sensitive to frost.

Planting
Cultivars
Only one cultivar, namely CDL 28 is available commercially.

Preparing the seedbed
Tobacco can be planted on level soils or on ridges. Ridging
is preferred if the soil tends to get waterlogged or in very shallow soils. Use existing methods of cultivating the soil before planting.

Planting time
The crop has a growth season of approximately 90 days from planting to harvesting. When deciding on a planting date the onset of frost should be taken into account.
Fertilisation
Tobacco plants require large quantities of nitrogen as it determines the quality of the end product. A crop rotation system should preferably be used. Although a legume crop does not necessarily have to form part of the crop rotation system it is, however, recommended for nitrogen fixation. It is important to include a crop in the system which has a repressive effect on nematodes eg oats, sunnhemp or marigold. To reduce fertilisation costs organic fertilisers can be applied.

Planting method
The tobacco crop is established using seedlings. Climate is of paramount importance to germination and growth of the seedlings and should be kept in mind when producing seedlings. Seedlings are planted manually.
Plant spacing
Plant 10 000 to 12 000 seedlings/ha. To facilitate the movement of implements, rows should be spaced approximately 1,2 m apart. An in-row spacing of 60 cm is recommended.

Pest Control

Weeds
Chemical control. Weeds can also be pulled up by hand.

Insects
Insect pests are limited to certain areas and can be controlled chemically or manually. The latter method can only be used in small areas. Chemical control is very effective.

Diseases
Tobacco is susceptible to various diseases. Consult an expert in this regard.

Topping and Suckering

Topping
The plants are topped (reproductive parts are removed) at a height of between 18 to 22 leaves to stimulate leaf growth.

Suckering
Because the flowers (reproductive parts) have been removed, suckers sprout from each axil. These suckers can be controlled chemically or removed by hand.

Harvesting
The whole plant is chopped down and suspended to dry as soon as physiological maturity is reached. When the entire plant is dry, it is moistened. Picking and classing is then done.

Marketing
Tobacco can be marketed formally as well as informally.

source : http://www.nda.agric.za


mikey

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #54 on: August 10, 2008, 09:08:54 AM »
Cultivation of Macadamias
By Pinoy Farmer | August 6, 2008





Macadamias can be produced successfully in areas where avocados, papayas, mangoes and bananas do well.
The trees flower during spring from August to September. The further development of the fruit lasts 31 weeks.

Select high-quality nursery trees by inspecting the:

plant container and roots
soil mixture
leaves
internodes
graft union
shape of the tree
Plant Container and Roots

The size of the container is very important. If the container is too small, the tree becomes pot-bound and the taproot might be distorted. The tree may appear healthy in the nursery, but has little chance of reaching its full potential in the orchard. The weakened root system cannot provide the growing tree with sufficient water and nutrients.

Climatic and Soil Requirements

Soil

Most soil types are suitable for the production of macadamias, provided they are well drained and have no restrictive layers in the top 1 m of the soil. Poorly-drained clay soils are not suitable.

Temperature

The ideal temperature for macadamias is between 16 and 25 °C. Although the trees can survive when temperatures drop below 3 °C, they should not be regarded as frost resistant.

Height above sea level

Height above sea level influences nut quality and production. Production declines dramatically above 600 m. Above 640 m growth is slower and trees take longer to produce.
Cultivars suitable in areas between 600 and 640 m above sea level are Mauka, Kau and Keaau.
Cultivars recommended nearer to the coast, 90 to 300 m above sea level, are Purvis, Makai and Keaau.

Cultivars

The cultivars recommended are: Keaau, Kakea, Kau, Purvis, Pahala, Mauka and Makai. They are regarded as superior to Nelmak 1 and Nelmak 2 for commercial processing and marketing. Their oil content is usually higher than 73 % and the sugar content is low enough to ensure an even, cream colour after the nuts have been baked. Under ideal circumstances the crack-out percentage will be higher than 40 %.

Soil Preparation

If the physical properties of the soil, namely depth (0,8­1,0 m), drainage, etc are suitable for growing macadamias, the soil must be prepared carefully and well in advance.
The soil must be loosened as deeply as possible. It should then not be necessary to make large planting holes.
If the soil in the planting holes is compacted, the roots could become rootbound.
An investigation should be done after the planting of macadamia trees to ensure that root growth is not restricted.
Do not fertilise recently planted trees. They must first become well established and grow vigorously. It is wise to wait one year before applying fertiliser.
Planting Distances

Macadamia cultivars have different growth patterns. They are usually either spreading or upright growers.
The size of each cultivar’s drip area (surface area below leaf canopy) depends on the altitude, soil type, rootstock, rainfall, temperature and relative humidity.
The planting distance for each cultivar will therefore differ from place to place. Various guidelines can be followed with respect to spreading and upright growers.
As soon as the competition for light becomes too great, production will decrease.
To allow for tractors to move between the trees, the hedgerow planting system is used.

With this system:

Upright growers are planted 3,5 m apart within the row with 7 m between rows.
Spreading cultivars are planted 10 m apart within the row with 6 m between the rows.
Intercropping

Other crops are sometimes cultivated between young macadamia trees. There are 3 main aspects to be considered before planting an intercrop.

Cultivation of the intercrop could damage or adversely affect the growth of the tree or injure roots and should be avoided.
Tall-growing plants could crowd out or overshadow the young macadamia trees and should not be planted.
No other crops should be planted between bearing macadamia trees. Once this stage has been reached, the macadamia trees should receive the attention and treatment necessary to ensure maximum growth and production.
Leaf Analysis

Macadamia leaf samples must be taken during October and November. The time of sampling is critical. The correct leaf must be sampled.
When submitting a leaf sample from a particular orchard for the first time, it must be accompanied by a soil sample. Thereafter it is advisable to send in soil samples annually. It is essential to consider the results of both soil and leave samples when making fertilisation adjustments.
Only leaves from healthy plants must be sampled. They must be free from sunburn, insect damage or any deficiency symptoms or signs of disease.
Method of Sampling

Select approximately 20 healthy trees, well distributed throughout the orchard, homogeneous in appearance, and representative of the orchard as a whole.
The selected trees must be clearly marked with, for instance, paint. In this way it is possible to take soil samples at the same places and leaf samples from the same tree every year.
Four leaves are taken from alternate sides of the trees giving a sample of 80 leaves.
Fertilisation

Do not fertilise young, transplanted trees too soon. They must first become well established and start growing vigorously before any applications are made, preferably after at least 1 year.
Never apply fertilisers against the stem of young trees.
Fertiliser must be broadcast evenly from about 0,2 m from the stem to about 0,5 m outside the drip area of the tree.
Macadamia trees are very sensitive to root damage, therefore each fertiliser application must be followed by a light, controlled irrigation.
Fertilisers must not be worked into the soil.
When the trees are established and start growing, fertiliser must be applied regularly according to the table.

Quantity of fertiliser according to age (kg/tree/year)

Tree age (years)   LAN 28 %   Superphosphate   Potassium chloride 
1

2

3-5

6-8

9-11

12-14

15+
 0,2

0,4

0,6

1,0

1,5

2,0

3,75
 0,2

0,2

0,3

0,5

0,75

1,0

1,35
 0,1

0,3

0,5

0,5

0,75

1,0

1,25
 

Zinc and Boron Sprays

Because most soils are naturally low in zinc, or the zinc is not available, this element must be applied every year. The following concentrations are recommended:

Zinc oxide at 200 g/100 l water, or
NZn at 150 ml/100 l water.
Many macadamia orchards are also low in boron and it is desirable to spray the trees every 2 years with 100 g borax or 75 g Solubor/100 l water right from the start.

Irrigation

Water stress often limits tree growth, as well as the set, growth and quality of macadamia nuts. It is important to know how much water to apply and when to apply it if it does not rain.

Water Requirements

The approximate water requirements for macadamia trees(mm/month)

Tree age
 
Years Month
 
  Aug. Sept. Oct.  Nov. Dec.  Jan.  Feb.  March  Apr.  May  Jun. Jul
5 16 20 24 27 29 29 24 21 14 9 9 9
10 46 57 69 77 81 81 67 59 38 26 26 26

Diseases and Pests

Phytophthora root rot

This disease usually occurs as a result of mechanical damage causing injury. These areas usually become infected. Trees suffering some kind of stress such as drought conditions may also get the disease.

Nut borer

Nut borer is the common name for the larvae of 4 types of moths that can either burrow into the green husks of macadamia nuts or feed on the kernels. The damage can easily be recognised, but the moths are small and inconspicuous and seldom seen in an orchard.

Adult larvae are about 10 mm long and pale red or grey.
An infested nut can be recognised by a small hole in the husk which is surrounded by excreta.
Affected nuts, especially young developing nuts, usually drop as a result of damage to the husks.
Susceptibility to attack by moth larvae differs among cultivars because of hardness and thickness of the shell.
No insecticide is at present registered against nut borer. It can, however, be limited by planting fairly resistant cultivars such as Nelmak 1, Nelmak 2 and the Hawaiian cultivars.
A natural enemy that plays a role in the control of false codling moth is the parasite Trichogrammatoidea lutea, which parasitises the eggs of the moth.
Stinkbugs

Stinkbugs are the most important pest on macadamias in South Africa. Damage is caused by a stinkbug complex comprising at least 20 different types. The most important types are: two-spotted stinkbug, green vegetable stinkbug, coconut stinkbug, small green stinkbug, spotted stinkbug, yellow-edged stinkbug and yellow-spotted stinkbug.
Stinkbugs can cause crop losses of up to 80 %.

Damage

Most stinkbugs have 4 generations per year and each generation causes a different type of damage to the nuts.

The first generation is the spring generation (August to September), and occurs during or after flowering. This generation can cause extensive flower and/or fruit drop of small macadamia fruit.
The second generation is the summer generation (December). Damage occurs during fruit development or just before the fruit reaches mature size. Once the fruit has reached mature size, it remains on the tree even after stinkbugs have fed on it. When harvesting, these nuts will have large, sunken lesions on the kernels.
The third generation, the autumn generation (February to March), is normally the largest. This generation feeds on the nuts before and during harvest. Although it causes lesions on the nut kernel, no fruit drop occurs. The size of the lesions depends on the type of stinkbug. The coconut, two-spotted, yellow-spotted, and spotted stinkbugs are capable of inflicting damage late in the season because of their longer mouthparts. Less trouble is experienced from other stinkbugs during autumn.
The fourth generation stinkbugs (winter) do not normally cause problems because most nuts have been harvested and stinkbugs are not very active during this season. The damage evident at the end of the season (stung nut kernels) is inflicted from December to harvest. The hardness of the shell does not limit stinkbug feeding. Nuts must therefore be protected against stinkbugs throughout the year from flowering until harvest.
Control

Stinkbugs can be controlled chemically.
The shaking method is used to monitor the number of stinkbugs, especially the winter and spring generations when morning temperatures are low.

Ten trees must be chosen weekly at random per control unit/block (a unit is not larger than 5 ha). All the lower branches which can be reached on each tree must be shaken and the stinkbugs counted.
Trees must be shaken before the temperature exceeds 18 °C, otherwise the stinkbugs will fly away when the branches are shaken. The economic threshold value (in other words the level at which economic damage to harvest occurs) for this method is an average of 0,7 stinkbugs per tree.
There are also other signs which may indicate the presence of stinkbugs:

An excessive number of fruit on the ground during spring and summer.
Feeding marks (small brown or black sting marks) on the inside of the green shell.
Egg masses on tree stems. Unparasitised eggs should be destroyed while those that have been parasitised should be left on the tree so that the parasites can hatch. Whenever chemical control is necessary pesticides should be applied judiciously. At present cypermethrin and endosulfan are the only active ingredients registered for use against stinkbugs.
Cypermethrin is applied as a full cover spray at 20 ml/100 l water.
Endosulfan can be applied at 120 ml/100 l water when the shaking method of monitoring shows 0,7 stinkbugs per tree. It has a residual effect of a few days compared to cypermethrin which has relatively long residual effects. Endosulfan can therefore be used until the end of the production season for the control of stinkbugs.
Recommended Guidelines

Monitor for stinkbugs before applying any pesticide.
Spray cypermethrin after flowering to reduce the original population size.
Follow up with an endosulfan treatment if the number of stinkbugs in the orchard warrants it.
Harvesting, Storage and Processing

Macadamia nuts drop from trees when they are mature and are then collected from the ground.
The main crop is usually collected from March to July.
The area underneath the trees must be clear. Grass, old leaves, branches and other debris must be removed.
The nuts must be collected regularly, at least once a week.
Nuts remaining under the trees for too long lose quality and are susceptible to damage by mould, rats and other rodents.
During the main harvesting period the branches may be shaken to loosen the nuts. Never pick immature nuts.
Removal of Husks

The green husks around the nuts must be removed as soon as possible after harvesting.

Drying

Freshly harvested, dehusked nuts contain 25 % moisture and must be dried before they are stored in bulk.
Wire frames containing 3 layers of nuts are used for drying.
Air must circulate freely between the frames to prevent mould. A fan may be used.
The nuts could also be sundried, but if the freshly harvested nuts are exposed to the sun immediately, the shells may crack. These cracks provide access to insects when the nuts are stored.
If the nuts are not dried, but immediately stored in bags or other containers, fungal growth could occur.
Storage

The hard, undamaged shells offer adequate protection against insects during storage. The kernels of shelled nuts are, however, susceptible to infestation.
Because insects can infest stored nuts, the necessary preventive precautions should be taken.
A reasonable degree of insect control is possible if packhouses and storage areas are kept absolutely clean.
The shell offers total protection against insect damage and if nuts are to be stored for any length of time, it would be best to store them unshelled. Before they are stored, any cracked or broken nuts should be removed because cracks in the shell will provide access to insects.
Because shelled nuts are susceptible to insect damage, they can only be successfully kept in cold storage. The nuts should be packed into cartons as soon as possible after shelling. They can then immediately be placed in a cold store at 0 to ­4 °C. Cold storage prevents fungal growth and rancidity. This method is also recommended for the long-term storage of unshelled nuts.
Shelling

 For successful shelling, the nuts should be dried to a moisture content of about 1,5 % to ensure that kernels shrink away from the shells. Therefore, nuts should be dried before shelling. The final drying takes place in large containers through which hot air is circulated.
The macadamia nut has a very hard shell, but is easily cracked mechanically between rotating steel rollers. A nutcracker or shelling machine works on the principle that nuts are cracked between a rotating steel roller and a fixed plate. The distance between the roller and the plate is adjustable according to the grading size of the nuts. The kernels of the nuts that have been properly dried, drop from the shells when the nuts are cracked.
Packaging

The fried or roasted nuts are packed in airtight bottles, tins or plastic containers for consignment and marketing.

source : http://www.nda.agric.za



ayeshaaakter

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Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
« Reply #55 on: February 20, 2012, 05:18:31 AM »
Bugs include stink bugs, leaffooted bugs, and squash bugs that have piercing mouthparts used to ‘suck’ nutrients from plant leaves, stems, and fruit. They often are KEY PESTS that feed on tomatoes, beans, and squash causing discolored spotting, pimples or desiccation. The adults are excellent fliers and can move long distances into and among gardens. There are few natural controls limiting their numbers and damaging populations must be treated with insecticides.

Recommended Control: Use row covers to prevent bugs from feeding on young plantings, but remove at first flower. Kill nymphs and adults with cyfluthrin, diazinon, dimethoate, or endosulfan. ORGANIC control methods include the use of row covers, hand picking, traps, and spraying with neem or pyrethrum. Nymphs can be killed with insecticidal soap. Spray applications must be directed towards the feeding sites under the leaves and under the plant canopy. The SQUASH BUG is a perennial pest, primarily of squash and pumpkin, which should be controlled by initiating insecticide applications or hand picking when adults or egg masses are first noted on plants.

 

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