PINOYAGRIBUSINESS

LIVESTOCKS => AGRI-NEWS => Topic started by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 01:50:45 PM

Title: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 01:50:45 PM
Peanuts can be grown and made to bear fruit the whole year. A planter can harvest two times or more a year if this cultivation is good and the soil is fertile. Because there is always a big demand for peanuts, the planter is sure to earn. Among legumes, peanut is highest in minerals and in Vitamin B content, and has 26% protein. Every gram of peanut contains 5.4 calories. It is said that a half kilo of peanuts, more or less, equals one-half kilo of milk or three eggs of moderate size. And even if it brings high calories, it has no cholesterol.

Soil and climate - Peanuts like loose, fertilizer sandy soil or porous with good permeability (that is, it does not retain water), warm climate, and an even rainfall throughout the year.

Planting - Plant peanuts in May and June if the season is rainy and between October and November if the season is dry. Summer is more favorable because in rainy weather, peanut leaves and branches are abundant, but the fruits are few. If there is irrigation, peanuts should be planted in February to be able to harvest big and plentiful grains. Peanuts may be planted along with other crops, for instance, watermelon.

Land Preparation

1. Plow the field two times at two weeks interval. Harrow the field after plowing.
2. If soil drainage is not good, plant the peanut on hills.
3. Dig trenches about 50-60 cm apart if the variety of peanut is bunchy, and 70-80 cm apart if the variety spreads. If other crops will be planted together with the peanuts, make the distance one meter apart.
4. Before planting, apply rhizobium on the peanut grains to ensure that these will grow nodules that produce nitrogen in the roots. This is available at the Bureau of Soils or Bureau of Plant Industry. In a container, wet the peanut grains with water and pour the rhizobium on them. Mix well to ensure that every grain gets rhizobium. Or, add enough water to make it pasty and mix well the grains in it. If the place for planting had been planted to peanuts also before, or plants that have been applied with rhizobium in the past three years, it is not necessary to put rhizobium in the peanuts. Such plants are mongo, soybeans, and other legumes.
5. Plant the grains immediately. Plant them in hills about 2-3 grains in each hole, 20 cm apart. A hectare of land would accommodate about 90-125 kilos seeds.
6. Apply adequate fertilizer before planting the peanuts. This responds better to fertilizer during rainy season than during dry season. Put initial nitrogen fertilizer, 25-30 kilos per hectare before planting. But if the soil is poor and shows lack of potassium and phosphorus, experts advise to apply about four (4) bags (200 kg) of 14-14-14 before planting peanuts. Apply the fertilizer about 5 cm away from the rows of seeds at about 2-1/2 cm deep. Cover with 2-3 cm soil so that this will not disturb the seedlings growth.
7. Peanuts grains need nitrogen fertilizer, especially if it is intended to be fodder (for animals). Peanuts needs phosphorus, especially if the soil is sandy. Potassium brings about increase in grains and their oil content. The application of potassium must be deep but reachable to the peanut roots. If this is shallow, the grains will not get enough calcium, so these will not grow good grains. To make the grains full, the soil should have enough calcium. So, apply lime or dolomex in the amount advised by the agriculturist.
8. If peanut is planted in October, it will not need irrigation until December. But if this will be planted in February, it should be watered 3 or 4 times. If the soil is very dry before planting time, irrigate before planting, or water soon after planting to hasten germination. Water again when the grains begin to form.
9. When irrigating, wet the soil until about 30 cm deep. 10.Peanuts germinate in 15 days after planting. Three weeks after germination, see if the application of rhizobium has been effective. Pull up a plant, cut (dissect) the grain at the root. If the grain is pinkish, the rhizobium was effective. If it is pale or gray, it did not take effect. If the plant has no nodules in the biggest root but the plant grows well, the soil has adequate nitrogen. If the soil lacks nitrogen but the roots at the side instead has nodules, the rhizobium took effect although not sufficiently.

Thus, nitrogen fertilizer is necessary while preparing the soil for planting. If still, the peanuts do not bear good grains, then the soil is not for peanuts.

Control for pests and diseases

1. Weeds — apply herbicides 2-3 weeks before planting to keep weeds from growing. Culture the soil, but stop when the plants begin to flower, lest the grains that are starting to develop get hurt.

2. Pests and diseases attack peanuts too, like any other plant. During humid and hot climate, damage is caused, such as:

a) leaves and sometimes stalk — reddish brown or black spots

Control: apply:
- Fungitox — 1-2 spoonfuls in 5 gallons water or
- Benlate — ½ teaspoon in one gal water

b) leaves — dark orange or brown blisters under the leaves at the latter part of growth. This is the sign of peanut rust.

Control: Dithane M-45 — 2 teaspoons for every gal of water
- Plant vax — ½ teaspoons for every gal of water
- Spray 3 times at the time of growth, with 10-14 days interval

c) wilting of leaves, stalk and sometimes the whole plant.

Control: Spray with Vitigran Blue 35 WP — 3 tablespoons in 5 gal at first sign of infection or before it sets. Repeat 1-2 weeks between, remove diseased parts.

d) Rosete — disease spread by aphids. Small round yellow spot, leaves curls up at the end.

The next set of leaves have colorless stripes. When this becomes serious, the plant stops growing and leaves form in clusters like roses. The disease enters the grains which starts its spread in the field. To avoid, do not use seeds from diseased plants. Consult technicians from BAEX or the Bureau of Plant Industry for problems like this.

Harvesting

Peanuts mature within four months after planting. It is ready for harvest when the leaves wilt and turn yellow if planted in summer. This is also known if the shell of the peanut is hard. Pull up about ten plants, open and see the shell of the grain. If there are dark streaks or roots inside the shell, the peanut is ready for harvest. If the peanut is not mature, the shell is shriveled. If it is over matured, this roots in the soil, or starts to germinate.

1. Pull up the plants with the help of a spade or fork, or plow the two sides of the rows before pulling them up. Stack up the harvest in a dry place and air the peanuts.
2. Newly harvested peanuts contain 50-55% water. If this will be dried in the sun, dry them until the humidity is about 12%. If it will be stored in a closed container, dry until 6-8% humidity.
3. Carefully remove the kernels from the shell do not allow them to be broken or their seed cover by bruised. This will be the start of rotting.

It is better to store peanuts with their shell to avoid pest destruction. If watermelon is planted together with the peanuts, this will be harvested earlier by one month. But it will go on bearing fruit after the first harvest. The body of the watermelon plant will remain in the field until the peanuts are harvested.

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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 01:54:28 PM
Peanuts can be grown and made to bear fruit the whole year. A planter can harvest two times or more a year if this cultivation is good and the soil is fertile. Because there is always a big demand for peanuts, the planter is sure to earn. Among legumes, peanut is highest in minerals and in Vitamin B content, and has 26% protein. Every gram of peanut contains 5.4 calories. It is said that a half kilo of peanuts, more or less, equals one-half kilo of milk or three eggs of moderate size. And even if it brings high calories, it has no cholesterol.

Soil and climate - Peanuts like loose, fertilizer sandy soil or porous with good permeability (that is, it does not retain water), warm climate, and an even rainfall throughout the year.

Planting - Plant peanuts in May and June if the season is rainy and between October and November if the season is dry. Summer is more favorable because in rainy weather, peanut leaves and branches are abundant, but the fruits are few. If there is irrigation, peanuts should be planted in February to be able to harvest big and plentiful grains. Peanuts may be planted along with other crops, for instance, watermelon.

Land Preparation

1. Plow the field two times at two weeks interval. Harrow the field after plowing.
2. If soil drainage is not good, plant the peanut on hills.
3. Dig trenches about 50-60 cm apart if the variety of peanut is bunchy, and 70-80 cm apart if the variety spreads. If other crops will be planted together with the peanuts, make the distance one meter apart.
4. Before planting, apply rhizobium on the peanut grains to ensure that these will grow nodules that produce nitrogen in the roots. This is available at the Bureau of Soils or Bureau of Plant Industry. In a container, wet the peanut grains with water and pour the rhizobium on them. Mix well to ensure that every grain gets rhizobium. Or, add enough water to make it pasty and mix well the grains in it. If the place for planting had been planted to peanuts also before, or plants that have been applied with rhizobium in the past three years, it is not necessary to put rhizobium in the peanuts. Such plants are mongo, soybeans, and other legumes.
5. Plant the grains immediately. Plant them in hills about 2-3 grains in each hole, 20 cm apart. A hectare of land would accommodate about 90-125 kilos seeds.
6. Apply adequate fertilizer before planting the peanuts. This responds better to fertilizer during rainy season than during dry season. Put initial nitrogen fertilizer, 25-30 kilos per hectare before planting. But if the soil is poor and shows lack of potassium and phosphorus, experts advise to apply about four (4) bags (200 kg) of 14-14-14 before planting peanuts. Apply the fertilizer about 5 cm away from the rows of seeds at about 2-1/2 cm deep. Cover with 2-3 cm soil so that this will not disturb the seedlings growth.
7. Peanuts grains need nitrogen fertilizer, especially if it is intended to be fodder (for animals). Peanuts needs phosphorus, especially if the soil is sandy. Potassium brings about increase in grains and their oil content. The application of potassium must be deep but reachable to the peanut roots. If this is shallow, the grains will not get enough calcium, so these will not grow good grains. To make the grains full, the soil should have enough calcium. So, apply lime or dolomex in the amount advised by the agriculturist.
8. If peanut is planted in October, it will not need irrigation until December. But if this will be planted in February, it should be watered 3 or 4 times. If the soil is very dry before planting time, irrigate before planting, or water soon after planting to hasten germination. Water again when the grains begin to form.
9. When irrigating, wet the soil until about 30 cm deep. 10.Peanuts germinate in 15 days after planting. Three weeks after germination, see if the application of rhizobium has been effective. Pull up a plant, cut (dissect) the grain at the root. If the grain is pinkish, the rhizobium was effective. If it is pale or gray, it did not take effect. If the plant has no nodules in the biggest root but the plant grows well, the soil has adequate nitrogen. If the soil lacks nitrogen but the roots at the side instead has nodules, the rhizobium took effect although not sufficiently.

Thus, nitrogen fertilizer is necessary while preparing the soil for planting. If still, the peanuts do not bear good grains, then the soil is not for peanuts.

Control for pests and diseases

1. Weeds — apply herbicides 2-3 weeks before planting to keep weeds from growing. Culture the soil, but stop when the plants begin to flower, lest the grains that are starting to develop get hurt.

2. Pests and diseases attack peanuts too, like any other plant. During humid and hot climate, damage is caused, such as:

a) leaves and sometimes stalk — reddish brown or black spots

Control: apply:
- Fungitox — 1-2 spoonfuls in 5 gallons water or
- Benlate — ½ teaspoon in one gal water

b) leaves — dark orange or brown blisters under the leaves at the latter part of growth. This is the sign of peanut rust.

Control: Dithane M-45 — 2 teaspoons for every gal of water
- Plant vax — ½ teaspoons for every gal of water
- Spray 3 times at the time of growth, with 10-14 days interval

c) wilting of leaves, stalk and sometimes the whole plant.

Control: Spray with Vitigran Blue 35 WP — 3 tablespoons in 5 gal at first sign of infection or before it sets. Repeat 1-2 weeks between, remove diseased parts.

d) Rosete — disease spread by aphids. Small round yellow spot, leaves curls up at the end.

The next set of leaves have colorless stripes. When this becomes serious, the plant stops growing and leaves form in clusters like roses. The disease enters the grains which starts its spread in the field. To avoid, do not use seeds from diseased plants. Consult technicians from BAEX or the Bureau of Plant Industry for problems like this.

Harvesting

Peanuts mature within four months after planting. It is ready for harvest when the leaves wilt and turn yellow if planted in summer. This is also known if the shell of the peanut is hard. Pull up about ten plants, open and see the shell of the grain. If there are dark streaks or roots inside the shell, the peanut is ready for harvest. If the peanut is not mature, the shell is shriveled. If it is over matured, this roots in the soil, or starts to germinate.

1. Pull up the plants with the help of a spade or fork, or plow the two sides of the rows before pulling them up. Stack up the harvest in a dry place and air the peanuts.
2. Newly harvested peanuts contain 50-55% water. If this will be dried in the sun, dry them until the humidity is about 12%. If it will be stored in a closed container, dry until 6-8% humidity.
3. Carefully remove the kernels from the shell do not allow them to be broken or their seed cover by bruised. This will be the start of rotting.

It is better to store peanuts with their shell to avoid pest destruction. If watermelon is planted together with the peanuts, this will be harvested earlier by one month. But it will go on bearing fruit after the first harvest. The body of the watermelon plant will remain in the field until the peanuts are harvested.

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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 01:56:26 PM
Planting pepper is a lifetime livelihood if well developed. If the soil is good and care is good, the quality of the harvest is likewise good and so commands a good price in the market. When harvest is poor, even the stems of this plant, when dried, can also be used and sold including the chaff when powdered.

Although these are not so strong in taste as the fruit itself, they are nevertheless sought because of the aroma they give to the food. So, even the powdered pulp gets sold.

Planting

1. Plant materials in pepper consist of the stem with 3 nodes. Separate these from the mother plant at the beginning of the rainy season, and plant in the nursery side by side for growing roots in a rooting bed.
2. The bed for growing these must be in the shade and elevated, surrounded by hollow blocks.
3. Make the bed three layers of soil so as to ensure good drainage such as:
* river sand on top — 1 foot thick
* small pebbles in the second layer
* bigger stones at the bottom
4. Water a little — once in the morning and one in the afternoon. Cover with a plastic sheet.
5. In one month, roots will grow about an inch at the nodes.
6. This can now be transferred to plastic bags with holes at the bottom, half filled with sand and the other half with loose soil. When transplanting, thrust a stick into the plastic bag, and in its hole, put in the plant.
7. In 2-3 months when there are about 4-5 new growths (shoots) in the upper part of the plant, it can now be transferred in the fields.
8. Black pepper is a climbing plant, so it needs a trellis or tree to climb. The best is the madre cacao (kakawate). Its long branches are cut like poles and thrust into the ground, 2-3 m apart, in April and May. These branches will grow leaves and branches in the first rain in June. Change the branch that does not grow.
9. Plant two seedlings of pepper at the base of every pole. Remove them from the plastic bag and plant one feet away from the kakawate pole. Tie the stem to the pole to help it climb. In one week, the roots of the pepper will adhere to the pole and the plant will climb by itself.

Maintenance/Care of the Pepper Plant

1. Always remove weeds around the plant. Apply fertilizer about 2 ft. away from the plant; it is much better if this is mixed with the soil. Put the fertilizer at the beginning of the rains in June: 1 kilo of 14-14-14 or 16-16-16, and ½ kilo in October. Without chemical fertilizer, the proper grains will not grow big and heavy. (See section on improvement/maintenance of plants).
2. Always prune the branches of the kakawate to allow sufficient sunshine on the pepper plant (but not so much pruning as to destroy the tree).

It is in the rainy season that pruning should be done after when the branches and leaves grow fast. Pruning is done about 5-6 times a year, or every 1-1/2 months during the rainy season. Control also the height of the kakawate (madre de cacao) because it is difficult to harvest pepper from a very high post, which should not be beyond 10 feet.

In Indonesia and Malaysia, they use posts made from strong wood that are treated against termites to make them last long. In this way, no pruning will be necessary.

Pests and Diseases of the Pepper - Two plant diseases afflict pepper, usually those whose soil has poor drainage. Pepper does not like soil that retains water, and may be the cause of its death. Other than these, pepper is resistant to pests and diseases, so pesticides are not necessary.

Harvesting

In 2 years, pepper bears fruit. Its fist fruits are not so plentiful, but in its 3rd year, harvest ranges from ½ to one kilo per tree. On its 4th year, each plant can give one to one and a half kilo dried pepper.

1. The bunches of grains are harvested when these turn yellow. They do not ripen at the same time. It takes 3 weeks to one month to harvest them.
2. The harvested pepper is spread on cement to dry like palay or coffee. In good weather, this dries in 3 days. In rainy weather, this can be left alone even up to 5 days, but let it dry by itself when the rain stops. It will be worse to gather them and put them in a container where the grains will heat up, which hastens its rot.
3. Threshing - To separate the pulp and foreign matters from the grains, it is better to use a machine for the purpose because the machine does faster work with less cost for labor.
4. Winnowing is done normally in which the immature grain and light ones separate from the matured. In this way, high quality grains are segregated, which command a higher price. As mentioned earlier, even its chaff and stems, when powdered, are commerciable.

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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 01:58:37 PM
Varieties

Red Creole
Red Pinoy
Yellow Granex (Hybrid)

Seed Establishment and Seed Sowing (Nursery)

Seedbed should be located in a weel-drained, friable soil with good water holding capacity and high organic matter content. If soil pH is lower than 5.8 lime application is necessary at the rate of 3 tons/ha applied one month before transplanting.

Land should be prepared by thorough plowings and harrowings. Level and pulverize the soil to facilitate formation of beds (1 meter wide and 20 m long.) Prior to seed sowing, sterilize the beds by burning rice straw on top or by pouring boiling water to prevent pest and disease infestation.

Broadcast chicken manure or compost at the rate of 10t/ha combined with 10 bags 14-14-14. Space 10-15 cm between rows and sow seeds evenly in a row at 5-6 seeds/inch with seeding depth of 1/2 inch. Appoximately 25 grams of seeds is needed per square meter. Irrigation should be applied adequately in the field right after seed sowing. Seeds will germinate at about 7-10 days after sowing and are ready for transplanting 45 days after sowing.

Land Preparation and Formation of Beds

Prepare the field by 2 plowings and 2 harrowings. Level and pulverize the soil to a fine texture to facilitate formation beds.

Raised beds are constructed at 0.5 meter wide by 20 m long (maximum) by 15 cm high. Double row beds will be prepared with a distance of 20-25 cm between hills and with a hole depth of at least 3.5 cm.

Basal Fertilization and Transplanting

Basal application of chicken dung or compost at the rate of 10t/ha combined with 10 bags 14-14-14 will be applied in the prepared hole and then cover thinly with fine soil.

Transplant one seedling in each hole by pressing downward the base of the seedlings so that the roots will have a good contact with the soil. Irrigate after transplanting.

Seedlings are ready for transplanting 45 days after sowing or when the seedlings are about pencil-size in ten diameter, has 5 visible leaves and a height of at least 15 cm.

Side-dressing

First side-dressing will be done ten days after transplanting with 3 bags/ha of Urea mixed with 2 bags/ha of Muriate of Potash or approximately 15 grams Urea and 10 grams Muriate of Potash per square meter.

Irrigation

Irrigation should be applied after transplanting. Weekly irrigation is done or whenever necessary. More frequent watering when the bulbs are developing. Do not irrigate 3-45 days before harvesting or when 20-30% of the plant tops fall over naturally.

Cultivation and Weeding

Cultivation and hand weeding should be done 10 days after transplanting to be followed two to three times more to make sure that the weeds are checked and the plants do not become waterlogged.

Hilling-up is done 3 weeks before the harvest to avoid greening of onions.

Insect Pests and Disease Control

Thrips - Abundant during dry season. Adults and nymphs rasp the leaf surface and suck juice from the leaf. The leaves appear slippery with sunken areas that later dry up resulting to weakened plant, reduced growth and lower yields.

Examine closely some plants from 14 m perimeter of the field by pulling the leaves apart at the base. It attack is severe, employ chemical control.

Armyworms - The larvae bore into the onion leaves and fed leaving the exterior almost intact. Damage is worse in weedy fields. Thorough land preparation is done to destroy the egg laying sites and feeding source. Chemical control is recommended.

Cutworms - Larvae feed at night and hide near their feeding site during the day. They roll when disturbed.

Purple Bloch - Fungal disease that occurs on leaves, bulbs, flowers, and survives in crop residues. Lesions start at small sunken area with dark purple center. Infection of the bulb occurs as the plant approaches maturity. A combined approach involving cultural and chemical control is necessary.

Sooty Mold - Occurs generally after the bulbs have been harvested. This is favored by high temperature and humidity. Curing the Onions quickly with good ventilation is necessary.

Bacterial Soft Rot - Bulbs that have mechanical injuries/bruises are susceptible. Make sure that plants are mature before harvest. Provide proper ventilation during the curing, packing and transport.

Fungal spraying is done o prevent fungal diseases. Spraying starts 12 days from sowing and weekly thereafter.

Harvesting and Curing

Harvest the crop as soon as the necks of the plants tends to fall down or when 75% of the stems are fallen over. Harvesting is done manually by pulling the matured bulbs.

Harvesting bulbs are placed in the field for 2-3 days before bringing them to the curing house. However, if rain occurs, the bulbs should be brought immediately to the curing house.

The curing house should be well ventilated and relative dry. Harvested bulbs are air-dried or cured 3-4 weeks until the neck is soft and dry (closed).

Remove or cut tops with shears 1.5 -2.5 cm. from stem end of the bulbs. Do not remove outer scales. Place the bulbs on racks made of tiers of bamboo, wood or netted wire. Put the racks in a well-ventilated shed.

Trimming/Sorting

Trim the onion roots and leaves right after harvest or one day after filling them under the sun. Use sharp knife or scythe and cut 4-6 cm from the bulb.
Cleaning/Sorting

Clean the bulbs by peeling-off the outer peelings. Arrange in crates and store in well-ventilated place free from high moisture and expose to the sun.

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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:00:52 PM
Scientific Name: Lycopersicum esculentum Mill
Family: Solanaceae

Sa lahat ng dako ng Pilipinas, ang kamatis ay itinatanim para sa pansariling konsumo sa bahay at pambenta. Isa itong pangunahing sangkap sa ensalada at makakain nang hilaw, nilaga, prito at magagawa rin atsara, ketsup at sopas. Ang iba’t-ibang uri nito ay ang sumusunod: Cambal, Ambal o Matikina, Pear Harbor, Pritch & Rutgers, Homestead, Earliana, Ace, Marglobe at Improved Harbor, ang uring pantag-ulan na pinagbuti ng BPI.

Ang kamatis ay tumutubo sa maraming uring lupa, mula sa banlikin hanggang sa lagkitin o sa lupang galas. Kailangan nito ang mainit na panahon at maliwanag na sikat ng araw.

Paraan ng Pagtatanim

Ihasik ang mga binhi sa kamang-punlaan. Humigit-kumulang sa ½ hanggang ¾ kilo ng binhi ang kailangan para sa isang ektarya. Gumawa sa kamang-punlaan ng hanay ng mabababaw na tudling na 15 sentimetrong pagitan. Ibudbod ang mga binhi nang manipis at pantay sa kamang-punlaan at saka tabunan ng kaunting lupa. Diligin ito araw-araw.

Ilipat-tanim ang mga punla pagkaraan ng 25-30 araw pagkapunla. Ihandang mabuti ang bukid. Itanim ang punla nang 50 sentimertong agwat sa tudling. Diligan ang mga bagong-lipat na tanim. Isagawa ang paghuhulip (muling pagtatanim sa mga tundos na nawala ng tanim) pagkaraan ng isang linggo.

Maglagay ng komersyal na abono sa mga tudling bago o kasabay ng pagtatanim. Sa sandaling mamulaklak at lumabas ang mga buko, maglagay ng abonong nitroheno. Kakailangin ang 100-150 kilo ng ammonium sulfate bawat ektarya.

Ang pag-aani ay isinasagawa nang maraming beses. Pinipitas lamang ang mga husto sa gulang na bunga.

Ang karaniwang kulisap na pumipinsala sa kamatis ay ang “tomato fruit worm”, at ang mapaminsalang sakit ay “bacterial wilt”. Upang masugpo ang mga kulisap at sakit ng kamatis, alisin ang mga may sakit na tanim at ugaliin na lagging malinis ang taniman sa pamamagitan ng pag-aalis ng mga damo at may pinsalang tanim.

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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:03:14 PM
It is known as sitaw in Tagalog, utong in Ilocano, hantak in Waray, batong in Cebuano and latuy for the people of Marinduque. I wonder how it is called in Maranao, Tausug or in Bicolano?

Pole Sitao is a climbing herb crop raised basically for its pods, although shoots and young leaves are also edible. Pods are slender, 30-60 cm long and somewhat inflated with many seeds whose color depends on the variety. The crisp young pods, which have a high nutritional value, can be sauteed alone or cooked along with other vegetables.

Varieties

1. CSL-19- early maturing variety, which flowers 37 to 43 days after planting. Pods are light green, crisp, smooth textured, and non-fibrous with good eating quality. CSL-19 is moderately resistant to black bean aphids and bean fly. Other light-green-podded varieties are CSL-14, CSL-15, CSL-16, PS3, and PS 1.

2. 83-0002 ? is a variety with dark green leaves, which flowers 39-48 days after planting, It is moderately resistant to bean fly and pod borer and has a high level of resistance to fusarium wilt. Pods are dark green with purple tips, crisp and non-fibrous, and with good eating quality. Seed coat is very thick. Other fark-green-podded varieties are Sandigan, CSD-4, 87-005, Acc 288, CSD-36 and 89-020.

Climate and Soil Requirements

Pole sitao is well adapted to the lowland tropics with a temperature range of 20-35C. It grows best under full sunlight although it can also tolerate partial shading.

Adequate supply of water and a rich, friable, fertile soil promotes healthy growth and good quality pods.

Planting

Pre-germinate or directly sow seeds in pots or drill 2.5 to 3.5 cm deep in the plots with a distance of 30 cm. Construct trellis/stakes, 200-250 m long to support the vines after the seedlings have fully developed. Boxes, plastic twines, abaca twines or wire will also help support the climbing habit of the crop.

Apply organic waste to enhance crop vigor and yield. Mulch the crop with grass clippings and kitchen waste.

To minimize pest and damage, plant marigold and holy basil (solasi) in borders to repel insects. Spread grated coconut waste over the plant to invite ants, which feed on worms. Spray hot pepper extract with soap against aphids and podborers.

Harvesting

Pick young pods six to seven weeks after planting or when seeds become visible on the outline of the pod. Fresh pods left in the field becomes tough and dissolved. Seeds become swollen, which reduces yielding capacity. Harvest every 2-3 days.

For marketing, 20-40 pods may be bundled. Store in a cool (8C), dry place up to four weeks.

source:PCARRD Pole Sitaw Production Guide; http://www.pcarrd.dost.gov
Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:06:12 PM
Jackfruit scientifically known as Artocarpus heterophyllius, lam, locally known as “nangka” or “langka” is a favorite dessert of Filipinos. It is one of the most widely grown fruit crops in the Philippines. It was reported that this fruit is one of the famous in the world because it produces the largest edible fruit that weighs as much as 50kg.

Many people believe that the leaves of the jackfruit tree can cure skin diseases. The bast of the tree is utilized in making rope and clothing. Cebuanos use the wood of the jackfruit tree in making excellent guitars and ukeleles, that’s why jackfruit orchards are becoming increasingly popular in Cebu.

More and more farmers are becoming aware of the versatility of the jackfruit and they are exploring still other possible uses for it. Aside from food, the jackfruit is also used for commercial and noncommercial purposes. The fruit, trunk, leaves, and roots can be utilized for household use or can be processed commercially. The trunk can be used as lumber or building material. The leaves can be used as medicine, fodder for animals, and compost. It latex can be used as paste or glue. The seeds can be used as food, for human consumption, feeds or planting materials while the roots can be used as handle for farm implements.

Jackfruit grows best in deep, sandy loam to clay loam soils of medium fertility with good drainage. Fertility of the soils of medium fertility with good drainage. Fertility of the soil should be considered because of the rapid exhaustion of soil nutrients taken by the plants. The ideal pH of the soil for jackfruit ranges from 5 to 6.5. Distinct variations have been observed by the National Seed Industry council in Los Baños, Laguna and the Mandaue Experiment Station in Cebu city.

VARIETIES

Several varieties of jackfruit are grown in the Philippines, however, the most important cultivars are the Sinaba and Tinumbaga.

• Sinaba variety has thick flesh, small seed, and good eating quality.
• Tinumbaga variety has thinner flesh, a stronger aroma, and sweeter taste than Sinaba.

PROPAGATION

Jackfruit is usually propagated by seeds or by asexual propagation. Farmers who propagate by seeds should select healthy, vigorous, and disease-resistant seeds from productive mother trees. A sexual propagation can be done by enriching or grafting. Among the grafting methods, cleft grafting appears to be the most effective as it is able to counter the devastating effects of a typhoon which usually destroys tall trees. A cleft grafted tree is high in genetic quality, grows short but strong in stature. It’s branches tend to spread sidewards.

Plant seeds in seedboxes or tin cans. Clear and clean the field at least one year before transplanting seedlings to a permanent site. A few weeks before planting, dig holes about 60 to 80 centimeters in diameter and 40 to 50 centimeters deep. When planting, fill holes with fertile surface soil instead of subsoil dug out of the holes.

Before transplanting, prune-two-thirds of the leaves of the seedlings. Cut leafy brnaches to prevent excessive moisture loss and take special care when transplanting because the jackfruit has a delicate root system.

Also, planting distance should be no less than 10 to 12 meters between trees. Remove all weeds within a radius of one meter around the tree. Prune trees regularly to remove unnecessary twigs and branches.

FERTILIZATION AND IRRIGATION

Growing seedlings need ample nitrogen fertilizer while bearing trees need regular applications of phosphorous and potash.

1.) In the absence of soil analysis, apply as basal either manure or compost at the rate of 3kgs per plant or 2 metric tons per hectare. One month after planting, apply 100-150g ammonium sulfate per tree. After six months, apply an equal amount of 100-150g ammonium sulfate and towards the end of the rainy season. Organic fertilizer is advisable to apply around the trees. When trees start bearing fruits and during the start of the rainy season, apply 1/2kg-2kg complete fertilizer and 200g-300g muriate or potash (0-0-60) per tree. Every six months thereafter, apply complete fertilizer
at the rate of 1 1/2kg-3kg per tree.

2.) Water requirement is less critical in jackfruit production, however, irrigate the farm during extreme drought.

WEEDING

Periodic ring weeding and underbrush shall be done every three (3) months.

PRUNING

Prune trees at two (2) years of age. Cut the top of the main stem leaving 2-3 meters above the ground to regulate the height. Apply fungicide on resulting wounds. Pruning consists of the removal of small unproductive branches as well as diseased and insect-damaged ones. Since fruits are usually produced on the trunk and large branches, the removal of unwanted branches would give more light to the developing fruits.

In Thailand, a uniform system of pruning is followed, that is, by pruning the main trunk well above the bud union to induce the production of multiple branches close to the ground. Allow four or main branches to grow to carry the fruits, instead of distributing the heavy fruits on the main trunk and the smaller over to the side branches. This, system also opens the center of the tree for better light penetration and air movement.

PEST AND DISEASES

1.) Fruit fly - Like most fruit rrees, jackfruit is vulnerable to fruit fly infestation, a most destructive pest. The fruit fly lays its eggs under the skin of the fruit and which hatch in 5-6 days. The larvae work their way into the fruit, eventually causing rot and making it unfit for market. The larva comes out of the fruit and falls to the ground to pupate in the soil. An adult lays about 100 eggs in one oviposition.

To control - Wrap fruits with empty cement bags or jute sacks. Spray wrappers with pesticide to reduce fruit damage.

2.) Twig borer - Borers attack the twigs and cause the affected twigs to dry up. An adult borer is slight gray in color and about 2 cm long.

To control - Cut off all affected shoots and twigs and destroy them by burning before spraying the tree with the recommended insecticides with long residual effects. Spraying showed be done twice a month depending on the degree of infestation.

3.) Another common pest is the Bark borer.

To control - This pest remove the dead branches where it lays its eggs. Spray the recommended pesticides and bum affected twigs and dead branches.

4.) Jackfruit is also attacked by the Fungal pink disease, especially during the rainy season.

To prevent its spread, spray plants with sulphur fungicide at least twice a month during rainy season. Always prune and burn severely affected branches.

HARVESTING

Jackfruit bears fruit at three years old. About 10 fruits can be harvested the first time the tree bears fruit.

The following are indicators of fruit ripeness:

• when the last leaf on the stalk turns yellow;
• the fruit produces dull, hollow sounds when tapped;
• its well-developed and widely spaced spines yield to moderate pressure.

The time to harvest depends on how the fruit is to be Jackfruitused. If it’s for home consumption, pick fruit when the rind is soft, emitting an aromatic odor, and when the leaf nearest the stalk turns yellow. At this stage, the flesh of the fruit is yellow-orange, shiny and juicy. If you plan to sell the fruit, pick it when mature but still firm and without aroma. At this stage, the flesh is pale-yellow and crisp.

Take extra care not to damage the fruit. When you cut the penduncle of the fruit with a sharp knife or sickle, be sure another person wearing hand gloves to protect his hands from spines will assist. When harvesting from tall trees, place the fruit in a sack to prevent it from falling to the ground. Tie a rope to the stalk, snap the fruit from the tree, and slowly lower the bundle to the ground.

Harvesting should be done at mid - morning to late afternoon to reduced latex flow because, at this time of the day, latex cells are less turgid. This would minimize latex stains which give the fruit an unsightly appearance. Remove the retained peduncle and unwanted water sprouts from the trunk after picking the fruit.

When handling the fruit, lay it against a railing with its stalk down to let the latex flow and coagulate. It is best to transport the fruits in single layers. Always put dried banana leaves between fruits and spread some on the container to prevent the fruits from getting bruises, scars, and breaks. Never insert a pointer stick into the fruit’s stem. Many people in the rural areas believe this technique hastens ripening but this has no basis. A cut on the stem only serves as an entry point for decay-producing organisms.

The fruit usually weighs from five to 15 kilogram; bigger ones weigh more. Fruit experts or pomologists grade the fruit according to size: large, at least 20kg; medium, at least 15kg but no more than 20kg; and small, at least 8kg but not more than 15kg. Another way of grading jackfruit is according to condition. Grade No. 1 means that the fruit is fairly well-formed, free from damage by discoloration or scars, cuts, skin breaks, diseases, and insects. Grade No. 2 means that the fruit has no specific shape, though free from cuts, skin breaks, insects, and diseases.

sources:
1. Technoguide Series, Jackfruit
DA-RFU 8, eastern Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (EVIARC)
2. Asexual Propagarion in Jackfruit, EVIARC leaflet No. 1
3. Jackfruit Delights, EVIARC

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:09:24 PM
MANGOSTEEN (Garcinia mangostana Linn of the family Gutiiferae) is one of the most delicious and best flavored fruits in the world. It is one tropical fruit that is most ready accepted by the West. It is a seasonal fruit that has a great export market. The eatable portion of the mangosteen fruit is 1/3 of the whole fruit. The aril is about 25-30% of the fruit and contains 19.8% soluble solids, 4.3% reducing sugar, and 17.5% to total sugar. Analysis of the rind indicates that it is rich in pectin.

Uses and Food Value

Its composition taken from the 1990 edition of the Food Composition Table prepared by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute is as follows. The pulp, which is very light and soft and has an exquisite flavor, is best eaten fresh, preferably after chilling the fruit. The pulp and seed, when boiled with sugar, make an excellent preserve or topping for ice cream or sherbet. The seeds have a delicious nutty flavor. The leaves and bark, claimed to be medicinal, are used as astringent to cure aphtha or thrush. They are also used as antipyretic while the pericarp is regarded as very effective in curing chronic intestinal catarrach. The pericarp contains 7-15% tannin and it is used for dyeing. A decoction of the root may be taken to achieve regular menstruation. Leaf infusion is applied to wounds and a decoction of the pericarp may be administered to cure dysentery or simply used as a lotion. Dried rind is used as an astringent. The seed contains about 30% valuable oil.

SOIL AND CLIMATIC REQUIREMENTS

Mangosteen thrives best in warm, humid environment. Ideal temperature is 20°C-30°C. A temperature of less than 20°C slows down growth. Ideally, rainfall should be well distributed throughout the year, but trees are known to grow successfully even under dry conditions with irrigation. The soil should be rich, porous, deep and wet but well drained. Heavy clay with a generous admixture of sand and silt, and a water table of about two meters are best. It also grows well up to an elevation of zero to 500 meters. The tree also thrives well along river banks, canals, ponds and lakes.

CULTURE AND MANAGEMENT

A. Land Preparation

Before planting, condition the land and make it fit for the reception of the trees. In clearing, all tree stumps should be removed along with as many roots as possible. If a mangosteen orchard is to be established, land preparation follows the system for other fruit crops. This consists of deep plowing once and twice, followed by several harrowings, until the desired soil tilth is attained. Stakes are set at a distance of 8-10m corresponding to the recommended distance of planting for mangosteen. Holes are then dug at the positions occupied by the stakes where mangosteen seedlings are set and covered with soil.

B. Sowing the seeds and care of the seedlings

Seeds are sown inseed boxes, seed flats or pots, bamboo tubes or plastic bags, under a cover. In a week or two, the seeds sprout and the seedlings are to be kept in a nursery under partial shade and watered 3 to 4 times a week. Usually, the seedlings take about two years to become large enough for transplanting to a permanent field. At this stage, the plants are about 30 cm tall.

C. Planting and Spacing

Mangosteen seedlings are ready to be transplanted to the field when they are two years old, at which age, they are about 25-30 cm tall. The seedlings are to be carefully removed from the containers and set in the holes to avoid disturbing the root system. The most suitable period to transplant is just after the rainy season has set in. Planting in an area where there are light shimmers is very helpful in ensuring satisfactory establishment of the young plants. On level land, the trees are planted using the square system:spacing of at least 8m x 8m between rows and between trees in a row. some 156 seedlings to a hectare are needed. The size of the holes should be 0.6m x 0.6m x 0.6m and filed with farm manure. Plants are then set out at the center of the hole. Gradually fill-in the hole with loose top soil. Gently press the soil until it firmly grips the plant.

D. Weeding and Cultivation

Ring-weeding at one meter radius and loosening the earth are practiced to preserve the fertility of the soil, as well as to allow the development of the plants. Areas between rows are plowed for better weed control and cultivation.

IRRIGATION

Artificial irrigation is practiced during dry months. Water the plants as soon as they are transplanted and sustain during the times when precitation is not adequate in order to keep the soil moisture at a high level. In the seedling stage, however, standing water over the roots can kill the plant outright.

FERTILIZATION

Mangosteen trees respond well to manuring. Diluted organic fertilizer which can be absorbed slowly is desirable. Also, application of a nitrogenous fertilizer can accelerate vegetative growth of the plants. Fertilizer application varies with the age of the plant. Since ammonium sulfate is applied at planting time, succeeding application should follow a circular outline following the tree’s canopy. Dig 4 to 6 holes following the circular plan on the ground. Put the fertilizer into the holes, cover to prevent volatillization, and to reduce runoff in case of heavy rains. At planting time, apply 200-250 grams complete fertilizer per tree three inches below the roots and five inches at the side of the seeding. For young trees, mix and apply in two equal dosages 300-500 grams 14-14-14 or 12-24-12 and broadcast or apply, by digging a shallow furrow around each tree, 200-300 grams urea (45-0-0). Apply the first dosage at the start of the rainy season and the second dosage at the end of the rainy season. During the fruit-bearing stage, mix then apply in two equal doses 1.5 to 3.0 kg 14-14-14 or 12-24-12 plus 200- 300 grams Muriate of Potash (0-0-60). Apply in same manner as that for young trees. Gradually increase the amount of fertilizer every year as the trees grow bigger and as fruit production increases.

INTERCROPPING AND COVER CROPPING

Planting intercrops and cover crops in the mangosteen orchard is more or less confined to the early years because, as the trees develop in size and status, not much unshaded space is left in between rows for their proper growth. Mangosteen, in Sulu Archipelago, is usually planted with intercrops or peanut and other leguminous field crops, or with companion plants like abaca and banana, or marang and lansones trees. other crops that may be intercroped also are “dapdap” or durian trees which can serve as partial shades.

PEST AND DISEASES

Mangosteen is subject to several pests, the most common of which are mites, aphids, fructifier ants and mealy bugs. Others, such as tussock caterpillars feed on the leaves while coconut scales form colonies underneath the leaves which causes leaf yellowing in patches thus impairing plant growth. Occasionally, sooty molds are found covering the leaves. Diseases due to anthracnose and bacterial leaf sheath have also been reported. As a preventive measure, the plants may be sprayed two four time a year with common fungicides at dosages recommended. Read the label before application.

HARVESTING, CURING AND STORING

Mangosteen usually flowers in 10 to 15 years but if given proper care, asexually propagated trees bear fruit in eight to nine years. It takes about five to six months from flowering stage to fruit ripening. Harvesting is normally done from the month of August to October. The fruit is mature when its color changes from greenish brown to reddish purple and when it is rather soft to the touch. Great care must be practiced when harvesting fruits. Be sure that the fruits are mature at harvest time, otherwise, they may fail to develop an excellent flavor. Handle the fruits with great care while harvesting. Handpicking is a good method since the pericarp, which is still slightly soft at harvest is easily subjected to injury when the fruits falls. As an alternative method use a long pole with a hook at the tip and a catching basket attached at the end where the fruits will be collected. The method of harvesting employed in Sulu is hand picking the fruit with its preduncle intact. Fruits are then bound together in elongated clusters of 15 pieces.

source:
1. Alakbar, P. 1971, Culture of Mangosteen, Special Report on the Culture of Mangosteen Based on the Practice employed in the Province of Sulu, BPI, Sulu.
2. Guide in Mangosteen Growing, 1985 Bureau of Plant Industry, Manila.
3. http://www. da.gov.ph

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:12:35 PM
At the end of the nineteenth century, several plant species were introduced into the Philippines. These came from different parts of the world and included fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants. Some proved to be valuable and easily adapted to the Philippine conditions while others were less promising and did not gain a wide acceptance among the populace. One of the introductions which proved to be suitable to the Philippine soil and climatic conditions was the avocado.

Known as ‘aguacate’ in Spanish and ‘alligator pear’, ‘Palta pear’, ‘Midshipmans butter’ and ‘avocado’ in English, it is called as ‘abokado’ in the Philippine vernacular. It was introduced into the Philippines in 1890 by the Spaniards through seeds coming from Mexico. However, it was only from 1902 to 1907 that avocado was introduced successfully into the Philippines by the Americans. Through the Bureau of Agriculture (now the Bureau of Plant Industry which is under the Department of Agriculture), planting materials were received from Hawaii, Costa Rica and the United States. In 1913, the Bureau of Agriculture, together with the College of Agriculture of the University of the Philippines Los Baos, started the countrywide spreading of avocado trees. Now, avocados are found growing all over the country, most of which are cultivated in backyards.

Varieties

The avocado varieties in the country have been developed mainly through introduction and selection. Many varieties have been introduced since 1903 and most of them have been lost. Today, only a few varieties exist. Most of them are selections from local seedling trees, and they are confined to only a few nurseries and backyards. These are:

* Cardinal: The fruit bottlenecked with an average weight of 400 grams. The skin is reddish-purple and thick (1.3 mm). The seed is small (40 g) and is loose to tight in the cavity. The flesh is yellow, moderately fibrous and constitutes 80 per cent of the whole fruit by weight.

* Calma: The fruit ovoid and weighing 600 grams. The skin is reddish-purple and intermediate in thickness (1.0 mm). The seed is small (80 g) and is loose in the cavity. The flesh is yellow and is 80 per cent of the whole fruit by weight.

* Uno: The fruit ovoid and weighing 400 grams. The skin is purple and is rather thick (2.0 mm). The seed is small (80 g) and is loose to tight in the cavity. The flesh is creamy yellow and is 80 per cent of the whole fruit by weight.

* 240: The fruit ovoid and weighing 600 grams. The skin is green and thin (1.26 mm). The seed is intermediate in size (90 g) and is rather loose in the cavity. The flesh is creamy yellow and is 80 per cent of the whole fruit by weight.

* 227: The fruit is bottlenecked and weighing 500 grams. The skin is purple and thick (1.3 mm). The seed is small (50 g) and is loose in the cavity. The flesh is dark yellow and is 80 per cent of the whole fruit by weight.

Recently, three new varieties were approved by the National Seed Industry Council. However, these have not yet been released to the private nurseries. These new varieties are:

* Parker: The fruit ovoid and having an average weight of 600 grams. The skin is purple and thick (1.1 mm). The seed is small in size (70 g) and is tight in the cavity. The flesh is creamy yellow and is 80 per cent of the whole fruit by weight.

* RCF Purple: The fruit ovoid and weighing 400 grams. The skin is reddish-purple and thick (1.2 mm). The seed is small (40 g) and is loose in the cavity. The flesh is creamy yellow and is 80 per cent of the whole fruit by weight.

* Cepillo Green: The fruit pyriform and weighing 700 grams. The skin is green and intermediate in thickness (0.9 mm). The seed is intermediate in size (90 g). The flesh is dark yellow and is 80 per cent of the whole fruit by weight.

No varieties have so far been identified for rootstock use. Available seeds coming from the seasons produce are usually sown and the resulting seedlings are used as rootstocks.

Production of Planting Materials

Since the avocado is not considered a major fruit in the country and is planted mostly in backyards, only a limited amount of planting material is being produced in a few government institutions and private nurseries. Planting materials may come in the form of grafted plants or seedlings for rootstock use. Government agencies such as the Bureau of Plant Industry of the Department of Agriculture and the University of the Philippines Los Baos, particularly the National Seed Foundation and the Department of Horticulture, produce a few hundred grafted plants of locally available varieties. Small private nurseries which also sell sexually propagated avocado plants are a good source of seedling rootstocks for propagation. Seedlings grown in the nurseries are heterogeneous - each seedling different from another, even though the seeds may have come from one variety or only from one parent tree.

The commonly used and preferred method for large-scale propagation is grafting. This method is less labour-requiring, faster and economical in the use of scion materials. In the case of cleft-grafting, 6-12 months old seedlings are used as rootstocks. Budwood sticks are obtained from the seasons mature growth with well-developed terminal buds. New shoots are formed within three to four weeks. Other methods of propagation which are sometimes employed are inarching and shield-budding. Inarching is a slow and laborious process although it can be used during the rainy season when grafting and budding cannot be done successfully. Shield-budding on the other hand is a fast method. However, it requires skill.

Management

Training and pruning of plants

Avocado requires very little pruning once the tree has been established. When the trees are still young, especially during the first few years, the plants are trained to a desirable shape by allowing three well-spaced branches to develop and eliminating the rest. Once the trees have attained the desired form, pruning is confined to the removal of diseased, infested and interlacing branches and watersprouts.

Fertilizer application

Many avocado trees in the Philippines are grown without the benefit of fertilizer. This may be the reason why fruit yield and quality tend to decline after fruiting for several years.

Under the existing orchard soil conditions in the country, young and nonbearing avocado trees require only nitrogenous fertilizer. Farmers apply 100-200 grams of ammonium sulphate or about 50-100 grams urea/tree, twice a year. As the trees bear fruit, 500 grams of complete fertilizer are applied, twice a year. For full-bearing trees, two kilograms of complete fertilizer are applied per year. A supplemental application of organic fertilizers, e.g. animal and poultry manure, and compost, is also given.

The fertilizer is applied at the onset and towards the end of the rainy season. It is usually applied in a ring around the trunk of the tree or in shallow holes dug beneath the tree canopy.

Weeding and mulching

Mulching of avocado trees is not practised in the Philippines. Weeding, on the other hand, is confined only to the removal of weeds within a one-metre radius from the trunk especially when the trees are still young; it is usually carried out manually with the use of a scythe or mechanically with the use of a grasscutter.

Irrigation

The practise of irrigating avocado trees in the country is uncommon. The plants are irrigated only when they are newly planted in the field and at certain times of the year when the dry season extends from four to five months. Otherwise, the trees are rainfed. Irrigation is effected manually.

Control of pests and diseases

The insect pests attacking the avocado, in order of their importance, are the following:

* Borers: The borers, Niphonoclea albata and Niphonoclea capitoe, attack the trunk, pith and twigs by boring their way and cutting off the plants tissues. Lime wash and lime sulphur are used as repellents. In some instances, the tree is sprayed with insecticide.

* Scale Insects and Mealy Bugs: The scale insect, Asphidiutus destructor, and the mealy bugs suck the sap from the leaves, shoots and fruits, causing premature falling of the fruits. Oil emulsion spray is used in controlling these insects.

* Oriental Fruit Fly: The Oriental fruit fly, Dacus dorsalis, attacks the mature fruits which are about to ripen. They are controlled by spraying with malathion.

The major diseases which affect the avocado are:

* Root rot: This is caused by the fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi. Symptoms include yellowing of leaves, sparse foliage, wilting of leaves and dieback of shoots. Prevention of conditions conducive to the growth of the fungus by providing adequate drainage or avoiding planting in waterlogged areas seems to be the best method at present to control the disease.

* Anthracnose: This is caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and affects the leaves, twigs and fruits. It is controlled by spraying with Bordeaux mixture or copper sulphate.

A minor disease of the avocado is the scab which is caused by Sphaceloma perseae. It attacks the fruit and is controlled by spraying with Bordeaux mixture.

Harvesting

Avocado fruits are harvested when they are fully mature. Indications of maturity are the appearance of reddish-purple streaks on the stem-end of purple-fruited varieties and a change in colour from green to light green on green-fruited varieties. In the case of loose-seeded varieties, an indication of fruit maturity is the production of a hollow sound when the fruit is tapped with the fingers.

Avocado fruits on the same tree do not mature at the same time, so selective harvesting is usually practised. This requires going over the tree several times until all the fruits are harvested. Harvesting is accomplished manually by climbing the tree or by using a ladder. Fruits which cannot be reached by hand are harvested with the use of a long bamboo pole fitted at one end with a wire hook and an attached net to catch the fruits. The fruits are then placed in sacks or in rattan or bamboo baskets lined with banana leaves, for transport to the market.

From the national figures on area and production for the years 1990-1997, a mean annual yield of 9.6 t/ha with 84 kg/tree was estimated. This is quite an improvement from the figures recorded 15 years earlier, when mean yield was only 4.9 t/ ha with 50 kg/tree. Though the total area planted and the number of bearing trees recorded for both periods did not change drastically, the yield almost doubled. This was due to the increased yield reported for the Cagayan Valley, Central Visayas and ARMM. The reason for this could only be surmised. This may be due to improved production practices followed by the farmers in these regions. Otherwise, the yield in the other regions did not change much.

In terms of quality, much is to be desired. Most of the avocado fruits sold in the market are of poor quality. This is due to poor crop management employed by the farmers plus the fact that most of the trees grown come from seeds of unknown origin. Another reason for the low quality of the fruits is the poor accessibility of the production areas of the avocado. In many instances, the farm is situated in areas accessible only by trails and paths making transport of the produce difficult and time-consuming. With proper cultivars and improved production and transport facilities, the yield and quality of avocado are projected to improve substantially.

Marketing

In the Philippines, the marketing of avocado involves two very simple systems. In the first system, the farmers bring their harvest to the market together with other farm produce i.e. banana, root crops, chicken, and sell these directly to the consumers. In this way they obtain a higher price for the avocado fruits. In the second system, a middleman, locally called ‘comprador’, buys all the avocado fruits from the farmers at a lower price and sells them in the market at a higher price. The middleman generally dictates the farm-gate price since he bears the transportation cost. Under the present nature of small-scale and backyard avocado production, where the volume of production is small, the farmer prefers to sell his produce to the middleman. Avocado production is for the local market.

sources: Avocado Production in the Philippines - Rachel C. Sotto - University Researcher and Project Leader, Institute of Plant Breeding, University of the Philippines Los Banos, College, Laguna, Philippines

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:23:57 PM
Want to be a millionaire? Stop wasting precious money on lotto or get-rich-quick schemes such as those being peddled by swindlers through text messaging. Why not try planting tuba-tuba?

According to Bukidnon Rep Juan Miguel Zubiri, tuba-tuba, whose scientific name is jathropa curcas, is a “fast-growing small tree whose fruit actually a nut, can be processed into cooking oil or car fuel.”

“Planting tuba-tuba can be a very profitable proposition,” Zubiri, who is promoting the use of bio-fuels, said yesterday.

“Three kilos of tuba-tuba seeds or nuts could produce a liter of bio-diesel. Tuba-tuba bio-diesel readily mixes with diesel fuel and can run any diesel engine without modification,” he said.

He said the small tree can bear fruit within three years from planting and can produce as much as 12 tons of nuts a year.

He cited a study made by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which showed that a grower can earn P200,000 per hectare per year from the sale, and processing of tuba-tuba nuts.

Zubiri said growing tuba-tuba does not require much investment.

He said the DENR, under Administrative Order 2005-25, is making available up to four million hectares of denuded forestland for planting to tuba-tuba and other tree species.

Individuals and groups can apply to till up to a maximum of 50 hectares each, he said.

He added that the DENR will even provide the initial saplings for applicants to plant.

Growing Tuba-Tuba

The Tuba-tuba Plant (Jatropha curcas) also known as Tubang Bakod in Tagalog, Physic Nut in English or interchangeably tuba-tuba or Jatropha. The latest craze to hit the agri-business in the Philippines. Primarily for its oil to produce biodiesel. The Tuba-tuba has been planted in the Philippines for quite some time but it was used mainly as fencing since it animals do not eat the leaves -even the insatiable goat would not eat the leaves. The ever increasing price of petroleum prices has triggered interest on the Tuba-tuba or Jatropha.

Jatropha is a drought resistant perennial shrub or small tree that produces seeds up to 35 years but can live up to 50 years. Jatropha grows fast with little or no maintenance and reaches the average height of about 3 meters but it can grow up to 8 meters.

Tuba-tuba is one of the most promising sources of bio-fuel today. About 30% of the Tuba-tuba nut is composed of oil. 3 kilos of Jatropha seeds can produce about 1 liter of crude Jatropha oil that can then be processed into biodiesel fuel. This oil can be easily be processed into fuel that can replace or mixed with petroleum based diesel to save on imported oil and most importantly increase local employment and help the economy to grow.

Since the Jatropha plant’s average height is about three meters, harvesting is easy and the plant can be grown practically anywhere (ordinary soil, sandy, gravely or rocky soil) and adapts easily to different climates. Jatropha is resistant to droughts -it can stand up to two years without rainfall. The tree also has a short gestation period, it will bear a several fruits starting at about 6 months old and be fully fruit bearing between one to two years.

Other Benefits of Planting Tuba-tuba/Jatropha:

* Aside from using the seed oil as biodiesel, the extracted oil can also be used in making soap.
* The Jatropha/Tuba-tuba leaves can be used for fumigating houses to expel bugs.
* The root extract of Jatropha plant can be used as yellow die while the bark extract as blue dye. While the seeds when pounded can be used for tanning.
* The roots, flowers and latex of the Jatropha plant are said to have medicinal properties.
* Planting Jatropha reduces soil degradation, erosion and deforestation of the countryside.

Planting the Tuba-Tuba:

Irrigated land can be planted with up to 2,500 Jatropha plants per hectare - a spacing or two meters by two meters. But on poor soil, and land dependent only on rainfall, the plants should be spaced further apart. A month or two before the start of rainy season is a good time to plant. Jatropha seeds can directly be planted or 2 to 3 month old seedlings from nurseries can be used. Jatropha seedling or cutting is planted then covered on an up-hill manner to avoid erosion. The plants are watered for two weeks after transplanting. Seeds can usually be harvested 1 year after planting. Potential yield ranges from 1.25 to 12.5 tons of seeds per hectare.

Process of Oil Extraction:

Oil is easily extracted from the Tuba-tuba nut by the use of a presser-expeller. This engine driven machine is simple enough to be operated in provinces by village folks. The yield is about 1 liter of oil for every 3 kilos of seeds. The oil is then refined to produce biodiesel.

It has been estimated that for a processing plant (presser-expeller) to be economically viable and have continuous supply of the Jatropha nut, 5,000 hectares of land have to be planted with Jatropha trees. The trees can also be planted on coconut plantations - intercropping the Tuba-tuba/ Jatropha under the coconut trees. With proper weeding, pruning, ploughing and fertilization, up to 20 kilos of seeds can be harvested per tree - up to 0.40 metric tons per hectare for non-irrigated land and up to 2.5 metric tons of seed per year if the land is irrigated. This is a boost for coconut farmers and land owners alike.

In the Philippines, planting of Jatropha or Tuba-tuba is on high gear, more so in Visayas & Mindanao but it can be planted anywhere. The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is actively promoting its planting to coconut farmers.

With the ever increasing interest in biodiesel fuels, we may one day get used to the idea that fuel for our vehicles was harvested from local plantations instead of using imported oil from the Middle East.

source: http://www.pcaagribiz.da.gov.ph, http://www.herbal-medicine.philsite.net


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:27:01 PM
Banana is one of the most common and widely grown fruit crops in the Philippines. It is also one of the country’s major dollar earners, and has consistently ranked next to coconut oil and prawns in terms of value earnings during the last five years.

In 1991, banana topped local production among the other major fruits such as pineapple and mango, thus eating up more than one-third of the production pie.

Banana has various uses. The ripe fruit is pureed, candied, and preserved in various forms when not eaten fresh. Its extract is used in the manufacture of catsup, vinegar,and wine. The unripe fruit is powdered and chipped.

In rural areas, the young leaves are pounded to suppress bleeding and treat wounds. The leaves are also widely used as packing materials for fruits and vegetables in market centers. Banana fiber is manufactured into rope, sack, and mat. Sheets of paper and paper boards are also made from banana peel. Banana blossom is exported dried. Filipino housewives use it in special dishes.

VARIETY

Banana is native to Southeast Asia where the climate is warm and humid. Of the 57 banana cultivars, the following are the most common in the Philippines:

1. Saba - grows to as tall as 20 feet; fruit is angular; has thick peel that is green when unripe, yellow when ripe; flesh is white when ripe; gestation period is 15 to 16 months.
2. Lacatan - grows to a height of five to nine feet; fruit is round, seedless; has thick peel that has green when unripe, yellow-orange when ripe; gestation period is 14 to 15 months.
3. Latundan - grows from six to 10 feet tall; fruit is round; has thin peel that is green when unripe, yellow when ripe; flesh is white when ripe; gestation period is 12 months.
4. Bungulan - fruit is round, very sweet, seedless and easily rots; has thick peel that is green when unripe and remains green when ripe; flesh is white when ripe; gestation period is 12 months.
5. Cavendish - reaches five to 10 feet high; fruit is bigger than Bungulan; peel is green when unripe, yellow when ripe; flesh is yellow when ripe; export quality; gestation period is six to eight months.
6. Other varieties grown in the country include the Morado, Pitogo Los Banos, Senorita, Tindok, Gloria, Granda, and Tumok.

CLIMATE AND SOIL REQUIREMENTS

Banana is well adapted to well-drained, loamy, soil that is rich in organic matter. Areas with an average rainfall of 4000 millimeters (mm) a year are ideal sites for a banana plantation. A temperature between 27 to 30 degrees Celsius is most favorable to the crop.

Banana grows at sea level up to 1,800 meters altitude. It is susceptible to root rot when exposed to too much water. Typhoon belt do not make good plantation sites.

PROPAGATION

Banana can be propagated through its rhizomes and suckers. The latter, however, is the best recommended. Suckers must be parasites-free and have healthy roots. These are spaded out of the clumps when four-to-five feet tall.

LAND PREPARATION

The fields is plowed and harrowed thrice. All stumps and bushes must be removed. Knee-deep holes with 45-cm diameters are dug and 3each hole is fertilized with 10 grams of complete fertilizer and a few of granular nematode.

PLANTING

Suckers are set on field in vertical position, then covered with surface soil. Compost material added to the soil enhances the recovery and growth of the new plants. The soil is stumped around each base and watered regularly. During dry months, irrigation, if possible, is advised.Planting is the best at the start of the rainy season.

CULTIVATION AND MAINTENANCE

Cultivation should go beyond six inches from the base of the plant to avoid root injury. Intercrops or Glamoxine or Karmex sprays act as weed control. Plants must be propped with bamboo poles during fruiting for support against strong winds.

DESUCKERING OR PRUNING

Unnecessary suckers must be killed by cutting them off the mother plants. Only one or two suckers must be allowed per hill to reduce soil nutrients competition.

FERTILIZATION

For poor soils, fertilizers should contain N-P-K at a ratio of 3-1-6. the ratio is doubled when fertilizers are applied to young plants. The amount of fertilizer applied increases as the tree matures. At flowering and fruiting period, a tree needs five to six pounds of complete fertilizer.

PEST AND DISEASES

There are at least 27 insect pests that attack banana plants in the Philippines. However, there are only three pests known to cost significant damage over all types of banana.

The banana corm weevil feeds on suckers and destroys the corm tissues. It causes the suckers to die of bore attack. To control this pest, spray the soil with Furadan 5 G, 10 G. Sanitation and cutting of affected corms are also effective cultural controls, and are environment friendly.

Fruit-peel sarring beetle damages the fruit surfaces. The banana bunch is usually sprayed with Decis to control infestation. The banana floral thrips can be easily controlled by Diazinon 40/60 EC or Decis 2.5. 100 EC spray.

The three major diseases of banana are the sigatoka, pitting or wilting and the moko. Sigatoka is a leaf spot disease caused by Mycosphaerella musicola. This causes the premature death of leaves. In severe cases, the size of bunches and fingers is reduced. The fruit is also ripens prematurely and develops abnormal flavor and smell. Plants are usually sprayed with Bordeaux mixture. Badly spotted leaves are removed to avoid contamination.

Pitting or Wilting disease is characterized by dry, reddish-brown or black, circular or oval, depressed spots. Sanitation is one way of preventing the disease which comes in season with the rainy days. All collapsed leaves should be removed.

Moko disease, on the other hand, transmitted from plat to plant by insects and infected tools. The impact of moko to plants is similar to that of the sigatoka. Only, it does not emit unfavorable smell. Infected fruits also blacken inside. Infection is prevented by disinfecting tools with formaldehyde.

In view of environmental considerations, alternative controls to pests and diseases are being introduced under Integrated Pest Management. Infected plants and weeds must be uprooted to keep the area free of host plats for six to 12 months.

HARVESTING

Regardless of variety, the maturity of banana can be distinguished when the last leaf turns yellow. The angle formation of the fingers also determines ripeness. The rounder the angle of the fingers, the more mature the are.

Saba is harvest 15 to 16 months after planting; Lacatan, 4 to 15 months; Latundan, 12 months; Bungulan, 12 months; Cavendish, six to eight months.

Harvesting needs two people to serve as the cutter and the backer. It involves cutting deep into the middle of the trunk and letting the top fall gradually until the bunch is at the reach if the backer. The peduncle is cut long enough to facilitate handling.

Fruits for immediate shipping are harvested 5 to 10 days before ripening. Bananas for marketing are packed in crates as tightly as possible to lessen unnecessary vibrations during transport.

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


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:30:21 PM
Cocoa is grown on trees

The cocoa tree bears fruit on its trunk and branches. They are called pods.

The pods contain seeds which are called cocoa beans. The beans are made up of a seed coat, a kernel and a germ.

1. Cocoa needs a high temperature, plenty of water, and air that is always moist.
Therefore, cocoa is grown in the hot and humid regions of Africa (mainly in forest regions), Central and South America, Asia and Oceania.





What varieties of cocoa can be grown in Africa?

2. Three main varieties of cocoa are grown in Africa:
Criollo
When Criollo pods are ripe, they are long, yellow or red, with deep furrows and big warts.
This variety does not produce as much as the others but the cocoa is of very good quality.
It is grown mainly in America.



Varieties of cocoa grown in Africa



It is mainly grown in America

Forastero (Amelonado)

The pods are short, yellow, smooth without warts, with shallow furrows. This variety produces well, but the quality is not as qood as Criollo. It is crown a lot in Africa.

Trinitario This variety is a cross between Criollo and Forastero. The pods are long or short, red and yellow. It yields cocoa of fairly good quality.

Why cocoa is grown

3. People grow cocoa trees in order to sell the cocoa beans that are in the pods.
The kernel of the cocoa beans is used to make cocoa and chocolate.

In the countries of Europe and North America people eat a lot of cocoa and chocolate.

But the cocoa tree does not grow in their countries; they buy cocoa from Africa.

The countries of Africa earn a lot of money by selling their cocoa.

With this money, they can build schools and dispensaries, they can build roads and modernize the country. For Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Cameroon, cocoa is an important export crop.

But to earn more money, these countries must sell good quality cocoa.

Sometimes they sell cocoa of poor marketing quality, badly harvested and badly fermented and dried.

Cocoa Is better and fetches a higher price when 11 has been properly harvested, fermented and dried. In order to sell a lot of cocoa beans of good quality, the grower must:

· Choose the seeds and grow the seedlings carefully.

· Choose a good site for his plantation and prepare It well.

· Look after his plantation continuously.

· Harvest the pods and prepare the beans properly.

Choosing seeds and growing seedlings

4. The grower can buy at research centres
· either selected seeds of good quality He sows the seeds in a nursery bed or in baskets. Later, he plants out the seedlings in the plantation.

· or young seedlings of good quality He plants them straight away in the plantation.

5. But some growers have no research centre nearby.
They can nevertheless have good cocoa plantations by:

· choosing their own seeds,

· sowing their seeds in a nursery bed,

· planting out their seedlings in the plantation.

Nursery bed Is the name for the place where the seeds are sown to make them germinate.

Choosing seeds

If you want to have fine cocoa trees which produce a lot of big pods, you must choose carefully the seeds you are going to sow.

6. If you choose your own seeds:
· choose the biggest pods from the trees which bear a lot of fruit.

The good quality of the tree and of the seed enters into the new plant, which will also yield many big pods.

The best seeds for sowing are those from the middle of the pod.

7. Sow the seeds as you remove them from the pod
Never keep the pods more than one week, otherwise the germ may die.

If the germ is dead, the plant will not grow.

8. In some countries cocoa seeds are often sown directly in the plantation, that is, where the trees are to grow.
But this is a bad way of sowing, for many of the plants will not grow, and you cannot choose the best seedlings.


Sowing seed sin nursery beds or in baskets

9. A good grower should sow cocoa seeds in nursery beds:
Choose a small plot, quite flat, with light and rich soil.

If the site is near a little stream, watering will be easier.

Till the soil fairly deeply, and break up all the lumps of earth so that you get a fine filth.

Make beds of soil 120 centimetres wide:

· Leave a little path of 60 centimetres between one bed and the next, so that you can walk between the beds.

· Take a piece of string and mark out little furrows in each bed.

· Leave 25 centimetres between one furrow and the next.

· In each furrow, leave 25 centimetres between seeds.

Do not push the seed in too deeply, otherwise it will not have enough air and will not grow well.



Cocoa seeds can also be sown In baskets or bags.
10. When the seedlings are lifted from the nursery bed, the roots may break and little earth remains around the roots.
To avoid this, water the beds before lifting the seed lings.
Sometimes the young seedlings do not grow well and do not gain much height.
Some of them die.

11. To make the cocoa trees grow better, sow your seeds in small baskets or polyethylene bags. These baskets or bags can be about 30 centimetres high and 20 centimetres wide. Fill them with fine soil mixed with manure. Put the baskets or bags in rows and leave a little path between the rows.



You should take good care of the asedlings in seed beds or baskets.
12. Young cocoa tree seedlings are very delicate; you must protect them from the sun. Put them in the shade.
In order to protect the seed beds or the baskets from the sun put up a screen 180 centimetres high above each bed. You can cover this screen with palm fronds.

Young seedlings need a lot of water. Water them every day.

Remove the weeds which take nourishment away from the seedlings. Look for insects and kill them, pull out diseased plants and burn them.


Cocoa seed bed under a screen

Lifting seedlings from nursery beds

13. Six months after sowing, when the seedlings have two leaves, take the young cocoa tree seedlings out of the nursery beds.
If you wait too long, the seedlings will be too old and will not grow so easily.
Remove the seedlings from the nursery beds with a spade.
Be very careful not to break the roots.
Sort out the young cocoa seedlings.
Throw away diseased seedlings and badly grown seedlings.
Use only the healthiest seedlings.

14. If you have sown your seeds in baskets, place the baskets in holes dug in the plantation.
There is no need to remove the basket, as it will rot in the earth.
If you have sown your seeds in polyethylene bags, remove the bag.
Place the ball of earth with the seedling into the hole.

Related Posts:
Growing Cocoa - Part 2 of 2

Sources:

Institut africain pour la dveloppement conomique et social
B.P. 8008, Abidjan, Cte d’Ivoire


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:36:41 PM
Choosing the site

15. If a cocoa tree is to grow well, it needs more than anything else a soil
· of good structure,

· permeable and deep.

The cocoa tree has tap- roots. The tap- root descends straight into the soil. The branch roots go down very deep. But many small branch roots also grow near the surface.

If the soil is of good structure and contains much humus, the roots penetrate well. You can improve the soil structure by spreading manure and working it into the soil. If the soil is deep, the roots can go down to a good depth.

Never plant cocoa trees in soil with a lot of stones, or in soil where there is some hard layer.


Small surface roots

Clearing the site

16. In Africa, cocoa is grown in forest regions.
To make a plantation, you must clear the site.
But the cocoa tree needs shade, especially when it Is young.

17. The traditional method is to cut down all the trees and to burn everything.
But this is a bad method because:

· You destroy all the organic matter in the weeds, the leaves and the branches.

· You leave the soil bare to the sun or rain.

· The soil becomes less fertile.

· The cocoa trees are not protected from the sun when it is too strong.

18. Sometimes growers put banana trees or taros into the cocoa plantation, to give shade for the young cocoa trees. If these are planted long enough before the cocoa trees, they give good protection.

But if they are planted at the same time as the cocoa trees, they do not protect the young cocoa trees well enough and they take nourishment out of the soil.

19. To give shade it Is better to keep a few of the forest trees.
You should cut first all the tall weeds, the creepers and the small trees.

Make heaps of what you have cut down and arrange the heaps in rows.
It is better not to burn all the vegetation you cut. Leave It on the ground.

It protects the soil against erosion and sun. It rots and makes humus.

If you have to burn the vegetation you have cut, you must sow a cover crop.

20. Next, go through the plantation a second time:
Now cut down all the trees which might give some disease to the cocoa trees.

And cut down also all trees that give too much shade. But leave those large trees which can give no disease to the cocoa trees, and which give a lime shade

When the cocoa trees have grown taller, they need less shade.

You should gradually give them less and less shade. You should prune the big trees and cut off those branches that cast too much shade.

When the plantation is well cared for, you can cut down all the big trees.

When the cocoa trees have grown, it is better to get rid of the unwanted shade trees by using tree- killing chemical products. This way causes less damage than cutting them down.

21. In Cameroon, for example,
· Farmers always remove the following trees:

Atui (Piptadeniastrum africanum)
Tom (Erythrophloeum guineense)
Eba (Pentaclethra macrophylla)
Eyen (Distemonanthus benthamianus)
Asam (Uapaca staudtii)
Abem (Macrolobium or Berlinia)
Esabem (Macrolobium limba)
Engkm (Myrianthus arboreus)
Aseng (Musanga cecropioides)

· Leave In the plantation:

Akom (Terminalia superba)
Atol (Ficus vogeliana)
Evouvous (Aibizzia ferruginea)
Esak (Albizzia fastigiata)
Ekouk (Alstonia boonei)
Eteng (Pycnanthus kombo)

22. In Ivory Coast
· Farmers always remove the following trees:

Dabema (Piptadeniastrum africanum)
Samba (Triplochiton scleroxylon)
Bla (Childovia sanguinea)
Aiya, Kotib (Nesogordonia papaverifera)
Cola (Cola nitida)
Ehman (Corynanthe pachyceras)
Cakoua
Ntaba
Akeato (Cola spp.)
Aoussou
Boto, Kotoki(Sterculia tragacantha)
Fromager (Ceiba pentandra)
Akogaouan, Oba (Bombax spp.)
Grand Wounianb (Myrianthus preussi)
Blblendou (Treculia africana)
Inkichbi (Rauwolfia vomitoria)
Glagla (Conopharyngia)

· Leave In the plantation:

Adashia (Trema guineensis)
Iroko (Chlorophora excelsa)
Figuiers (Ficus)
Ouangrain (Allophylus africanus)
Sipo, Tiama (Entandro phragma)
Pri, Pousso ou (Funtumia)
Abalo (Combretodendron africanum)
Emien (Alstonia boonei)
Minghi, Ba (Fagara)
Oualb Nda (Pycnanthus angolensis)
Frak, Framir (Terminalia)
Akoua (Antrocaryon micraster)
Parasolier (Musanga cecropioides)
Loloti (Lannea welwitschii)
Tchiku, Tchikubi (Bridelia)Preparing to plant cocoa trees

23. With traditional methods, planting is most often done in a haphazard way.
The cocoa trees are not planted in rows.

There is not the same distance between them.

When the trees are too far apart, they do not use all the soil; when they are too close, they grow badly.

Instead, you should always plant in rows.

First mark the rows for the cocoa trees, leaving about 2.5 to 3 metres between rows.

Along each row, mark out with pegs the spots where the cocoa trees are to go.

Leave about 2.5 to 3 metres between trees.

In this way you can plant about 1000 to 1600 seedlings per hectare.

24. Digging the holes

Before planting cocoa trees, the grower must dig holes in order to stir the earth and loosen it.

Dig the holes two months before planting the cocoa trees.

When you are digging the hole, do not mix together the soil from above and the soil from below:

Make two separate heaps.

Planting cocoa trees in a plantation

Sometimes growers sow cocoa seeds straight away in the plantation. This is a bad thing to do.
It is better to put into the plantation either young cocoa seedlings from your own nursery beds, or cocoa seedlings bought from a research centre.

25. A few hours before lifting the seedlings from the nursery beds, water the soil. Then take the seedlings out of the nursery beds with a spade or a hoe. Be very careful not to break the roots.
Next sort out the cocoa seedlings. Throw away diseased plants and plants that have a twisted tap- root.
You can dip the roots of the seedlings in liquid mud, so that the cocoa plants take root again easily.

26. When to plant cocoa trees Plant cocoa trees at the beginning of the rainy sea son.
Choose a day when the soil is moist and when the sky is cloudy. Plant the young cocoa trees when they are about 6 months old.

27. How to plant cocoa trees A few days before planting, fill in the holes you have dug. At the bottom of the hole, put the soil you have dug out from the top, and on top put the soil you have dug out from below. You may mix the soil with manure.



How to plant cocoa trees
When you are ready to plant, make a small hole. In this small hole place your young cocoa seedling. If you have sown your seeds in baskets or bags, make a hole big enough to hold the root ball with the cocoa seedling. Be very careful not to twist the tap- root.

Do not cover the crown with earth.
Pack the soil down well around the tap- root.
For the first few days, protect the cocoa seedling from the sun.
If there are palm trees in your village, use a palm frond.

Taking care of the plantation

28. When the cocoa trees have been planted, the work is not finished.
The grower still has a lot of work to do to look after his cocoa trees.

A grower who does not look after his plantation properly cannot harvest big pods and will not earn much money.

To look after your plantation properly you must:

· Replace seedlings that have not grown

· Remove weeds and keep the soil covered

· Prune the cocoa trees

· Apply fertilizer

· Protect the cocoa trees from insects and diseases.

REPLACING MISSING SEEDLINGS

29. Sometimes certain cocoa seedlings do not grow well. They remain small or die.
During the months following the day when you planted your seedlings, you must always look to see whether the cocoa trees are growing well.

If you see diseased or dead cocoa trees, pull them out and burn them, and also those encircling them in case of swollen shoot disease (see paragraph 42). In their place, plant other young cocoa seedlings, from among those that you have kept in the nursery bed or in baskets.

Weeding and soil cover

30. Many weeds grow among the cocoa tree rows.
You must not let weeds take nourishment away from the cocoa trees.
When the cocoa trees are young, you should weed 4 or 5 times every year.

When the cocoa trees are bigger, they cast a lot of shade and so few weeds will grow. It will be enough to weed once a year. When you are cultivating be very careful not to damage the trunk and roots of the cocoa trees.

31. Between the rows of cocoa trees, you should not leave the soil bare.
You should cover the soil either with cut weeds or with palm fronds, if available.

In this way the soil is protected against sun and erosion; it stays moist and cool.

When the weeds rot, they give the soil organic matter.

You can also sow a cover crop, for instance legumes. This will give the soil good protection against sun and erosion.


You can also sow a cover crop

Pruning cocoa trees

32. The cocoa tree is a tree that develops well. It has a single, straight trunk. A crown of 3 to 5 main branches forms about 1.5 metres above ground level.

33. Sometimes, during the first year, several shoots form on the trunk. Cut off these shoots and leave only the strongest. Sometimes the crown forms too low down, at less than 1 metre above ground level.

A new crown will then form at a good height, and the first crown will stop growing.



Choose a shoot which grows straight up and let it develop

34. Always cut out all dead branches, dry twigs and suckers.
A sucker is a twig that grows upward out of the trunk. Cut off the suckers very close to the trunk.


Always cut out all dead branches

35. When a cocoa tree gets old, it no longer yields many pods. But you can make cocoa trees young again by letting one or two suckers grow low down on the trunk where they can develop their own roots. Then cut down the old trunk, and you will again have a cocoa tree that yields many pods.


Old cocoa tree

Applying fertilizers

Fertilizers cost a lot of money.
So the grower should use fertilizers only when this will make him earn more money.

36. When you have tended your cocoa trees, when you have hoed the weeds, then you should apply fertilizer.
Spread fertilizer around each cocoa tree, but be careful not to put any on the trunk, the branches or the leaves of the cocoa tree: otherwise the fertilizer will burn the free.
Spread the fertilizer in aring around the trunk at a distance of about 1 metre from it, where most of its small roots are.
Apply fertilizer twice a year: in April and September.



37. It is useless to apply fertilizers In a plantation that Is not well cared for.
A grower who does not prune his cocoa trees and who does not hoe the weeds should not apply any fertilizer.
If the plantation is not cared for properly, fertilizers do nothing except feed the trunks of the cocoa trees, the suckers and the weeds.
The grower loses his money.

38. Different soils have different fertilizer needs.
Ask the extension service how much fertilizer to use.
For example, in Ivory Coast:

· on the more sandy soils, along the coast, use compound fertilizer, which contains nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash: fertilizer formula 13- 10- 15;

· on the more granitic soils of the interior, use another compound fertilizer: formula 12- 15- 18.

The quantities for each tree are as follows:

· during the first two years: in April: 125 grammes; in September: 125 grammes.

· during the third year and from then on: in April: 250 grammes; in September: 250 grammes.

Protection from insects and diseases

The most dangerous insects are the following:

39. Capsids
These insects prick the twigs and pods. At the place where they make a hole, the tree dries out and the sap no longer circulates. Young trees attacked by capsids often die. To control capsids, use Lindane or Aldrin.

40. Borers
The larvae of these insects bore holes in the trunk or branches. You can control borers with DDT or Dieldrin.



Borers

The most dangerous diseases that attack cocoa trees are the following:

41. Black pod disease
This is caused by a fungus which chiefly attacks the pods.
If attacked, the pods rot and die.
Control this disease by picking off diseased pods and burning them.
You can prevent the disease from spreading by spraying the sound pods with copper preparations.

42. Swollen shoot disease
This is a very serious disease, which has caused much damage in Ghana.
You will see that the leaves are mottled. Sometimes some twigs become very thick and the tree soon dies. Mealy bugs carried about by ants can transmit the disease from one tree to another.
Control this disease by cutting down diseased trees and leaving them to wither.
Remember that, when a diseased tree has been discovered and cut down, all the trees circling it must be cut down also to avoid the spread of infection.

Harvesting the pods

43. The tree makes its first flowers after two years. But in order not to tire the tree, you should cut off the first flowers.
From these you will therefore get no fruit.
There are two harvests each year: a small harvest at the beginning of the rainy season, a big harvest at the end of the rainy season.

44. Do not pick all the pods at the same time.
Pick only pods that are ripe, whether yellow or red. Leave on the tree any pods that are not ripe, that are still a little green.
Go through the plantation every fortnight to pick the ripe pods.
Never pick the pods by pulling them off: if you do, you will spoil your tree.
You should cut the stem of the pod with a machete.


You should cut the stem of the pod

Processing cocoa beans

45. Opening the pods.
Do not wait more than 4 days to open the pods. Open the pods by hitting them with a thick piece of wood. Take the beans out of the pods and put them in baskets. Then carry them to the place where they are to ferment. Do not leave the broken husks on the field. They can be used to make compost.

46. Why cocoa beans are fermented.
We have seen that the cocoa bean consists of a seed coat, a kernel and a germ. Cocoa beans are fermented so as to destroy the seed coat, kill the germ and give the cocoa a good taste.



47. How to ferment the beans.
Often cocoa growers ferment the beans in heaps. They chose a flat and dry spot, cover it with banana leaves, make a heap of cocoa beans and cover the heap with banana leaves. The beans ferment well if the heap is stirred from time to time. It Is much better to ferment the beans In boxes.
Use boxes with holes in the bottom. Place these boxes on supports, for instance stones.
The juice runs off at the bottom of the boxes through the holes. After two days, take the beans out of the box, stir them around well and put them into another box. To make this work easier, you can stack the boxes one on top of the other.
Never leave the beans In the same box for more than two days. Fermentation takes 6 to 10 days. The beans are purple at the beginning, and turn reddish when they are fermented.



Drying cocoa beans

48. When the beans are well fermented, they must be dried. Cocoa beans may be dried in the sun. Spread the beans on boards raised 1 metre above ground level. The layer of beans should not be very thick; not more than 4 centimetres. Stir the beans often and protect them from rain.
To protect from rain, you can make a little shelter and slide the boards under the shelter every night and when it rains:
This is called a sliding tray drier.
Drying cocoa beans takes live to ten days.

49. In forest regions where the climate is very moist, cocoa beans do not dry at all well.
Badly dried beans are of poor quality. You get less money for them.
In such regions several growers can get together and build a modern drier.
Spread the beans on a concrete slab set well above floor level.
Light a fire underneath, or allow hot air to pass through drums to heat the concrete slab.
Then the cocoa beans will dry better.
In this way one man alone can take care of drying the harvest of several growers.
He should not let the fire get too hot, to prevent the beans from becoming smoky.
He should stir them often so that they do not burn.

50. When the cocoa is quite dry, the beans are sorted.
Remove all the:
· flat beans
· germinated beans
· mouldy beans
· broken beans.

Keep only good beans.
Put these good beans into sacks.
Keep the sacks in a dry place well protected against animals.

Finally sell your sacks of cocoa. Good- quality cocoa is cocoa which has been:
· well harvested,
· well fermented,
· well dried.

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:44:57 PM
The guava (Psidium guajava Linn.) is one of the distributed fruit tree crop in the tropics (like the Philippines) and subtropics and found to be indigenous to the American tropics. It has a great potential for extensive commercial production because of its ease of culture, high nutritional value and popularity of processed products. Most common areas where guavas are grown in abundance are: open areas, second-growth forests, backyard or as a part of a mixed orchard. However, at present, there are no existing records for big planting and production of guava in the Philippines.

Economic Importance

The fruit of guava is very rich in Vitamin C, which is substantially higher than what is found in citrus. It is also a good source of Vitamin A and other important elements. The fruit contains a large amount of citric, lactic, malic, oxalic and acetic acids and trace amount of formic acid.

The ripe fruit is usually eaten as dessert. It can also be utilized in many ways for making jellies, jam, paste, juice, baby foods, puree, beverage base, syrup, wine and other processed products. It may be eaten sliced with cream and sugar and as ingredient in cakes and pies. It is also used in dishes like “sinigang”.

Some parts of guava tree have medicinal and commercial usefulness. The bark and leaves are used in childbirth to expel the placenta. The leaves can be made into tea and astringent decoction can cure stomachache and act as vermifuge. When crushed or chewed, it is used for toothache treatment; pounded leaves may also be applied locally for rheumatism; can also be used for dyeing and tanning. The bark is sometimes used in complex cosmetics for hystero-epilepsy. Its wood is moderately strong and durable indoor and useful for handle and in carpentry and turnery.

Varieties / Strains

Supreme - The Supreme varieties from Florida. It is generally high yielding and produces a thick white flesh fruit of good quality for preserving or eating fresh. Fruit shape is ovate with distinct corrugation, 6.3 cm long, 5.5 cm in diameter and weighing 65 grams. The three is moderately prolific and regular bearing. When fully ripe, the fruit is bright yellow in color. The flavor in the inner pulp is sweet but the outer skin is slightly bitter and possesses a distinct strawberry wine odor, which is slightly astringent. It is moderately resistant to anthracnose and fruitfly but susceptible to leaf folder and aphids.

Red Indian Rolfs and Ruby - the fruit is ovate, 6.5 cm long, 5 cm in diameter with thin, smooth, medium green skin, weighing 75 grams. The fruit pulp is about 10 mm deep and red when fully ripe and has less pronounced corrugation. It is large seeded, sparsely populated but very sweet, juicy, crunchy and possesses a strong aroma. The tree is very prolific, regular bearing but easily attack by bats, moderately to anthracnose and oriental fruitfly.

Crosses between Ruby and Supreme - a large, white flesh variety from California, U.S.A.

Seedless variety - this variety has a fleshy layer, thick, that almost no seed cavity remained.

Goyena Quezo de Bola (NSIC 02 Gv-01) - this is NSIC guava variety approved in 2002, being a prolific yielder possessing yellowish green color of skin, finely smooth texture with pleasant aroma and weigh 575 g/fruit.

The other outstanding varieties grown in the Philippines are Bangkok, Java, Vietnamese and Hawaiian.

Soil and Climatic Requirement

Soil - guava does well on different soils from open sand to rather compact clay; from strongly acid (pH 4.5) to medium alkaline (pH 8.2) For good fruit production, guava should be grown in
rich, deep, well drained soils high in organic matter.

Climate - a rather dry climate is favorable for guava production. It may thrive best in the tropics at elevation from sea level to 5,000 feet with a tropical or near tropical temperature requirements.

Nursery Practices

Seed germination and care of seedlings - guava seeds should be thoroughly cleaned soon after extraction from the fruits. It is necessary to treat the seeds with fungicides to prevent damping off.
They should be planted early to ensure high germination. Germinated seeds in beds or boxes with a medium of fine sand or an equal mixture of sand and topsoil. Sow them evenly in the furrows 2-3 cm apart and lightly cover with soil 0.5 ? 1.0 cm deep. Water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Protect the seedlings against insect pests and diseases by spraying insecticides and/or fungicides. A month after emergence or when the first true leaves have formed transplant them in individual containers, like polybags using medium clay loam soil mixed with compost. Partial shading is necessary until the plant has recovered its growth. The plant is ready for planting or as rootstocks after one year

Propagation - guava is usually propagated by seeds. It can be propagated asexually through root suckers, root cutting, grafting, marcotting, budding, grafting and inarching.

Seed Propagation - propagation of guava is nearly always by seeds. Guavas are open-pollinated producing seedlings, which are highly variable in character. Variability in seedlings can be minimized by hand self-pollination or individual flowers.

Root suckers and root cuttings - the use of root suckers is probably the oldest method of asexually propagating guava. Root suckers are induced by severing roots to a few feet from the base of the plants and these are transferred when roots and shoots are established. Root cutting is done by cutting about 12-20 cm long parts of any butt very small or very large roots. These can be induced to sprout and form new plants provided it is placed in a suitable medium in a well-drained propagating bed. Both the use of root suckers and root cuttings are relatively slow methods of propagating guava.

Budding - an efficient vegetative propagation is by budding selected variety on seedling rootstock. Both the patch bud and forkert techniques are recommended onto seedling rootstock. The diameter of seedling stock and budwood should be from 15-25 mm. Budwood should be mature, bark no longer green. Condition the budwood by cutting off the leaves of selected branches 10-14 days before removing the branches for budwood. During this period the buds become more enlarged and grow more readily after budding.

Air layering - for this method, low branches of guava are bent down, about 12 - 15 cm of the branch is covered with soil and kept damp to induce root formation.

Stem cuttings - propagation by stem cuttings is made from the young wood at the end of the branches. These are rooted in sandy loam soil in propagating bed in a nursery house or shed. Guava stem cuttings treated with Indole Butyric Acid (IBA) or Napthalene Acetic Acid (NAA) proved to be successful for rooting and produce numerous and vigorous roots.

Cultural Practices

Land Preparation - plow the area once or two times followed by several harrowings to completely pulverize and expose the soil. It is best done during the dry season.

Stake the field and dig holes at a distance of 5 - 7 meters to accommodate 277 seedlings in a hectare. In fertile soils, wider spacing is desirable.

Planting - the planting materials are transplanted into the holes earlier prepared after pruning some of the leaves and removing the plants from the containers. The plants are aligned with other trees in all directions. The best time to plant is at the onset or during the rainy season. Weeding/cultivation ? shallow cultivation around the base of the plant is recommended to prevent root injury, incorporate organic matter into the soil and to control weeds especially when trees need all the available soil moisture.

Pruning - pruning is a must in guava production. This is done if a certain form is desired like growing the tree with a spreading or symmetrical or limited crown or to keep number of branches. However, when the trees have established a strong framework and started to bear fruit, little training is required. The root sprouts; low-lying branches, disease infected and other dead branches, which are unnecessary just, have to be eliminated.

Fertilization - guava trees should be kept healthy through application of fertilizers from the time they are planted until they continue to produce fruits.

In the absence of definite information regarding the fertilizer requirements of guava in the Philippines, it is about 100-500 g ammonium sulfate will be applied around the base of each tree twice a year. The fertilizer will be applied one month after planting and 6 months after or towards the end of the rainy season. The amount will be increased, as the tree grows bigger. At the start of fruiting, each tree should be given about 300 - 500 g complete fertilizer, preferably one containing more nitrogen and potassium per application. At the peak of production (about 10 -18 years, an annual application of 2 kg or more complete fertilizer per tree, split in application may be required to sustain growth development and production of fruits.

Irrigation - no irrigation is required when trees are planted during the rainy season. But in case of prolonged dry weather, the orchard should be irrigated every 10 days or as often as maybe necessary. Irrigation when applied during fruit development can increase production through fruit size.

Intercropping - while the guava trees are not yet fully productive, intercropping of short season crops like vegetables, leguminous crops, root crops and other annual crops can be done. Aside from added income it will also prevent the growth of weeds and help cultivate the land in the orchard. However, this intercrop should be removed once the main crop becomes too crowded.

Control of Insect Pests and Diseases

Insect pests:

Oriental fruit fly (Daucus dorsalis Hendel). The larvae burrow through the ripe fruits making them unfit for human consumption.

Control: Bagging the fruit. To avoid infestation, harvest fruit at the earliest possible time. Collect the infested fruits into a kerosene can with a thin layer of sand at the bottom and destroy the larva/pupa by heat

Aphids (Aphis gosypii Glover) - the pest damage the plant by feeding on young growth causing the curling of leaves.

Control: Spray with appropriate insecticide (like malathion) when necessary. Aphids are fed upon by lady beetles and by maggot of syrphid flies. They also parasitized by minute parasitic hymenopterans.

Mealy Bugs and Scale Insects:

Common White Mealy Bug (Planococcus lilacinus Ckll). It attacks and draws plant sap from the young shoots and fruits of guava. Its actual damage is economically insignificant, however, the ants that it attracts are nuisance when picking the fruits.

Control: Seldom needs remedial measures

Green Scale Insects (Coccus viridis Green). It is a soft scale that infests the young shoots, mostly on leaves. It is oval in shape, about 2 mm long, foliage green in color with an irregular V-shaped black on its back.

Control: Use of entomogenous fungi effective especially during rainy season. Use of small wash parasite, Coccophagus tibialis

Moth (Zuezera coffeae Nietn). Its pink caterpillar bores into young upright growing stems tunneling the stem center where it feeds and develops; extruding stem may suddenly die or break off at the level of the exit hole.

Control: If discovered early enough, the infested stem may be saved by inserting a coconut leaf midrib into the tunnel and pushing it in as far as it would go to speak and kill the caterpillar inside. If infested twigs has broken off spear the larva; dead infested twigs that have not broken off should be broken and the larva on pupa speared.

Diseases:

Spotting of leaves and fruits ? caused by the parasitic alga, Cepaleuros mycoides Darst., is rather severe on some types and varieties in humid areas.

Control: Spraying with a Copper Fungicide

Anthracnose or Cracker - caused by Gloeasprrium psidii G. Del. The fungus produces two kinds of symptoms. Formation of cankerous spots throughout the fruit surface. These cankers are circular, dry and raised. In some areas, however, infected fruits becomes undersized misshaped, hard and dry.

Typical sunken soft lesions usually produced by anthracnose can be observed on ripe fruits. Under moist conditions, pinkish masses of spores can be seen on lesions surface. It also causes dieback of plants. On the leaves, the disease produces angular, rusty brown spots of varying sizes, usually 2-5 mm in diameter. During the rainy season, the blight of shoots is a common symptom.

Control: No control measure has ever been recommended although spray of fungicides can be recommended.

Wilting - caused by Gloremella psidii Sheld is another disease known to attack guava. The disease causes mummification and blackening of immature fruits.

Processing and Utilization

Preparation of Guava Products

Guava Wine

Select ripe and sound fruits. Cut into quarters. To 1 part fruits, add 2 parts water. Boil until the fruits are soft. Strain and measure the extract. To every three (3) parts extract, add 1 part sugar. Stir and measure the extract. Cool. To every 15 to 15 liters, add one-tablespoon yeast. Place in demijohns to ferment. This will take from two weeks or longer. When the fermentation is completed, transfer into wine barrels and age for at least one year.

Guava Jelly

Select equal mixture of green and ripe guavas. Wash and cut into halves or quarters. For every kilo of guavas, add 2 liters of water. Boil in enamel or stainless steel basin for 30 minutes. Strain thru a cheesecloth bag. Crush the pulp and boil again, using 1-? liters of water.

Strain and combine the 2 extracts. Measure. To every cup of the extract, add a cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of calamansi juice. Boil once to dissolve sugar and strain. Cook over strong fire until the temperature reaches 1070-1080 until a soft ball is formed when the jelly is dropped in a cup of water. Pour in sterilized dry glass jars.

source: http://www.pcarrd.dost.gov.ph

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:48:15 PM
They are red and seeded on the outside, fleshy and juicy in the inside. They have this small, regal looking, green leafy cap and stem that adorn its crown. That’s fresh, plump strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) for you. But their fine-looking appearance does not last long. Strawberries are delicate, requiring gentle handling to prevent bruising.

In the Philippines, strawberries are only grown in cool areas like Benguet and Baguio. And for those who love strawberries, this type of cool-loving fruit has to undergo the long travel so that it could still come out fresh for customers in the far cities and provinces. Unfortunately, problem in transporting continues to hound the strawberry industry. A lot of the strawberry growers in Benguet and Baguio still use the old ways of packing and transporting their products i.e., through rough bamboo baskets and kaing. Thus, postharvest losses are high.

The processing of strawberries such as jams, jellies, juices, and sweets is a good solution to avoid their spoilage. Unfortunately, the industry still lacks the facilities to do this. Most of the processed products like jams are still sold in big containers and bulky bottles making their transport still a big hassle.

Another problem of the industry is the non-availability of varieties suited in the humid areas of La Trinidad. Although strawberries are considered a high value crop, produce remains to be sold in the sidewalks and small booths.

In increasing its production, potential areas should also be established. Planting strawberries could be a good alternative source of livelihood for upland farmers. Growing strawberries could substitute vegetable production in some areas since it is now becoming less profitable due to the coming in of cheap imported vegetables and the growing of upland vegetables in lowland areas, Improving strawberry production through integrated R&D program particularly in Mindanao.

Related to the lack of high yielding and suitable varieties of strawberries, pest and diseases also pose as the leading problems of growers. Until now, there is no protocol on the production of planting materials for strawberry and non-availability of certified planting materials which farmers can use. These contribute to the deterioration of yield and quality of strawberries.

Given this scenario and problems hounding the strawberry industry, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) has recently supported an integrated program on strawberry, Integrated Strawberry Research and Development Program (ISRDP), with the Highland Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (HARRDEC) and the Regional Resources Research and Development Network (RARRDEN) as coordinating agencies. The lead agency for this integrated program is the Benguet State University in cooperation with the Bureau of Plant Industry - Baguio National Crops Research Development Center (BPIBNCRDC), Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit (DA-RFU), Office of the Provincial Agriculturist- Benguet Province (OPA), and the strawberry growers, processors, and retailers.

The integrated program on strawberry comprises of five major projects, each addressing the major problems facing today’s strawberry production in country. These are:

1) varietal development, conservation and production of planting materials;

2) production and postharvest technology assessment and intervention (maturity indices and handling);

3) integrated pest management (mite pests);

4) product development and marketing and;

5) establishment of strawberry databank and technology transfer. The project started in 2005 and continues to 2006.

The integrated program is implemented in consultation with all stakeholders of the industry. Concerned stakeholders include the Research Development and Extension (RDE) sectors, strawberry farmers, processors, retailers (including high end market sector), and consumers.

For the project on Varietal development, conservation and production of planting materials, it hopes to:

1) collect, characterize, and maintain a strawberry germplasm seed bank including seed and runner for local genotypes of strawberries and some foreign collections;

2) identify potential genotypes and hybrids;

3) develop protocol in certification of planting materials and;

4) produce at least 5,000 certified runner planting materials that can be availed of by farmers.

The project on “Production and postharvest technology assessment and intervention (maturity indices and handling)” aims to:

1) identify the maturity indices in harvesting berries for fresh market;

2) identify at least three kinds of packaging materials for pre and post-harvest handling;

3) establish one handling method from harvesting to marketing and;

4) establish protocol for pre-cooling fresh berries after harvest.

For the “Integrated Pest Management (mite pests)” project, it is expected to:

1) introduce an efficient predator of spider mites on strawberry; and

2) develop mass rearing and field release techniques for the predator.

For projects 4 and 5 on “Product development and marketing” and “Establishment of strawberry databank and technology transfer,” the objectives are to:

1) develop and introduce new recipes in the market, particularly low sugar and sugar-free jam and spread, and

2) identify one-serving packaging materials for jam and spread (for project 4); and 1) establish database for strawberry, and

3) conduct promotion for the industry (for project 5).

The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) funded the ISRDP in its effort to boost the strawberry industry through R&D particularly on increasing its yield in the local market and improving its postharvest technologies.

source: Rita T. dela Cruz of http://www.bar.gov.p
Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 02:51:30 PM


Garlic grows well in clay, alluvial and sandy loam soils. Sandy loam, properly applied with fertilizer, generally produces big, compact and heavy bulbs of good quality. Heavier soils such as clay loam also give profitable yields if they are cultivated and fertilized properly. Garlic requires cool weather during the early stage of growth thus it is best to plant them on the months of October and November.

Garlic likes full sun and well drained soil. Garlic is quite tolerant when it comes to soil types and textures, but it definitely appreciates sandy-clay-loam that is friable (easily crumbled in the hand) and has a high organic content. It does best when the pH is in the 6.2 to 6.8 range. Make sure you take samples from several spots in your garden and mix them together to obtain a representative reading. The garden or field should drain easily - standing water just won’t cut it as the bulbs could rot in the ground. To increase the tilth of the soil (isn’t that a great word?), add organic matter such as well-composted manure. You can also green mulch, that is plant cover crops such as clover or buckwheat and then till them into the ground.

Prepare the pieces of cloves in the afternoon, the day before planting. Carefully separate the cloves from each other, taking care not to injure them. Choose only the big pieces for planting. Soak the cloves for two minutes in a solution of Malathion prepared by mixing three tablespoonfuls in five gallons of water). Treating the cloves with Malathion would kill the microscopic mites that cause “tangle top,” a common garlic disease. Drain off the solution and put the cloves in a clean container for planting.

Land Preparation

If the field is weedy and/or the soil surface is very irregular, plow and harrow the land thoroughly to kill weed seeds and to produce a fine, firm, smooth and level surface. Broadcast the recommended amount of fertilizers and mix thoroughly with the soil before leveling the field. For one hectare, use 125 to 175 kilos each of urea (45-0-0) and 14-14-14 or 12-24-12 NPK fertilizers. Mix the two fertilizers thoroughly. If urea is not available, use 235 to 270 kilos of ammonium sulphate. Mix with 115 to 130 kilos of 14-14-14 or 12-24-12 fertilizers.

After applying the fertilizers and levelling the field, spread rice straw evenly throughout the entire paddy to a thickness of about 5 cms. Irrigate the field just enough to moist the soil. In a few days, the field is ready for planting. In planting, mark the rows with the use of parallel lines of string spaced 20 cms. apart and placed just on top of the straw mulch.

Hold the clove between the thumb and forefinger and set one-fourth of the clove into the soil. Then press the soil slightly but firmly towards the clove. Plant the cloves at intervals of 20 cms. in the row.Garlic does not need much irrigation. As long as there is sufficient soil moisture, bulb formation would be normal. The plants are ready to be harvested as soon as three-fourths of the tops or leaves become fully ripe or dry. Lift the matured plants gently from the ground and then arrange the direct heat of the sun.

Pests and Diseases

The important pests of garlic are mites and cut worms. Cut worms can be controlled by spraying the plants with solutions of: EPN-300 at three tablespoonfuls in five gallons of water plus sticker; and Imidan 50 W.P. at three tablespoonfuls in five gallons water plus sticker. Against mites, use Tedion V-18 at three tablespoonfuls of water. Spray the plants once a week. Pink Root which can be prevented only by planting resistant varieties.

Harvesting

Many people make a big mistake at this point. They wait too long to harvest. Keeping garlic in the ground beyond a certain point does not result in bigger bulbs, but rather dried out, split and nearly useless ones. When to harvest? When the lower third to half of the leaves have turned brown, but there are still mostly green leaves higher on the plant, it’s time to harvest. Others suggest harvesting when the hardneck scapes are standing straight up but before the pods containing the bulbils open up. You can always test dig one or two plants. You should be able to see the shape of the cloves beginning to bulge through the wrapper. There is also a two to three week difference in the harvest dates of the several varieties. So watch you plants carefully. To get the bulb out of the ground, don’t just try to pull them. The stalk will break. You must dig, using a pitchfork or the like in order to loosen the soil. Then you can lift the entire plant out of the ground.

Don’t let the bulb stay in the sun very long as it will sun scald, which reduces its quality.

Storage

Storing garlic requires an even temperature (50-70° F seems to work) and a relative humidity averaging in the 50-60% range. Make sure they get plenty of air circulation. When storing in bulk, onion-type mesh bags hanging in a well-ventilated room is good. In a kitchen, a ceramic garlic keeper (or a burlap bag) will do fine. Do not store at high humidity or in the refrigerator - they will try to sprout and their taste heads south in a hurry.

source: http://www.pcarrd.dost.gov.ph, http://www.thegarlicstore.
Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 03:10:12 PM
Planting potatoes using growths has been tried and found better than using the root crop itself. The former is more productive and grows faster. This is possible with the varieties Ackersegen and Mariella.

Manner of Planting

1. Select potatoes free from disease with growths around 1-3 cm. long.
2. Cut up the parts with growths that will serve as “cuttings”.
3. Plant these first in a pot.
4. When 4 or more leaves have come out, this can be transferred in the field.
5. Potatoes like clayey or sandy soil. Sieve the soil to remove dirt and clumps of soil. Mix the soil with animal manure (carabao, horse, cow, etc.) 1 part soil and 2 parts dried manure.
6. Make pots out of banana or nanka leaves or similar wide leaves.
7. Fill this with the mixture of soil and manure.

Cutting Up the Growths - The best time for cutting growths is from October to the first days of November.

1. Remove with the hand the growths from the flesh of the potato.
2. Cut up the potato with growths around 4-5 mm size.
3. Place the growths in the center of each pot and press gently until it is halfway down in the soil mixture.
4. Place these in the shade where there is no strong wind.
5. Water with hose 3-4 times a day.
6. In 3-5 days, roots and shoots will grow.
7. On the 7-8 days, put them in a place with adequate sunlight.
8. Put 1 gram urea and 2 grams single superphosphate in a liter of water, and spray this on the plants 2-3 times a day.
9. After 2 weeks, the plants will be about 7-10 cm. high. This can now be transferred to the field.
10. The mother potato from where the growths were taken can also be planted.

If the shoots are many, 2 growths can be taken from every root crop and planted immediately.

Planting

1. Make beds where the cuttings will be planted. Make the soil fine, and plant the cuttings 20-25 cm apart.
2. Apply fertilizers such as:
* animal manure - 2kg/sq m or 20 tons/ha
* superphosphates - 350gms/ha
* muriate of potash - 150 gms/ha
* nitrogen - 150 gms/ha
3. In planting, choose a time when it is not rainy. Transplant the whole plant from its pot so as not to hurt the roots. Place 1-2 plants in every hill (tundos). Put soil around each plant.
4. Water the plants 2 times a day for a week.
5. From transplanting, apply fertilizer 4 times: days 12-15,25-30,40-45,55-60.
6. After 3-4 weeks without rain, irrigate the plants as in ordinary irrigation.

Harvesting

1. Choose only matured root crops.
2. Store in a place with plenty of sunlight. Let this harden and turn green.
3. After 7-8 days, store in the usual way of storing crops.

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


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 03:13:57 PM
There is one way of planting sweet potato (camote) that has been tried that can make it yield 20% more than the ordinary way of planting. In the manner tried, the stems to be planted are taken from healthy plants, two to three months old. The cut stems to be planted are watered first, then covered with a plastic sheet for two days When ready for planting, the stems will have developed small roots which will hasten the growth of the new plant. It is advised by a Puerto Rican researcher not to remove the leaves before planting, as this will reduce the roots that will eventually become crops.

Harvesting

Sweet potatoes can be harvested about 3 1/2 - 4 months after planting. If the harvesting is made too early or too late, only a few crops are harvested and the quality is not good. The over matured ones are fibrous and rot easily. Do not harvest sweet potato after a rain or when the ground is wet because the fruit contains much water then, which will make it rot easily. Besides, it is harder to gather and clean the crops when the soil is muddy it is easy to harvest when the soil is dry.

Procedure in harvesting:

1. Cut the vine first, roll it over to one side and plow the beds to bring out the crops.
2. If the harvesting is done manually, do not use pointed metal instruments but only wooden tools with a pointed end so as not to hurt the crop.
3. Carefully cut the vine in separating the crop so as not to hurt the crop.
4. Cut the vine closest to the crop.
5. Do not pile up the crops so as not bruise them.
6. Do not leave the newly harvested crops exposed in the sun. This will make them dry up and shrivel.
7. Put the crops under the shade.

Storing Procedure:

Sweet potatoes will last 2-3 months when properly harvested.

1. Use a right sized basket to contain the harvest of sweet potato - not overflowing so as not to bruise them. It is in bruises and hurts that rotting starts.
2. Because of this, do not use sacks for storing.
3. The storage place must be nearest to your house or the farm or wherever the crops will be transported with facility.
4. Use bamboo, cogon or coconut leaves for roofing and sawali for walls in storage places.

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


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 03:24:51 PM
The Philippines, being reputed for its abundant tropical fruits, is also home to the world’s sweetest mangoes. In the 1995 Guinness Book of World Records, the Philippine mango was listed as the sweetest fruit in the world defeating other countries that also produce tropical mangoes (Magnifera indica). This citation opened a great opportunity for the country to establish domestic market and bright potential to compete in the world market both in fresh or processed forms.

Currently, mango ranks third among the fruit crops being produced by the country, next to banana and pineapple. The Philippines supplies its mangoes to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and recently to the United States and Australia. In terms of world production, the Philippines ranks 6th among the top 10 mango producing countries of the world with an average production of 1 million metric tons per year.

Picking the Sweetest Strain

The Philippine mango, i.e. carabao mango, is the country’s export varieties and is considered one of the best variety of mango in the world. Over the years, scientists and researchers have developed different strains of this sweet fruit to continuously improve its export quality. As of now, there are already 10 recommended mango strains for carabao mango registered and recommended by the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC). One of these strains is the Sweet Elena, which was identified as the “sweetest of the sweetest” and the best mango variety in the country today. Sweet Elena was regarded as the sweetest and the biggest mango in the Philippines for three consecutive years by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).

Sweet Elena is a new strain of carabao mango that originated in Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Two researchers from the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, San Marcelino campus (RTMU-SM), Dr. Ester Mariñas and Prof. Remedios Lim, discovered and identified this mango variety.

According to the comparative study conducted, Sweet Elena is proven superior over other four leading mango varieties including Guimaras’ Talaban and Fresco, Ilocos region’s MMSU Gold, and Zambales’ Lamao. Sweet Elena is superior in terms of weight, sweetness, soluble solids, edibility of flesh, and physical appearance.

In terms of weight, Sweet Elena has the highest fruit weight of 357.33 grams, which is 68 grams heavier than that of Talaban, the largest among the mango varieties studied. In terms of sweetness, Sweet Elena is not far from varieties like MMSU Gold and Talaban. It has 18.98 total soluble solids (TSS) compared to MMSU Gold and Fresco which both have 19 TSS. Sweet Elena has 81.61 percent edible portion or flesh and so far the highest among the varieties of mango identified in the country. As to the physical feature, it is attractive with the presence of red tint at the base of the fruit.

Getting Physical

Smooth and big on the outside, fleshy and sweet on the inside that’s Sweet Elena for you! Physically, Sweet Elena has exceptionally smooth skin, small seed and has unique reddish color on its base. It weighs 357.33 g and is 13.70 cm long. It is 7.43 wide and 6.32 cm thick making Sweet Elena obviously bigger than most mango varieties. Its ovoid shape also adds to its appeal. Its skin, unlike ordinary mango varieties, is orange. It is also smooth and is about 0.08 mm thick and the skin weighs only 39.58 g Its flesh is 81.61% edible, which means only a little part of Sweet Elena is put into waste.

It has yellow to orange tinge, juicy and has moderate aroma. Its softness and scanty fibers makes it worthy of being the best mango of all. The seed of Sweet Elena is flat, 27.80 g in weight; 9.68 cm long and 3.73 cm wide. Its tree stands 15.3 m tall and bears fruit annually from December to April. This tree yields 100-120 kaings of mangoes every harvest. (MIN Info News, April-June 2003 wherein Sweet Elena was declared the 2002 PINAKA Winner)

Sweet Elena has already been registered with the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) on 18 October 2002 with the certification of registration awarded to Mrs. Penida Moselina Malabed, owner of the mango tree in Sta. Cruz, Zambales where the Sweet Elena was first identified by RMTU researchers. The study was conducted for three years in coordination with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).

The certificate of registration was awarded in 2003 by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Luis P. Lorenzo during the 2003 Mango Forum. Today, 1.5 ha is planted to Sweet Elena at the RTMU San Marcelino campus to maintain a source of quality planting materials.

Expanding the Sweet Elena

Aside from the 1.5 ha that has been allotted to plant Sweet Elena at the photos by mmojica RTMU San Marcelino campus, some 1, 000 seedlings are also being grown at the DENR-PAWB-Dizon Botanic Fruit Garden, Ninoy Wildlife Parks, Diliman, Quezon City. These seedlings are pest and disease-resistant with superior fruiting quality.

As part of the government’s effort to maintain a gene bank of Zambales’ Sweet Elena, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) is funding a project on the “Establishment of Scion
Grove and Germplasm Production of Mango (Sweet Elena)” in collaboration with the local government unit (LGU). Also, the establishment of scion grove is done in partnership with farmer stakeholders.

The project is in cooperation with the Central Luzon Integrated Agricultural Research Center (CLIARC) with the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) of Zambales and the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) of Palauig as implementing agencies. The project was initiated in January 2005 and will last up to December 2008.

The specific objectives of the project include: 1) establish scion grove; 2) produce Sweet Elena grafted seedlings from 2000 to 5000 seedlings; 3) establish one to two nurseries for propagation of Sweet Elena grafted seedlings; and 4) promote Sweet Elena through propagation of grafted seedlings and participation in trade fairs.

The site for this project is in Locloc, Palauig, located at the northern part of Zambales with an elevation of 10-40 meters above sea level. The place is accessible by any type of transportation.

source: Rita T. dela Cruz of http://www.bar.gov.ph


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 03:29:56 PM
An ideal tree to grow in the city or country is moringa (Moringa oleifera). Moringa will give you food, fodder, fuelwood and shade. Its pods make a tasty, nutritious vegetable. You can eat its tender leaves and flowers too. The leaves also make excellent livestock feed. Best of all, this useful tree grows quickly and easily in many different climates.

Where to plant Moringa

You can almost always make space for a moringa tree. If you have no space at all to grow your own tree, see if you can get your neighbours’ help to grow moringa trees on common ground such as the roadside, beside a playground, or even around a garbage dump. The soft foliage and large bunches of scented white flowers will make the surroundings look pretty. And you can all share the pods, which can be harvested over several months of the year.

The moringa tree needs lots of water but doesn’t like to be waterlogged. So the best place to plant it is near a drainage channel where its roots can reach the water but do not stand in it. It is often planted where waste water from the kitchen can be channeled past it. This way, the waste water is put to good use and no extra water is needed for the tree.

Moringa grows best in sandy soil but will also grow in most well-drained soils. However, it does not grow well in stiff clay soils which can get waterlogged. And its growth will be stunted in dry, shallow soils. Moringa establishes best when it gets plenty of water, but once it is established it can survive severe drought.

How to Plant Moringa

The easiest and fastest way to start a moringa tree is from branch cuttings. Even branches used as fence posts often take root and grow into full-sized trees. You can also grow moringa from seed, but this is a little more difficult and takes longer to give you a yielding tree. Try growing from seed if you cannot get branch cuttings. Researchers at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute found growth rates as high as seven metres in the first year from seed, with extremely high fruit yield. The main danger with seedlings is getting too much moisture before they become woody.

Moringa branch cuttings will root without much care, but they grow best if you plant them at the start of the rainy season or another time when the weather is mild. Avoid planting cuttings in very hot or cold weather.

Choose a healthy, mature tree from which to take your cuttings. If possible, find out which trees bear the largest number of pods and the best-tasting ones. Take cuttings from those trees. It is always better to take cuttings from several different trees rather than just one. This way, if a disease or pest strikes, some of your trees will have a better chance of surviving.

Find a straight mature branch with some hard wood. Cut off about one metre from the end of the branch, just below a node. Then cut off the leaves and tender growing end of the branch, cutting just above a node. This is your branch cutting.

If you have to climb the tree to get the cutting, be careful because the branches of moringa trees break easily.

Dig a pit 50 centimetres wide, 50 centimetres long, and 50 centimetres deep. Place a layer of well-rotted manure on the bottom. Make a mound of sand about 15 centimetres high in the centre of the pit, and scoop out a hole in the mound to hold the cutting. Surrounding the cutting with sand helps to keep it from rotting and helps it to grow roots more quickly.

Plant the branch cutting upright in the sand mound that you have scooped out. Pat the sand firmly in place around it. Fill the pit with the soil you have already dug out and press it firm. About 50 centimetres of the cutting should be underground. Water regularly, and take care to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Soon the cutting will start sprouting new growth. This means it has rooted.

Water your new tree regularly until it is well established, and protect it from browsing goats and cattle.

How to Use Moringa

Use the green pods as a vegetable. Pick the pods when they are plump and firm but still tender. Cut them into pieces that are five centimetres long. Steam lightly. Eat the soft flesh and seeds inside and discard or compost the fibrous outer skin. Moringa is delicious cooked with spices and mixed with other vegetables such as eggplant, or legumes such as pigeonpea or cowpea. You can also cook the young flowers and tender leaves of the tree. But be sure to dry them completely after washing. Cover and cook the leaves and flowers in their own juices. If you add water to cook the leaves, they turn bitter.

Make moringa a part of your regular diet. It contains many good nutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Other Uses for Moringa

Moringa leaves make good nutritious fodder for livestock. Moringa wood is a soft wood. It cannot be used for building but it is good for fences, trellises and other light support poles. In fact, if you have a row of moringa fence posts, you will probably soon have a row of growing moringa trees which you can use as a living fence.

Common Names

Common names for Moringa oleifera include: horseradish tree, ben oil tree, benzolive, benzolivier, ben oléifère, bambou-bananier, graines benne (Haiti), drumstick (India), sohnja (India), resedà, ben, ángela, jazmín francés (Puerto Rico), palo de aceite, palo de abejas, libertad (Dominican Republic), paraíso (Mexico and Central America), murunga-kai (Philippines), malunggay (Philippines), saijhan (Guyana).

source:http://www.farmradio.org

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 03:33:50 PM
There are two kinds of bell pepper — one is the pungent kind and the other not. The first is used in food manufacturing where they are processed as spice and sold as food condiments. The other, non-pungent, is the ordinary kind sold in markets. A hectare of pepper can accommodate 27,600 plants that are about 60 cm apart from each other. Bell pepper likes a warm climate, fertile soil that does not lodge water; it is good to plant it at a time when the sun shines abundantly in that place.

Commercial Scale Planting - As in the preparations for other plants

1. Plow the field to remove weeds and their roots. Harrow afterwards.
2. Repeat after a week so as to remove remaining weeds whose seeds have now germinated since the first plowing.
3. Repeat a third time after 5 days for same reason.
4. Dig holes 60 cm apart from one another, 15 cm deep.
5. Before transplanting the seedlings, put about 4 cm deep compost at the bottom (if in summer) and 10 cm compost on top (in rainy weather) to facilitate watering.
6. With this preparation, prepare the nursery for the seedlings.

Preparation for the Nursery - The nursery bed for bell pepper is about 1 meter wide with the soil about 10 cm high.

1. Mix a can (kerosene can) of compost for every square meter bed.
2. Place dried coconut leaves about 5 cm thick over the bed for burning. Remove the pieces left unburned. Water very well the nursery bed and compact the top with the aid of a spade or flat wood.
3. Line the bed with strings crossing one another, about 6 cm apart. Thrust a stick to make a hole at every intersection into which drop 3 seeds.
4. Cover with fine oil about 1 cm deep and press with the finger.
5. Use spray water in watering so as not to dislodge the small seeds. Water only during early morning and late afternoon. If it rains, put a roof over the seedlings.

Fertilizer - The best fertilizer for soil is compost (or decomposed farm wastes). In itsabsence, the following commercial fertilizer may be used as follows:

1. Mix 80 grams urea in 16 liters with 3 tablespoons Lannate-Benlate combination. Fungicide and pesticide may also be included. Spray every seven days.
2. When the seedlings are about 4 weeks old, pass a sharp knife through the rows, about 2 cm deep or more to make the branches grow from the main stem.
3. The seedlings can be transferred to the field in about 5 weeks.

Transplanting of Seedlings

1. Spray on the plants about 24 grams fertilizer (12-24-12) dissolved in a gallon of water, to ensure that the newly transferred plants will live.
2. Water the area well and ensure that the plants are rinsed.
3. Make a hole about 9 cm square in compost, and plant the seedlings in it about 1/3 deep (of its whole length).
4. For five days, water and cover with banana leaves during the day and remove the cover at night.
5. Cover the surrounding areas with straw, dried leaves or branches about 5 cm thick to protect the area from erosion during rains and from drying up in the heat of summer. This also adds to the fertility of the soil and keeps it soft.
6. Always clear the area of weeds.

As much as possible, in the care of plants, it is best to have the soil analyzed at the Bureau of Soils Laboratory to know that fertilizer would be best to use. But if this is not possible, the most common way of spraying chemical fertilizer is as follows:

More or less, the equivalent of:

* 60 kilos nitrogen = 6 bags ammonium sulfate (20-0-0)
* 129 kilos phosphorus = 13 bags solophos (0-20-0)
* 96 kilos potassium + 3 bags muriate of potash (0=0=60)

In planting, apply all of the nitrogen and potassium, and half of the phosphoric (P) fertilizer. Apply the remaining half P when the plants are flowering.

1. Apply on tablespoon on either sides of the plants 10 cm away from the plant. Cover with fine soil 1 cm thick.
2. Water a little to make the fertilizer penetrate.
3. If not watering or irrigation is possible, do not apply fertilizer because the roots will anyway not benefit from it.
4. To prevent lodging of water in the plants area, dig canals at the sides of the plots to where the water will run. For every 10 m make it 30 cm wide and 40 cm deep so as not to injure the plants.

Watering - Irrigation for pepper is not very necessary if these will be planted in September and October when there is rain. But if planted in summer, irrigation is necessary. Do not let the ground crack in dryness. Always wet the surrounding area of the plant especially at the base where the roots are the mouth of the plant.

Support - In rainy weather when the plants are flowering, put up props to support the pepper fruits from lowering to the ground.

Pruning - Prune the plants and remove dead branches and stems and excessive leaves to promote good fruit bearing.

Pests - The pepper plants enemies are pests, diseases and excessive exposure to heat during summer. The last is helped by covering the fruits with cut grasses or tying leaves and branches to shade the fruits from the suns heat.

Harvesting

Harvesting depends on the needs of the consumer. If it is for the market, the fruits are harvested while still green; if it is to be processed, it should be red or half red before picking.

1. Pick the pepper fruits toward evening. Trim, wash and wipe, and arrange according to sizes.
2. Ripening of immature pepper can be hastened if sprayed with ethrel or stored in 20°C-25°C and 85-90% humidity. To prolong its shelf life, paint it with molten candle.
3. Harvest every 5 days. On the 5-8 day, harvest is most abundant. This will further increase if weeds around the plant are kept controlled, fertilizer applied, and maintained with adequate watering.

Drying of Seeds - If the seeds are intended for immediate planting, they can be planted from the fresh pepper. But if planting will be in the next season yet, these should be stored properly.

1. Get seeds only from healthy and good ripe pepper. Dry these in the sun for 3 days (about 6% humidity left).
2. Do not expose in the sun when the heat is most intense (from noon to 2:00 pm).
3. In storing the seeds in a jar with cover, put powdered charcoal at the bottom, about 2½ cm thick, which will absorb the humidity. Cover this with a perforated cardboard and put it on the seeds.
4. Allow 2 cm space from the lid.
5. Cover with a perforated cardboard again and put fine charcoal on it before putting on the lid.
6. Close with a tape and open only when the seeds are ready for planting.

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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 03:43:12 PM
Papaya is a luscious fruit that has been taken for granted. The total crop area in the Philippines planted to papaya amounts to only 8,720 hectares or 0.1 percent of our agricultural land. Yet no one can deny its tastiness as a dessert or as an indispensable vegetables dish of various recipes. Papaya fruits are good sources of Vitamin A, B and C. It is a familiar meat tenderizer because for clearing fruit juices, on fermenting liquors, pre-shrinking the quality of wool and as soap for washing clothes. Papaya possesses medicinal values.

Papaya can be easily grown in home yard gardens. It can also be a profitable enterprise. Under ordinary farm condition, production cost amounts to only P2,700 per hectare on the first year and P1,500 per hectare on the second year. The net profit on the first year may be less than P400 per hectare; but in the second year the returns can reach as high as P4,000 per hectare. The productive life of a papaya plant is about 3-1/2 years. This means that after establishing the plantation, income will flow with little effort provided you have a ready market.

VARIETIES

There are several cultivars you can choose from whether for backyard or commercial planting:

1. “Cavite Special ” is a popular semi-dwarf type that blooms 6 to 8 months after planting. The fruit weighs from 3 to 5 kilos each and mainly eaten fresh.
2. “Sunrise Solo” is a new improved high quality selection with reddish orange flesh, each fruit weighing half a kilo.
3. “Waimanalo” is high quality variety with orange yellow flesh, each fruit weighing from one-half to one kilo.
4. “Sinta” is the first Philippine-bred hybrid papaya, semi-dwarf, profile, sweet and flesh and weighs 1.2-2.0 kg./fruit.

LAND PREPARATION AND PLANTING

Land preparation for papaya orchard is similar to other upland crops. First clear the fields; then plow and harrow alternately about 2 to 3 times to kill weeds and provide good internal drainage. The distance of planting papaya ranges from 2 to 3 meters depending on the variety.

Papaya plants are usually planted by direct seedling in the field. Place 5 or more seeds in each hole; then cover with ¼ inch of soil. When fresh seeds are used, seeds will germinate in 10 to 14 days after planting. Seed germination is better and faster if the gelatinous envelope (sarcotestae) surrounding the seed is removed by means of the fingers. In some cases, seedlings are started in the nursery by sowing seeds in seed plots or individual containers such as in cans or plastic bags. Sow 3 to 4 seeds per container. Use sterilized soil to avoid nematode infestation and damping-off. Seedlings in the nursery should be grown under full sunlight to produce vigorous and hardy seedlings. Care should be taken not to disturb the root system. Constant watering is essential until plants are well-established. Seedlings are transplanted when there are 3 to 4 leaves.

THINNING

Thin papaya seedlings in the field 4 to 6 weeks after emergence. Leave only 3 of the strongest seedlings in each hole. Save plants that are spaced far enough from one another to allow minimum competition for sunlight and nutrients.

The second and final thinning in the field should be done as soon as flowers appear. This is usually 4 to 6 months after seed germination. At this stage, leave one tree seedling per planting hole. In plantation where female trees are grown, some pollinating trees of either male or hermaphrodite forms should be preserved during the thinning process. Allow one male plant to grow for every 15 to 20 female trees for pollination purposes.

CARE OF PAPAYA PLANTATION

Establishment of Windbreaks

Windbreaks are necessary in areas where strong winds prevail. Local materials used as windbreaks are ipil-ipil and madre de cacao. The distance between windbreaks varies with location. Where winds blow horizontally across the plantation, a common rule of thumb is to space windbreaks at a distance of 20-30 times the height of windbreak trees. Where winds come in different directions and angles, it is necessary to have windbreaks half as close.

In general, a good windbreak should be permeable, allowing some air to pass through.

Fertilization

Factors such as soil types, rainfall, locations, cultural practices, and age of plant influence fertilization practices. Start fertilizing when seeds are planted or when seedlings are transplanted in the field. Mix a handful (5-10gms.) of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) with the soil at the bottom of the hole before planting. As papaya seedlings grow larger, more fertilizer is applied.

Guide for papaya fertilization in the Philippines:

1. Apply 60 grams of ammonium sulfate as soon as plants are well-established and show new growth.
2. Apply the same amount at intervals of six weeks until plants are one year old.
3. Thereafter, apply 225 grams of ammonium sulfate per plant every three months.
4. Apply 450 grams superphosphate per plant at the start of rainy season every year.
5. In potassium-deficient soils, complete fertilizer with ratios 2:1:2 or 2:1:3 is recommended.

Weed Control

Weeds can be controlled by mechanical and chemical means. Hand-weed when papaya plants are less than 2- ½ meter high. Always keep one meter area around the trunk free from weeds.

In large commercial papaya plantation, weed control is done by using herbicides. Spray pre-emergence herbicide to hinder weed control for six months without much damage to plants. Spray post-emergence herbicides such as Paraquat of Gramoxone plus a surfactant, at intervals between sprays 5-6 weeks. Since papaya seedlings are very sensitive to chemical sprays, remove weeds close to the seedlings manually.

Inter-cropping

Papaya can be grown as intercrop with coconuts, coffee, pineapple or assorted vegetables. Inter-cropping with papaya increases total farm income and reduces weeding expenses. It is important to provide fertilizer requirement of the intercrop.

Harvesting

Harvesting is a simple operation when papaya trees are short and the fruit can be reached by hands. The first harvesting starts on the 7th to 8th month after planting. Pick all fruits showing a tinge of yellow at apical end.

Place harvested fruits in picking bags, galvanized containers or pails. Allow fruits to mature more fully to develop better flavor. However, this shortens shelf life and make them more susceptible to fruit fly infestation.

When papaya trees grow older, harvesting is done with the use of ladder. It is a tedious, time-consuming and costly method of harvesting. Farmers in Cavite use a long pole to strike the apical end of the papaya fruit to detach it from the tree while the fruit is caught by hand.

The papaya plant will keep on fruiting for many years but production declines rapidly as it grows older. Old trees grow slower and produce lesser fruits. The productive life span of papaya plantations end after 3-1/2 years. The yield of well-managed papaya plantation is 35 to 40 tons of fruits per hectare which is roughly 4 times the average yield (national) of 10 tons per hectare per year.

COMMON DISEASE AND PESTS OF PAPAYA AND THEIR CONTROL

Diseases

1. Phytophtora blight - caused by Phytophtora palmivora. Common symptoms are found on stems and fruits. Small, water-soaked, discolored spots may occur anywhere on the stem, around the fruit or leaf scars, especially during fruit production. These infected areas enlarge and often completely encircle stems of young trees. Green fruits are resistant to infection but can be invaded through the wound or through the peduncle from the stem cankers. Infected mature fruits that hand on the tree shrivel as disease progresses, turn dark brown, become mummified and fall to the ground. Mummified fruits become reservoir for fungus and source of infection.

Control - remove rotting fruits from the tree as these serve as reservoir of spores from fungal mass which is carried by rain or wind to healthy parts of plants. These spores may infect non-injured leaf tissue, stems or fruit. Good drainage conditions reduce infection and use of protectant spray such as copper sulfate or DithaneM-45 fungicides limit extent of injury.

2. Anthracnose - Affects both plants in the field and the fruits at harvested. First symptom is usually a small, round, water-soaked area on ripening portion of the fruit. As fruit ripens, these spots enlarge rapidly, forming circular, slightly sunken lesions; these enlarge up to 2 inches in diameter as fruit matures. Fungus frequently produces large, light orange or pink masses of spores in the center of the lesions. Sometimes spores are produced in concentric rings similar to a bull’s eye. In addition to producing this surface damage, the fungus also advances into the fruit.

Occasionally, green portions of the papaya become affected with anthracnose. Disease first appears as a small, water-soaked lesion. Soon after fungus penetrates the fruit, latex comes out in sticky mound of horns. These lesions enlarge to ½ inch in diameter as fruit remains green and eventually plant dies. Infected petioles may act as source of inoculum for infection of fruit.

Control - Control of this disease can be achieved only by means of a thorough spray program. In rainy areas with high temperatures, spray Dithane M-45 at 7 to 10 days intervals. Copper-based fungicides also provide good control.

3. Papaya mosaic - Initially, leaves develop rugged appearance. Undersides of leaves show thin, irregular, dark-green lines etching the borders of cleared area along veins. Younger leaves of crown are generally stunted and severely chlorotic with veins banding; transparent oily areas are scattered over leaf or along leaf veins. In mature leaves, chlorotic patters is light color between veins accompanied by numerous small rinds ranging from transparent yellow to tan yellow. In several affected areas, defoliation progresses upward until only a small tuft of leaves remains at the crown. Stems of infected plants show pinpoint-sized, water-soaked spots may develop into linear or concentric ring patterns, w/c become larger and more intense in color. This is generally transmitted by green peach aphid, Myzuz persicae.

Control - The only satisfactory way of controlling mosaic is by destroying source of the virus. A strick roguing program should also be followed:

- Spray all infected trees with insecticide to kill aphid carriers.
- Cut all infected trees and remove them from growing trees and other cucurbit plants.
- Avoid nearby cultivars of cucurbit plants.
- Control aphids with pesticides since they are disease-carriers.

Insect Pests:

1. Mites - They colonized on different parts of plants and feed on plant, causing premature leaf drop, reduce tree vigor and produce external blemishes on fruit. They puncture plant tissues with their needle-like mouthparts and feed on tissue juices. Some mutiply rapidly throughout the year and cause widespread damage in a very short time.

Control - Control mites by sulfur dustings. Spray Malathion at rates recommended by manufacturers.

2. Fruit fly - These infest papaya when fruits are allowed to ripen on the tree beyond recommended picking stage. Fruits harvested in the mature green stage are not infested due to the milky substance they exude when fruit is punctured.

Control - Sanitation is important. Destroy all dropped and pre-mature ripe fruits and suspected of being infested to prevent larvae from developing into adults flies.

MEDICINAL VALUES OF PAPAYA

Bruised papaya leaves are used as poultice in treating rheumatism. In nervous pains, leaves can be dipped in hot water or warmed over a fire and applied. As purgative, one tablespoon of the fresh fruit juice mixed with honey and 3 to 4 tbsp. of boiling water is taken one draught by an adult; two hours later, it is followed by a dose of castor oil. This treatment is repeated for 2 days, if necessary, for children aged 7 to 10 years old. The children under 3 years, half the dose is given.

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


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 03:56:19 PM
Cassava is a shrub that is grown chiefly for its roots.

It has its origin in South America and is now widely grown in tropical Africa.

At its base the plant consists of one or more stems 2 to 3 centimetres in diameter; usually each stem divides into three branches, and each branch in turn divides into three, and so on.

When a stem is cut, the sap that flows is white and looks much like milk. Inside the stem is pith. The stem of cassava is not very hard; it is easily broken by a strong wind.

Cassava leaves have a long stalk and a much divided leaf- blade.

The leaf veins are green or red.


A cassava leaf

The flowers are pink, red, yellow or green. There are both male and female flowers in the same cluster.

The fruit is divided into three parts. Each part contains a seed. When the cassava fruit is ripe, it opens.

The farmer grows cassava chiefly for its roots. Some of them become large and fat by storing up food reserves. Other thinner roots continue to feed the plant.

Different kinds of cassava

Cassava roots contain a poison, prussic acid.

Some contain a great deal of poison; these are mainly the bitter tubers. Others, the sweet tubers, contain little poison.

The poison can be removed by thoroughly washing the root; by drying it or by cooking it thoroughly.

Before giving cassava to people or to animals, it must always be well cooked.

Where is cassava grown?

- Climate

To grow well, cassava needs a warm, humid climate.

If the rainy season is long, cassava roots grow rapidly.

Cassava is also a plant that will resist drought.

With less rain, the yield is small.

Cassava stems are not tough and dislike high winds.

- Soil

Cassava is a very strong grower. It will grow even in very poor soil.

But cassava grows best in soil that is permeable, not too compact, in which air and water circulate well. Then the roots fatten up and do not rot.

Cassava makes the soil poor. Besides the fat roots that store up food, many little roots take water and mineral salts from the soil.

After a crop of cassava, the field is very poor and must be left fallow.

How to grow cassava

The place of cassava in a crop rotation

Usually, cassava follows several other crops.

For example, first maize, okra, groundnuts are sown, then plantains are planted, and finally cassava.

In some places, cassava is planted at the same time as yams, or soon after.

The cassava cuttings are placed in the sides of the mounds for yams.
In other places, maize is grown between the cassava plants, or beans, fonio or groundnuts.

It is better not to grow several crops together.

Preparing the soil for cassava

To develop well, cassava roots need soil that has been loosened by the hoe or plough. So till deeply, to 20 or 25 centimetres, so that the roots can get well down.

After tilling, at the beginning of the rainy season, make mounds or ridges. This breaks up the soil and it stores up water; the roots have plenty of loose earth in which to develop.

If fertilizers or manure are used, work them into the soil when it is tilled.

Yields are high when the plant finds plenty of nourishment in the soil. Farmyard manure, compost and green manure are the best fertilizers for cassava.

For green manure, sow leguminous cover plants such as:

Crotalaria

Centrosema

Calopogonium

Phaseolus or beans.

Sow them a little before the rains, and dig them in after 5 to 18 months of leafy growth.

You can also use farmyard manure or compost. These organic manures enrich the soil with organic matter and mineral salts.

To complete the manuring, you can apply mineral fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.1

1 The use of mineral fertilizers may be profitable if the farmer sells the cassava to gari or tapioca factories. Many experiments made in Ghana and Nigeria have shown that yields per hectare are increased chiefly by nitrogen fertilizers such as ammonium sulphate (21% nitrogen), urea (46% nitrogen) and phosphorus fertilizers such as single superphosphate (16 to 20% phosphoric acid}, triple superphosphate (46% phosphoric acid) and ground natural phosphate (20 to 40% phosphoric acid). Potassium fertilizers such as potassium chloride (60% potassium) and potassium sulphate 150% potassium! have a less marked effect. However, the yield of cassava falls greatly when the soil lacks potassium fertilizers. If the farmer applies fertilizers and looks after his plantation well, the yield of cassava reaches 25 to 65 tons per hectare.

How to propagate cassava

Cassava is propagated by cuttings, by planting pieces of stem.

The roots of cassava are not used for making a new plantation, and thus all the harvest can be eaten or sold.

To make cuttings, choose stems 2 to 4 centimetres thick, from the strongest plants which are not diseased and which have already produced tubers.

After the harvest, tie the selected stems in bundles. Wait at least 10 days before planting them.

Keep the bundles in a cool, dry place until planting time.

But remember that the cuttings must not be made from the stems until you are ready to plant.

Cut each stem into pieces 20 to 30 centimetres long. There should be 4 to 6 growth buds on each piece. Each stem can be made into 4 or 5 cuttings.

How to plant cassava

To plant cassava, push into the soil the end of the piece of stem that was nearer to the ground.

Plant the cuttings in mounds or ridges. Plant when the soil is quite wet, after the beginning of the rainy season. Plant the cuttings either straight or slanting. Push them well into the earth, leaving only 2 or 3 buds above ground.


Cassava cuttings may be planted straight or slating

Press the earth well down round the cuttings. Then the roots that develop will be well nourished by the soil.

Usually the rows are 1 to 1.5 metres apart, and the plants 1 metre apart.

With this spacing, there are between 7 000 and 10 000 cassava plants to the hectare.

But the number of cuttings to the hectare varies with the region, soil and variety.

If cassava is planted at the right density, the yield is heavy; the roots occupy all the soil and fewer weeds grow, so that fewer cultivations are needed.

Looking after the plantation

CONTROL OF WEEDS

Weed when the cassava plants are 20 to 25 centimetres high, that is, 3 or 4 weeks after planting.

Weed a second time 1 or 2 months after the first. Earth up the plants at the same time; this greatly helps the formation or tubers, and prevents the wind from blowing the plants down.

After this, the cassava plants are big enough to prevent weeds from growing.

When rain spoils the mounds, they must be remade.

When the soil of the mounds gets too hard, break it up with a hoe, so that water and air can get in to nourish the roots.

CONTROL OF DISEASES

- Mosaic

Cassava is often attacked by what is called mosaic disease.

Leaves of plants attacked by mosaic look as though crumpled, and show light spots. If the attack is serious, yields are sharply reduced.

Means of controlling mosaic disease are not yet known. To avoid it, do not take cuttings from plants attacked by the disease.

Choose varieties of cassava that have been bred for resistance to the disease.

To prevent mosaic spreading in a region, burn all the plants attacked by the disease.

- Rot

Rot damages the roots, especially after 10 months of leafy growth.

Rot often occurs when the cassava field has been flooded for several days. The tubers turn soft and give off an unpleasant smell; they are no longer any good for human or animal food. This means a big loss to the farmer.

To avoid rot, do not plant cassava in a place that is often flooded.

If a cassava field is flooded after heavy rain when the tubers are already ripe, you must get the cassava out of the ground very quickly, before it starts to rot.

CONTROL OF PESTS

- Rodents

Agoutis, rats and rabbits are the chief rodents that may cause great damage in a field of cassava. These animals eat the stems, the young shoots, and especially the roots.

- Wild boars, pigs and other animals

Other animals such as the wild boar and the pig are equally damaging to cassava.

They are very fond of it, and with their powerful snouts they push over the plants and dig up large quantities of roots.

Control all these animals by putting poison in the fields, by laying traps, or by digging deep ditches round the cassava plantations.

- Insects

- In very dry regions, when cassava is planted a long time before the rains, termites eat the cuttings.

To avoid this damage, wait for the rainy season before planting,

Or you can dip the cuttings in insecticide just before planting them.

- Thrips and certain other insects feed on sap by piercing the stems and leaves of cassava. Other insects eat the leaves and the young shoots. When they come in large numbers they may cause great damage. They are controlled with insecticides such as BHC.

- Red spiders are tiny red creatures no longer than 0.5 millimetre.

Large numbers of them live on the lower surface of cassava leaves. The same red spiders attack castor oil, cotton and rubber plants. They feed on the sap of the plant by piercing the leaves. The leaves attacked get brown spots on the underside. The plants attacked do not grow well, and do not yield much cassava.

To control red spiders, the plants may be sprayed with soapy water and nicotine, with rotenone, white oil, etc.

When diseases, animals and insects cause serious damage, you should quickly inform me agricultural extension officer. He will tell you what to do to control diseases effectively or to get rid of pests.

How to harvest and store cassava

HARVESTING

Depending on the variety, harvesting of cassava for food may begin from the seventh month after planting the cuttings for early varieties, or after the tenth month for late varieties.

Before this, the tubers are too small. In addition, they still contain too much prussic acid.

At harvesting time, that is, between the sixth and the twelfth month, each fully grown tuber of cassava may weigh 1 or 2 kilogrammes, depending on the variety.

In small family plantations you can harvest me tubers as you need them. Without cutting the stems, begin by taking the biggest tubers from each plant, leaving the smaller ones time to fatten up.

If you are selling to a factory, you must harvest all the cassava at the same time. The production of roots and starch is highest 18 to 20 months after planting.

STORING

Once lifted, cassava cannot be kept for long. The roots begin to spoil as soon as they are out of the ground.

That is why on a family plantation, you should not harvest more roots than you can eat while they are fresh, or sell immediately.

Cassava keeps longer when it is left in the ground, but the soil must not be too wet.


A cassava root



When you lift the cassava, take good care not to break it. Tubers damaged in lifting go bad even more quickly.

The use of cassava in food

Many peoples of tropical Africa make cassava their staple food.

Cassava tubers can be eaten whole.

But as a rule they are turned into flour or paste.

The reasons for this are:

- to get rid of the poison;

- to keep the cassava for a long time;

- to get foods with a more pleasant taste.

Fresh cassava and cassava paste

For eating fresh, the sweet varieties are chosen for preference. The poison in cassava is mainly in the peel. Wash the cassava carefully, cut the roots into pieces and steam them.

To make a paste, pound pieces of tuber in a mortar. The pastes are known as foutou, foufou, foufouin or tchokoro.

Dried casava and cassava flour

The fresh roots are peeled, sliced into rounds, and dried in the sun.

Sometimes, instead of being sliced, cassava is grated and then pressed into little balls which are dried.

The balls and the slices can be kept for a long time.

To make flour, the slices or balls are pounded in a mortar, or ground in a mill.

This flour contains all the food elements of cassava. Do not confuse flour with starch.

Cooked cassava flours

Gari and atcheke are much liked in Africa.

To make gari, peel and grate fresh cassava. Then press it in baskets or sacks for three or four days, until it begins to ferment. After rubbing it through a sieve, heat it, dry, in a pot, stirring all the time to prevent sticking. Afterwards, remove impurities with a sieve.

To make atcheke, cassava is prepared as for gari. But the flour is steamed instead of being cooked dry in a pot.

Starch and tapioca

- Starch

After peeling, washing and grating the cassava, the pulp is mixed with water. Then the resulting liquid is strained through a cloth. This is done several times.

The water that passes through the cloth contains the starch. The liquid is allowed to stand for several hours. The water at the top is removed and the starch is left at the bottom of the vessel.

- Tapioca

The damp starch is used to make tapioca. As in making gari, the starch is heated in pots and stirred all the time.

After cooking, it is allowed to get cold, and then the tapioca is sieved to separate the lumps of different sizes.

Cassava leaves

In some places cassava leaves are much liked.

In southern Cameroon cassava leaves are often eaten as a vegetable. They are in fact rich in vitamin C and mineral salts, and contain some protein.

 

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 04:01:22 PM
Yam is the name given to many plants with tubers belonging to the family of Dioscoreaceae. Yams, or Dioscorea, are herbaceous plants. Their stem consists of two parts: an aerial stem which climbs bv winding round a stake and lasts only a year; and an underground stem that can live a long time.

The underground stem thickens to produce one or more tubers called yams


Cross section of a yam

The tubers contain reserves to feed the plant and enable it to produce fruits and seeds.

But the tubers are lifted before the plant makes seeds.

When they are ripe, the tubers are brown in colour on the outside, but the flesh is white, yellow or red. Their weight varies between 2 and 5 kilogrammes.

In rich, well- worked, deep soil and on mounds, yams can reach weights of 15 to 20 kilogrammes and more.

The aerial stem may be smooth, may bear thorns, or may be covered with little hairs.

Depending on the variety, the aerial stem of a yam may be round in section, or square.

The leaves are alternate or opposite, smooth or hairy. They are usually heart- shaped. In certain species small tubers called bulbils are found in the axils of the leaves


Piece of yam stem

The flowers, white, green or red, are arranged in clusters or in spikes; the male flowers are separate from the female flowers. Some varieties of yam bear male and female flowers at the same time; others bear only male or only female flowers.

The fruits are divided in three parts and each part contains two seeds.

There are many varieties of yam

To recognize them we look at:

- the section and appearance of the aerial stem;
- the direction in which it winds round the stake;
- the shape of the leaves and their position on the stem;
- the colour, shape and taste of the tubers;
- the presence or absence of bulbils.


Yam stem winding round a stake

Yams may be classified in six groups:

- Dioscorea alata

The stems wind in a counterclockwise direction. They are smooth and thornless. They are four- sided. The leaves are simple and opposite. The aerial stems and the leaf- stalks are winged.

Each plant of Dioscorea alaa often produces only one tuber, more rarely two tubers. The tubers are covered with rootless.

This variety is quite robust, and gives a big yield. The tubers stand transport well and keep well.

This is a late or medium early variety of yam. The growing period is 8 or 9 months.


Leaf and tuber of Dioscorea alata

This variety is generally called the water yam.

Other names are:

Ivory Coast: bt- bt and nza
Guinea: gbra- gu (Malink) or khabi- gbouel; (Soussou)
Benin: sakarou (Bariba)
Mali and Senegal: anda- ba (Bambara)

- Dioscorea cayenensis (Guinea yam)

There are great differences among the varieties of Dioscorea cayenensis.

Some are early varieties harvested only once; they are usually planted when the rainy season has already begun. In west Africa these varieties are harvested between November and January. In Ivory Coast they are called lokpa.

Other varieties, late or medium early, are harvested twice. These yams are planted early, often before the rainy season has begun.

The first harvest is about 6 months after planting (August- September). The mature tuber or tubers are removed carefully, and the roots left undisturbed.

The second harvest is taken 4 to 6 months later ( December- January ). Only the tubers from this last harvest are used for planting.

The medium early varieties are: gnan and klingl or krengl, which grow in 6 to 7 months.

The late varieties are: sepelo and kangba, which cannot be harvested before 8 or 9 months.

The stems of Dioscorea cayenensis wind in a counterclockwise direction. They are round and often have thorns.

As a rule, each plant produces one yellow fleshed tuber, the shape of which is very varied.

- Dioscorea dumetorum

The stems wind in a clockwise direction. They are oval and are generally covered with hairs. The leaves are alternate; they have three leaflets.

This variety is well suited to conditions in savanna country; it withstands drought well and even sometimes comes through brush fires without much harm.

Each plant of Dioscorea dumetorum may have several tubers. The tubers have no rootless, but are smooth except for wrinkles running across them.

- Dioscorea trifida (cush- cush yam)

This yam is still little known in Africa.

The stems wind in a clockwise direction. They are four- sided.

The leaves are alternate and deeply divided into three to six lobes.

Each plant produces several small, elongated tubers.

- Dioscorea esculenta

The stems wind in a clockwise direction and have thorns.

The leaves are alternate and are entire, or deeply divided into several lobes.

This is a late variety that grows in 9 to 10 months.

Each plant produces a large number of small tubers between 30 and 40. It is popularly called the white man’s yam. Names for it are:

Ivory Coast:
brofi mbou (Abb)
bofou shi (Attic)
brofou douo (Baoul)

Togo and Benin:
anago- t (Ew- Mine)

- Dioscorea bulbifera

This variety of yam grows in 9 months. It is chiefly grown in western Cameroon. Names for it are:

Guinea:
anda (Malink)
dan or dana (Soussou)

Mali:
danda (Bambara)

Togo:
nbaniok (Kabrai)

The stems wind in a clockwise direction and are thornless.

The leaves of Dioscorea bulbifera are alternate, large and hairless.


Leaf and aerial tuber of Dioscorea bulbifera

Little aerial tubers, called bulbils, are to be seen in the axils of the leaves.

These bulbils develop by the transformation of buds.

They may be as much as 10 centimetres long. They have white, firm flesh and are good to eat when cooked.

These bulbils store food reserves, just like underground tubers. The underground tubers are smaller.

Where are yams grown?

- Climate

To grow well, yams need a warm, humid climate, with abundant, prolonged rain.

Yams cannot be grown in very dry regions, or where the sunlight is too strong. Yams need shade during the early stages of growth.

This is why in Africa, yams are grown in regions between the dense forest and the dry, treeless savanna.

- Soil

Yams grow well in rich, deep, permeable soil that is not too sandy.

The tubers do not grow well in heavy soils.

Swampy land that is flooded for several days during the rainy reason is not suitable for growing yams.

How to grow yams

The place of yams in a crop rotation

It is best to plant yams at the beginning of the rotation, as a first- year crop after clearing the land.

If yams are grown after a long fallow, they find plenty of mineral salts in the soil, and yield many good tubers.

How to prepare the soil for yams

Before planting yams, the soil must be well prepared.

- Clear the land before the rainy season. Cut down the trees, cut the branches. Stack the trees and branches and burn them.

Do not cut all the trees. Leave some of the little ones. They can be used as supports for the aerial stems of the yams. These natural supports will later be supplemented by stakes.

- Till the land to a depth of 20 to 40 centimetres.

- At this time add organic manures, well- rotted farmyard manure, compost or green manure, at 10 to 40 tons a hectare.

Inorganic fertilizers may be used to get a greater yield.

The amounts vary according to the country, region, or even the soils in the same field.

Research stations like IRAT’ make a special study of food crops, and advise farmers.
In Liberia, it is known that the application of potassium (K) fertilizers is valuable in increasing yields.

In Nigeria and Ghana, the agricultural service advises that yams should be given the following fertilizers:

250 kg/ha ammonium sulphate;

65 kg/ha single superphosphate;

215 kg/ha potassium chloride.

The farmer who wants to make progress should all the time ask for advice from the agricultural service.

- In many African countries, yams are planted in mounds 30 to 40 centimetres high and 1 or 2 metres apart. These mounds are made at the beginning of the rainy season. The soil which has thus been well loosened holds plenty of water.

Sometimes the mounds are only made 2 or 3 months after planting. This earthing up encourages the development of tubers but takes a lot of work from the farmer.

If the soil is fairly deep and is deeply tilled, it is not always necessary to make mounds. In that case, more tubers can be planted and the density is greater.

Yams are planted at the beginning of the rainy season. Plant them 5 to 10 centimetres deep 1 metre apart in all directions or 90 centimetres by 1 metre. This gives the tubers plenty of room to fatten up, and the plant makes use of all the rainy season water.

How to propagate yams

Many kinds of yam bear flowers which fruit and produce seeds. So it is possible to obtain new yam plants by sowing these seeds.

But this way of propagating is no use to the farmer. The new plants grown from seed are not always like the parent plants. Often the yield is less, the tubers are much too small and of bad quality and contain a poison called dioscorine.

For all these reasons, it is better to propagate by cuttings. But here care is needed Take cuttings from ripe tubers, and not from the aerial stems, as is done with cassava. These root cuttings make plants which are like the parent plant, and give good yields.

For the cuttings use pieces of tuber or small whole tubers. To get regular sprouting and good yields, the cuttings “whether whole tubers or pieces) should weigh between 250 and 400 grammes.

The amount of yams planted represents a considerable part (about a quarter) of the harvest. That much of the harvest must be set aside and well stored for use in planting later.

Plant only fully ripe tubers. It is best to use the part of the tuber nearest the crown. This top of the tuber contains many growth buds and shoots more quickly than the rest of the tuber. For this reason, tops of tubers must all be planted in the same field.

The remaining yam tubers are planted in another field. They sprout less quickly.

With the Dioscorea bulbifera variety of yams, the bulbils can be planted in the same way as tubers. Wait until they are quite ripe, when they are easily removed from the stem.

Do not plant tubers or bulbils that are damaged, rotten or diseased.


Small yam tuber used for planting

How to plant yams

The bulbils, pieces of tuber or small tubers are planted in the top of the mound at a depth of 5 to 10 centimetres, and covered with soil. When there is too much sun or the light is too strong, cover the mound with grass, so that the sun will not dry out the young plant and the rain will not wash away the soil and the tubers

- In savanna country where there is a long dry period, stakes are not used.

The aerial stems trail on the ground. By covering it, they prevent weeds growing, and protect it against dryness.


A yam mound

Looking after the plantation

CONTROL OF WEEDS

For a good harvest, hoeing must be done two or three times during the early stages of growth.

When this cultivation is being done, the mounds are remade at the same time.

Later, the abundant vegetation of the yams prevents the growth of weeds.

It is then not necessary to hoe.

CONTROL OF DISEASES AND PESTS

Yams have few diseases.

However, rodents, some insects and fungi cause damage.

Damaged tubers rot quickly and cannot be kept for long.

Harvesting and storing yams

HARVESTING

Depending on the variety, yams are harvested 6 to 12 months after planting. Lift the tubers when the leaves and stems turn yellow and dry.

Do not leave the ripe tubers too long in the ground, otherwise they become bitter and may rot.

With some varieties, only one crop is harvested. Others are harvested twice.

At the first harvest, after 6 months, the biggest tubers are lifted.

The second harvest is taken 3 to 6 months after the first.

Or the crop may be harvested as and when needed.

STORING

Early varieties, such as lokpa, do not store well. These yams should be eaten immediately after lifting.

Late varieties, such as Dioscorea alata, may be stored for 5 or 6 months.

But they must be kept dry and protected from rats and other rodents.
They should be under a roof, on dry ground or on boards supported on posts.
To prevent rot, the tubers should not be heaped up too much.

The use of yams in food

Yams are the staple food of many peoples of Africa.

Yams are eaten fresh, or are treated and preserved.

Most varieties of yams, especially the wild species that are not cultivated, contain a poison (dioscorine). But this poison is removed by washing the yams several times in salt water and by cooking them well.

This is why yams must never be eaten raw, but only when they are thoroughly cooked.

Fresh and mashed yams

When yams are eaten fresh, either boiled or fried, peel them first, cut the tubers into pieces and wash them carefully. The boiled yams are pounded to make mashed yams.

Dried yams and yam flour

The fresh tubers are peeled, sliced, and dried in the sun.

Sometimes yams are steamed before being dried in the sun. And sometimes after a meal, the remains of foutou (mashed fresh yams) are carefully gathered up and made into little balls which are then dried in the sun.

Like cassava, the slices or yam and the balls of foutou can be kept for a long time once they have been well dried.

To make flour, the slices or the little balls are pounded in a mortar, or ground in a mill. The flour thus produced is used to make a dough.

 



Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 04:05:44 PM
Description of the plant

The sweet potato is a climbing herbaceous plant. It may live for several years, but often it is harvested after 3 months, without waiting for it to flower.

The stems may grow to 2 or 3 metres in length; they are thin and climbing or creeping. They have nodes at varying distances apart. It is thought that the varieties with short inter- nodes yield more heavily than those with long inter- nodes.

The leaves vary greatly in size and shape. Depending on the variety, they may be entire, heart- shaped or deeply divided with three, five or seven lobes. The leaf veins and the leaf- stalks are green or red.

The flowers, usually violet, sometimes white, are clustered in the leaf axils. Many varieties of sweet potato in cultivation do not have time to produce flowers and fruits before the harvest.

The most important part of the plant is the roots, because they can develop into tubers.

The tubers are parts of the creeping roots that have built up food reserves.

These tubers are produced at points where the roots cease to spread out near the surface and turn downward into the soil. By making mounds that are not too wide, the formation of tubers is helped.


Leaves and tubers of sweet potato

Varieties of sweet potato

Varieties of sweet potato differ greatly in the number, shape and size of their tubers and in the color of the peel and flesh of the tubers.

Sweet potatoes may be round or elongated. In colour they are white, yellow, red or violet, with soft or firm flesh. They may weigh between 0.3 and 3 kilogrammes.

Where are sweet potatoes grown?

- Climate

Sweet potatoes grow well in warm, sunny and humid regions. At the same time, they withstand drought very well. For that reason, they are suited to dry savanna country.

Sweet potatoes need regular rain to grow, especially when the leaves are coming into growth. But if there is too much rain at harvesting time, the tubers rot.

- Soil

The sweet potato will grow in poor soils. The most suitable soil is a light, well- drained, sandy loam. If the soil is too rich in organic matter and nitrogen, the plant produces a great deal of useless stem and leaves, and only after a long time produces a very few tubers.

How to grow sweet potatoes

As a rule, sweet potatoes are grown on ridges or mounds after deep tilling.

This way is better than growing them on the flat.

The mounds and ridges protect them from too much moisture. The ridges are made about 75 centimetres apart.

But it is still better to plant sweet potatoes on round mounds 30 to 40 centimetres high and 1 metre apart. The mounds should be made as narrow as possible.

This forces the plant to bend its roots downward quickly. In bending, the roots build up food reserves and develop tubers.

The farmer must know his varieties well. He must know how long they take to form tubers, and see to it that the harvest will be in the dry season.

It is better to plant several times, at intervals, so that the whole plantation does not become ready for harvest at the same time. By doing this, you can lift the sweet potatoes as and when you need them.

Propagation of sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are propagated from cuttings or from tubers.

- Propagation from cuttings

Propagation from cuttings is possible only when the sweet potatoes remain in the field all through the year. The cuttings should be 20 to 40 centimetres long, with three to five growth buds. It is best to take them from the tips of young stems. Take the cuttings only when you are ready to plant them, and keep them in the shade until they are inserted in the soil. Propagation from cuttings is the most economic way of increasing your plants.

Plant cuttings at a slant, leaving 3 or 4 centimetres above ground, and press the soil down firmly. If you plant them on mounds, you can put four or five cuttings in a circle on each mound. This will give you a planting density of between 15 000 and 30 000 plants to the hectare.

- Propagation from tubers
If you do not have any plants of sweet potatoes with enough leafy growth to provide cuttings, you can propagate from tubers.

In this case, the tubers must be made to sprout in a cool nursery bed. If the tubers are large, cut them into several pieces. After about a month, remove from the tubers the young shoots that are 15 to 20 centimetres long and plant them.

This method of propagation from tubers is usually done only on a part, say one third, of the area on which sweet potatoes are to be grown. Later, cuttings from the plants thus obtained can be used to enlarge the plantation.

Looking after the plantation

CONTROL OF WEEDS

One or two cultivations in the early stages of growth are enough. In 4 to 6 weeks after planting, the plant’s own leafy growth will closely cover the soil.

When cultivating, remake the mounds at the same time.

CONTROL OF DISEASES AND PESTS

Sweet potatoes attacked by diseases and insects yield only a small harvest of poor quality.

You must wait 3 to 5 years before growing sweet potatoes again on the same field.

- Rot and fungi

Diseases that kill the growing plants are caused chiefly by various fungi. Some fungi make the leaves turn yellow and wither. Other fungi make the stems or tubers rot. Signs of the disease are yellow leaves and black marks inside the stems and tubers.

Other fungi cause the young plant to rot. It stops growing. The roots and the tubers already formed turn black. It is not long before the whole plant withers and dies.

To control most forms of rot, you must choose resistant varieties. Do not use for propagation cuttings or tubers taken from plantations attacked by rot.

Do not grow sweet potatoes on the same soil 2 years in succession.

- Insect pests

Sweet potatoes may be attacked by certain insects, especially by weevils.

The adult insects eat the leaves, stems and tubers. The female insects lay their eggs in the stems or roots; the larvae tunnel into the tubers. Serious damage is caused by weevils.

To control the weevils, use insecticides. Before planting tubers and cuttings, dip them in a solution of Dieldrin.

In places where harvested sweet potatoes are stored, they can be fumigated with phostoxin in tablets.

Yields of sweet potatoes and storing

YIELDS

Depending on the varieties of sweet potato and on the way they are grown, yields vary from 4 to 7 tons per hectare on average. On a modern and well- cared- for plantation, yields may be much higher, and may even be more than 20 tons per hectare.

STORING

The length of time for which sweet potatoes can be kept differs with the varieties and the harvesting season. If they are harvested in dry weather, the tubers may be stored for 2 or 3 months.

But part of the harvest may be destroyed by rot during storage. Damaged tubers are most quickly attacked. Damp conditions encourage rot.

To prevent rot, dry the tubers in the sun for a time after harvesting.

For good keeping, the tubers of sweet potatoes should be harvested when they are quite ripe, when the stems and leaves have turned yellow. Take care not to damage the tubers. Remove all diseased and damaged tubers. Dry the tubers in the sun. Store them under cover in a dark, dry, cool, well- aired place. Put them on dry ground or on boards supported on posts, and do not heap them up too much.

Sweet potatoes in human food

Sweet potatoes are of great value as an energy food.

The sweet potato, especially the coloured varieties, contains vitamins. The yellow ones are the richest in vitamins.

The tubers contain much starch, and this can be extracted from the tubers in factories.

The sweet potato can also be used for making alcohol. The leaves of the plant are used for food, both for people and animals.

 

Tania and taro (gabi)

 



Tania and taro are alike. They belong to the same family, the Araceae.

But tania and taro are two different plants.

- Tania goes by the scientific name of Xanthosoma. It is grown chiefly in Cameroon.

- Taro (or cocoyam) goes by the scientific name of Colocasia. It is grown all over Africa.

Description of the plant

Tania and taro are distinguished by the shape and arrangement of the leaves.

Tania or Xanthosoma

Some varieties of tania have an aerial stem. It may reach 1 metre in length in the adult plant.

The leaf blade of tania is divided by a notch which makes the leaf arrow- shaped.

The leaf-stalk is attached to the edge of the leaf at the middle of the notch.

The leaf is bigger than the taro leaf; it is more sheath- like, thicker, stiffer and more shiny. It is permeated with a sort of wax.


Tania (Xanthosoma) plant


Tania leaf

The leaf-stalks are long, stiff and thick. They are flattened at the part attached to the leaf. The leaf-stalk of tania is a direct continuation of the midrib.

As a rule, the underground stems and tubers are well developed. They weigh between 1 and 5 kilogrammes and are rich in starch.

Taro or cocoyam (Colocasia)

Taro never has an aerial stem as is the case with some varieties of tania.

Taro leaves are a lighter green and less shiny than those of tania. They are smaller. The leaf blade is thin and flexible. The leaf-stalk is thin, flexible and has no sheath.

The leaf-stalk is not a continuation of the midrib, as with tania


Taro (Colocasia) leaf


Taro bulber

The taro leaf- stalk is not attached to the edge of the leaf, but near the centre of the leaf blade.

The underground stem varies a lot. It may be round or flat, branching or not branching.

As with tania, the underground stems of taro often produce secondary tubers, but they are smaller. Unlike what happens with tania, it is chiefly the bigger, central tuber that is used for food. It remains tender when ripe, at harvest time.

There are many varieties of taro, as there are of tania.

The tubers may be large or small, with flesh that is yellow, red or white, hard or soft, that becomes floury after cooking, or doughy.

Where are tania and taro grown?

- Climate

Tania and taro require- a warm, humid climate.

But tania suffers more from drought than tarot If you live in a region with not much rain, it is better to grow taro than tania.

- Soil

Tania and taro need well- loosened soil that is very cool and rich in humus.

Some varieties can even be planted in land that is often flooded.

How to grow tania and taro

In general, the same methods are used for both plants.

Propagating

Tania and taro are usually propagated from small tubers or pieces of tuber.

Sometimes the suckers, or new shoots that appear some distance from the parent plant, are used.

With tania, pieces of the aerial stem can sometimes be used, or the main tuber if it has become too hard to eat.

The tubers, pieces of tuber or of aerial stem are cut into pieces 10 to 15 centimetres long; the leaf- stalks are cut at about 10 centimetres from the junction with the leaf.

Planting

Tania and taro may be planted by themselves. Or they may be planted with other crops in the same field.

For example, they can be grown in the shade of a plantation of plantains. They can also be grown under the dense foliage of big forest trees.

Because tania and taro have large leaves, they may be used as a cover crop when starting a new cocoa plantation.

Planting is done at the beginning of the rainy season in rather shallow holes.

When grown alone, the distance between the holes may be 60 centimetres in all directions, or else 60 centimetres by 80 centimetres.

When grown with other crops, for example, when tania and taro are used to shade young cocoa trees, the distance between the holes varies between 50 centimetres and 1 metre.

Looking after the plantation

Tania and taro require very little care. One or two cultivations in the early stages of growth are all that is necessary before the harvest. Often the plants are lightly earthed up when these cultivations are carried out.

Harvesting

Depending on variety, tania and taro are between 6 and 14 months in the field.

The tubers are ripe and ready for harvest when the leaves turn yellow and the plant begins to wither.

The fully ripe tubers should be harvested in dry weather. If you harvest during the dry season, the tubers may be left in the earth for some time and will not spoil.

When the field is wet, the ripe tubers must be harvested quickly. They may sprout and will then be no good for human food.

Each tania or taro plant may yield several harvests during one crop period.

As a rule, the harvests should be organized as follows:

- For tania

The first harvest begins about 3 months after planting. Three months after this first harvest, you can take three or four additional harvests from each plant. After each of these additional harvests, wait 2 or 3 weeks before taking tubers again from the same plant.

- For taro

The first harvest begins 6 to 8 months after planting. After that, harvest again two or three times from the same plant at intervals of 2 or 3 weeks.

When harvesting dig out the soil right up to the plant, take the biggest tubers and detach them from the parent plant. Then fill in the hole. Let the young tubers develop before harvesting again.

Storing the tubers

The harvested tubers are cleaned and can be sold fresh.

But tania and taro tubers may be kept for some time, and eaten as and when needed.

To keep the tubers for some months after harvesting, you must prevent them from rotting.

To do that, put the tubers on dry ground, or on boards supported on posts, in a well- aired, dry, cool place, sheltered from the sun and rain.

Tania and taro in human food

The leaves of tania and taro are used in human food as vegetables.

They may also be given to animals as fodder.

With tania, the main underground stem is too hard to be eaten. Only the tubers are used for food.

With taro, the underground stems often bear tubers. The central tuber, which is the biggest and yet soft, is the one chiefly used for food.

 

Sources:
Better Farming Series 16 - Roots and Tubers (FAO - INADES, 1977, 58 p.)
Wikipedia.org

 


 

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 04:09:49 PM
How to improve upland rice cultivation

8. Farmers can use new implements

With animals and 8 plough the soil can be prepared better and more quickly. It is also possible to cultivate larger fields.

On a well- prepared soil the seed can be sown in rows. This makes it easier to remove weeds.

By preparing the soil, sowing in rows and weeding, yields can be greatly increased, even doubled.

9. They can apply manure and fertilizers.

Once farmers have used new tools they get a bigger harvest and more money. With the money they earn, the farmers can buy fertilizers.

If the plants are given manure or fertilizer, they will be well nourished. The harvest will be bigger, and the soil keeps its fertility. The same fields can grow crops for a longer time.

Once the farmers use new tools and also apply manure and fertilizers, they are growing upland rice by very modern methods.

10. They can protect the rice against pests.

It is difficult to keep off the rats and the birds. You can have a watchman near the field. Noise can frighten the birds away. Rice fields must be watched especially at the time when the grain begins to ripen.

There are also certain insects that damage rice, for example, rice borers, which lay their eggs on the leaves. When they grow, they eat through the stem. When the stems go white, apply BHC (benzene hexachloride) and Aldrin, a product which can kill these insects. Ask your extension service for this product.

Using new implements

11. A plough, a harrow and a hoe drawn by animals help you work better and more quickly.

You can cultivate larger fields.

This will give you a more plentiful harvest.

Every year, you will earn a little more money. That way, you can pay for new implements and keep on making new progress.

As these implements are drawn by animals, you use the strength of the animals.

In studying animal husbandry, we have already seen how to use animals.

If you wish to use animal power, read Booklets 8, 9, 11 and 14 of this series.

Now we shall study how to plough, sow and cultivate. With good ploughing, good sowing, and several cultivations, you will get much more plentiful harvests.

12. With a plough and a harrow the soil is better prepared.

The plough loosens the soil and tills it more deeply. The roots of the rice develop better, the rice gets more nourishment.

The soil is prepared more quickly.

You will be able to sow at the right time. It is very important to sow at the right time.

You will also be able to sow larger fields.

If you sow larger fields at the right time, your rice production will be much larger.

13. A hoe helps to remove weeds more quickly.

Whenever weeds have grown, you can remove them more quickly.

Then the weeds do not take water and mineral salts out of the soil.

The rice can use all the nourishment from the soil.

But in order to cultivate with a hoe, you must sow in rows.

The use of plough and hoe greatly increases the yield.

Preparing the soil

Most often, rice is sown on a field that has already been cultivated perhaps after a crop of yams, or groundnuts, or cotton.

The work of clearing the field has already been done before growing yams, or groundnuts or cotton.

14. Tillage.

Before sowing, you must prepare the soil; that is, you must till it.

If you till 15 to 20 centimetres deep, this will stir the earth very well. Do this work with the plough or the hoe.

Tilling loosens the soil; it gets air and water well into the soil.

Tilling enables you to mix the herbage with the soil. When the herbage rots, it makes humus.

On flat land, if a soil has been well loosened by tilling, the water penetrates well and stays for a long time. Therefore, till at the beginning of the rainy season, so that the soil holds the water. This first tilling is very important; do it just as soon as you can move the soil.

Slopes should not be tilled where there is a danger of rain carrying the soil away.

Tilling, or turning the soil over, can be done with the hoe, the spade or the digging fork. But this is slow and tiring work.

Nowadays, people use a plough drawn by donkeys or oxen.
This way the work is done better and more quickly.

15. The plough.

Most often, people use a simple plough. The plough consists of a ploughshare, a mouldboard and two handles


Handles for holding the plough

16. How to plough.

Make a first furrow with the plough across the whole length of the field.

At the end of the field, turn. Make a second furrow alongside the first.

The second strip of ploughed field joins the first.

After that, keep turning around the double strip of ploughed field.

This is called conventional ploughingthe field is divided into ploughed lance separated by a furrow.


Conventional ploughing

17. Now the field is well ploughed. But ploughing often does not leave the soil flat. There are clods of earth

These clods of earth are broken up with a harrow. If you do not have a harrow, you can let an animal draw big branches of trees over the field. The branches crush the clods.


The branches crush the clods

Sowing

18. Choosing the seeds.

If you have already grown a rice crop, choose the best seeds from your own harvest. Remove broken rice grains, misshapen grains, and grains attacked by insects.

It is best to use selected seeds.

If you have worked hard to prepare your field very well, you will get a better harvest if your seeds are well chosen.

The extension services and research centres have selected rice varieties best suited to the climate of each region, disease- resisting varieties which provide high yields.

Once you have chosen good seeds, use the finest seeds of your own harvest for sowing in the following years.

19. Disinfecting the seeds.

The disinfectant is available from the extension services. Mix the seeds and the disinfectant very well, so that the disinfectant covers all the seeds.

For example, you might mix 200 grammes of a disinfectant such as Crgan with 100 kilogrammes of rice seed.

20. Disinfectant is poisonous

Be very careful in using it:

- Wash your hands well after touching the disinfectant.

- Never give disinfected seeds to animals.

- Never leave the disinfectant where children can get at it.

Disinfected seeds are not eaten by insects. Disinfected seeds do not rot easily. All the seeds will grow, there will be very few plants missing.

Disinfection makes for good density, and so the yield is better.


Device for disinfecting seeds

21. Sowing in rows.

Farmers have the habit of broadcasting their seed.

If the seed is broadcast, it is very difficult later to remove the weeds.

If the seed is sown in rows, it is easier to remove weeds.

The animal that draws the hoe can walk between the rows.

On flat soil, you can trace your rows with a marker. Leave 40 centimetres between rows. The spikes of the marker make a little furrow.

In this furrow, put your rice seeds.

Leave 1 to 2 centimetres between seeds. Cover the seeds with a little earth.

You will need between 30 and 50 kilogrammes of seed for 1 hectare.

22. On net soil you can use a seed- planting machine, called a seed drill.

In several countries people are beginning to use these seed drills, which are drawn by a donkey or by oxen. The seed drill makes a furrow and places the seeds in the soil at the same distance from each other and all at the same depth.

With some seed drills the fertilizer can be applied at the same time.


Use a seed- planting machine


Seed drill

23. If the field is on a slope, make the seed rows along the contour lines and leave barrier strips between the different levels of soil.

This helps to reduce erosion.

Fast- flowing water carries away some soil.

It is dirty water mixed with soil.

When you slow up the water, the soil in the water drops to the ground.

The water becomes cleaner and the soil is not lost.

What is a contour line? Look at these two drawings.


Liass in the direction of the slope

These lines follow the direction of the slope. Water flows very fast and carries away the soil.


Lines across the slope

These lines cut across the slope along the contour lines. Water and soil are held back.

A contour line is a line across the slope running always at the same height.

24. What is a barrier strip?

A barrier strip is an uncultivated strip of land. Grass grows on this strip and holds back the water so that the soil drops to the ground. The barrier strips must also follow the contour lines. A barrier strip should be about 2 metres wide.

To hold back the water better, you can plant tall grasses.

If the slope is very gentle, you can leave 30 to 40 metres between barrier strips.

If the slope is steeper, leave only 10 to 20 metres between barrier strips.

Do not grow rice if the slope is very steep.


Do not grow rice if the slope is very steep

Cultivating

Cultivate 15 to 20 days after sowing, and again whenever fresh weeds have grown.


Cultivating

25. Why cultivations are needed.

Cultivating means removing weeds by hoeing.

Weeds prevent the rice from growing well:

- they take water out of the soil

- they take mineral salts out of the soil.

When you cultivate well the buds at the bottom of the main stem can develop and make new stems. This is called tillering.

For every grain you sow, you will get several stems and every stem makes a head or panicle of rice.

26. How to cultivate.

You can cultivate either with a hand hoe or with an animal- drawn cultivator. With an animal- drawn cultivator, the work is done more quickly and you can cultivate more often.


Cultivator

Whenever you see that weeds have grown, you must remove them.

Pull out the weeds that have grown between the rows. If any weeds grow in the rows, pull them out by hand. Remove the side teeth of the cultivator so that you can pass with it between the rows.

Rice sown on a well- prepared field, at the right time and In rows, and protected by frequent cultivations, will give a good harvest.

Using fertilizers

27. You are now ready for further progress.

If you use new tools and also apply fertilizers, you will be growing upland rice by very modern methods. You have seen how you can make good use of animal- drawn tools.

You can get a good harvest if you:

- till your field well

- sow well

- weed well

- cultivate a larger field,

You will find that you earn more money.

With the money earned from your crop, you can buy fertilizers

We shall now study how to use fertilizers so that you can earn a lot more money. If you use fertilizers, you keep the soil fertile or even make it more fertile.

Once you do that, you change from shifting cultivation to continuous cultivation.

Why apply manure or chemical fertilizers?

28. To get a good harvest

It you apply manure or chemical fertilizers to your rice field, the rice will tiller vigorously (see paragraph 25) and bear many grains: The yield will be good.

29. To keep the soil rich

Chemical fertilizers give back to the soil the mineral salts which the plants take out. Manure gives the soil organic matter. It makes humus and improves the soil structure.


To keep the soil rich

30. Chemical fertilizers and manure cost a lot of money.

They will not pay

- if you grow your crop on too steep a elope the mineral salts of the manure and fertilizers are washed away by water together with the soil.

- if you do not till the soil well because in badly prepared soil the roots cannot develop well.

- if you do not sow selected varieties because unimproved varieties use the manure and fertilizers less well.

- if you do not sow your seeds in rows and at the right time because plants sown too late will not yield so well.

- if you do not cultivate about 3 weeks after sowing and whenever new weeds grow because with fertilizers, the weeds grow better. If you do not remove them often, they may take a large part of the nourishment from the rice.

- if you do not rotate your crops correctly

After 8 rice crop, the soil will still have some of the mineral salts added by the manure and the chemical fertilizers. You must make the right choice of the crop you will grow on the same field after the rice. If possible, choose one that will use the mineral salts still in the soil.

The money earned from a good crop will easily pay for the fertilizers you need.

What fertilizers to use

31. Fertilizers are different.

- according to the crop rotation:

Plants do not all take the same quantity of each mineral salt out of the soil. Before sowing rice, you must therefore give back to the soil the mineral salts taken out by the preceding crop.

These mineral salts are contained in chemical fertilizers.

- according to regions:

The soils of different regions are often different; they do not contain the same quantity of each mineral salt.

For example, a soil very poor in nitrogen must be given a lot of nitrogen.

You can see that a soil is poor in nitrogen if the young leaves turn yellow.

Organic manure and chemical fertilizers

32. Organic manures are animal manure and green manure.

Organic manures improve the structure of the soil. Plants grow better in a soil of good structure, and the chemical fertilizers are used better.

Organic manuring should therefore be done at the beginning of the rotation, that is, before growing the first crop on a field.
For example

If in the first year after clearing the field you grow a crop of yams and the second year you grow rice, you must apply organic manure in the first year before you plant your yams.

33. Chemical fertilizers.

You know that the main chemical fertilizers are:

- Nitrogen (N)

- Phosphorus (P)

- Potassium (K)

Rice needs above all nitrogen.

The nitrogen fertilizer most often suitable for the soils of Africa is ammonium sulfate.

But rice also needs phosphorus and potassium. If the rice cannot take out of the soil enough phosphorus and potassium, the stems are not strong and so they bend down to the earth so that the grains cannot form and ripen well.

Ask advice from the extension services in your area. They will tell you how much fertilizer to apply to your rice field.

It is best to apply nitrogen, that is, ammonium sulfate, in three separate applications:

For example

It you have to give your field 100 kilogrammes of ammonium sulfate, apply:

- 40 kg before sowing,

- 30 kg after the first cultivation,

- 30 kg when you see the panicles are forming.

Be careful not to let ammonium sulfate, get onto the leaves; the fertilizer may burn them.

Phosphoric acid and potassium are applied before sowing.

Harvesting

You will get a better price for your rice crop

- If you cut your rice only when it is ripe

- If the rice is well dried and threshed

- If it has been well stored.

34. Cutting.

Cut the rice when it is ripe.

Wait until the heads are almost entirely yellow.

You can cut the rice more quickly with a sickle.


Cut the rice

35. Drying.
When you have cut the rice, make sheaves by binding a lot of stems together. There are two ways of drying sheaves well.

Wither: Stack the sheaves so that they lean against each other, standing upright with heads upward, and place one sheaf over the top of the heads, so as to protect the grains from the rain;

Or: Lean the sheaves against a stick supported by two poles.

Either way the rice can dry well.

Leave the rice to dry for three or four days before threshing.


Sheaves leaning against a stick supported by 2 poles

36. Threshing.

There are three ways of threshing well.

Wither: Put the rice on a hard piece of ground, very clean and without dust, or covered with mats, and beat the heads with a stick;

Or: Beat the rice against a large stone or a tree trunk;

Or Use a small thresher. You can join with a few other farmers and buy a small thresher together. In this way the work can be done better and more quickly.


Small rice thresher

37. Winnowing.

It is important that the rice grains should be very clean, and not mixed up with earth and little stones. When you have threshed your rice, winnow it to make it quite clean.

For winnowing, use a sieve or else pour the rice from one flat bowl into another.


The wind blows the dirt away

38. Storing.

Rice can be stored either in sacks or in a barn.

The sacks and the barn must be protected

- against damp, which makes the grains rot

- against rats and insects, which eat or spoil the grains.

The barn floor must not touch the ground. This will keep the rice dry.

The barns must be disinfected. Ask the local extension service what disinfectants to use and how to apply them: some disinfectants are poisonous.

Rice can be eaten by the family. Rice can also be sold, either on the market or to companies which resell it afterwards.

Rice is a crop which can pay well.

Sources:
Better Farming Series 20 - Upland Rice (FAO - INADES
Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 04:13:26 PM
The cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao) is a native of the dense tropical Amazon forests where it flourishes in the semi-shade and high humidities, but wild varieties also occur from Mexico to Peru. The Mayas of Yucatan and the Aztecs of Mexico cultivated cocoa long before its introduction to Europe, and Montezuma, Emperor of the Aztecs, is stated to have consumed regularly a preparation called chocolate made by roasting and grinding the cocoa nibs, followed by mashing with water, maize, anatto, chilli and spice flavours. The richness of this mixture no doubt had some connection with the Aztec belief that the cocoa tree was of divine origin and later led the Swedish botanist, Linnaeus, to give the name Theobroma - Food of the Gods - to the genus including the cacao species. The Aztecs also considered the drink to have aphrodisiac properties.

Botany
The genus Theobroma consists of some twenty-two species of small bushes and trees.
Theobroma cacao is the only one of commercial value and this species is divided into two main groups:

Criollo
Forastero
There is a third group known as Trinitario which is basically a cross of the two.

Cultivation
The growing conditions required by the cocoa tree are fairly precise and the areas of cultivation lie within 20 degrees latitude of the equator.

The temperature in cocoa growing areas is usually between 30C and 32C. The minimum
allowable is 18C.

Rainfall levels of 1,150 to 3,000mm are required.

Soil conditions can vary considerably but a firm roothold and moisture retention are necessary.

It is traditional for cocoa to be grown under shade trees although such conditions
resemble those in its natural habitat it has been shown that higher yields can be obtained
without shade if sufficient moisture and nutrients are made available.

Propagation by seed is the most economical way of increasing stock but vegetative
methods can also be used and these provide a more consistent and reliable method of
reproducing trees of particular strains.

Fermentation
Cocoa beans are fermented not just to remove the adhering pulp but also develop the distinctive flavour of cocoa. Correct fermentation and drying of cocoa is of vital importance and no subsequent processing of the bean will correct bad practice at this stage. A good flavour in the final cocoa or chocolate is related closely to good fermentation but if the drying after fermentation is delayed moulds will develop which will produce very unpleasant flavours.

After the pods are cut from the trees the beans with the adhering pulp are removed. Fermentation is carried out in a variety of ways but all depend on heaping a quantity of fresh beans with their pulp and allowing micro-organisms to ferment and to produce heat. Most beans are fermented in heaps. Better results are obtained by the use of fermentation boxes which give more even
fermentation.

Fermentation takes five to six days. Forastero beans take rather longer to ferment than Criollo. During the first day the adhering pulp becomes liquid and drains away. By the third day the mass of beans will have fairly even heated to 45 oC and will remain between this temperature and about 50 oC until fermentation is completed. It is necessary to occasionally stir the beans to aerate and to ensure that the beans initially on the outside of the heap are exposed to temperature conditions prevailing in the interior.

Drying
After fermentation the beans are placed in shallow trays to dry. In some growing areas where the main harvest coincides with the dry season, sun drying is adequate. The beans are dried by being spread out in the sun in layers a few centimetres thick. Sun drying trays may be movable on rails so that they can be pushed under canopies. Where the weather is less sunny, artificial driers are used. There are numerous types of dryers but an essential feature of all must be that any smoky products of combustion do not come in contact with the beans otherwise taints will appear in the final product. Some system involve the complete combustion of the fuel so that the flue gases can be used to dry the beans.

Cleaning
The beans are cleaned to remove the following extraneous matter: bean clusters and other large pieces using rocking and vibratory sieves; light material like dust, loose shell and fibre using a gentle upward air stream; iron particles using a magnetic separator and stones and heavy material using a fluidised bed with air aspiration to lift the coca beans. It may also be necessary to grade the coca beans according to size to ensure even roasting.

Roasting
This is the most important stage in the development of flavour. This can be achieved by roasting the whole bean, the cocoa bean cotyledon or even the ground cocoa bean cotyledon (cocoa mass). For chocolate production the roasting temperatures are 100C to 104C. For cocoa powder production higher temperatures of 120 to 135C are used. There are many designs of roasters: both batch and continuous systems. The operation is controlled so that: the nib is heated to the required temperature without burning the shell or the cotyledon and producing undesirable flavours; the heat is applied evenly over a long period of up to 90 minutes to produce even roasting; the nib must not be contaminated with any combustion products from the fuel used and provision must be made for the escape of any volatile acids, water vapour and decomposition products of the nib. After roasting the beans are cooled quickly to prevent scorching

Crushing
The shell will have been already loosened by the roasting. The beans are then lightly crushed with the object of preserving large pieces of shell and nib and avoiding the creation of small particles and dust. The older winnows used toothed rollers to break up the beans but modern machines are fitted with impact rollers. These consist of two hexagonal rollers running in the same direction that throw the beans against metal plates . The cocoa bean without its shell is known as a cocoa nib. The valuable part of the cocoa bean is the nib, the outer shell being a waste material of little value.

Winnowing
The crushed material is winnowed to remove the broken pieces of shell. This is achieved by sieving and blowing air through the material.

Alkalisation
Alkalisation is a treatment that is sometimes used before and sometimes after grinding to modify the colour and flavour of the product. This was developed in the Netherlands in the last century and is sometimes known as Dutching. This involves soaking the nib or the cocoa mass in potassium or sodium carbonate. By varying the ratio of alkali to nib, a wide range of colours of cocoa powder can be produced. Complete nib penetration may take an hour. After alkalization the cocoa needs to be dried slowly.

Grinding
The cocoa nib is ground into cocoa liquor (also known as unsweetened chocolate or cocoa
mass). The grinding process generates heat and the dry granular consistency of the nib is turned into a liquid as the high amount of fat contained in the nib melts.

Production of cocoa butter
Cocoa butter can be extracted using extrusion, expeller, or screw presses. Cocoa butter can be produced from whole beans, and mixtures of fine nib dusts, small nibs, and immature beans. Sometimes, whole nibs are pressed when the expeller cake is needed for the manufacture of coatings and therefore must be free from shell and as low as possible in cocoa butter content. When pressing whole beans, very light roasting or even no roasting is needed, and this gives the mild-flavoured cocoa butter that is desirable for milk chocolate.

Hydraulic presses
Hydraulic presses are used to produce cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Cocoa powder can be prepared by the hydraulic pressing of finely ground cocoa liquor. This can be achieved by compressing the liquor in heavy steel pots until a predetermined amount of cocoa butter is squeezed through very fine mesh screens or filters situated at each side of the pot. The pots, each with a capacity of about 18kg, are mounted in a horizontal frame and the cocoa liquor, heated to 93-102 oC, is pumped in at a pressure of up to 300lb per square inch. Cocoa butter immediately starts to be forced out through the filter screens and when the pots are full the pressure pump is turned off and a hydraulic ram set in motion. A pressure of up to 6000lb per square inch is then applied. Cocoa butter runs from the pots to a trough and eventually to a collecting pan situated on a balance. When the required amount of cocoa butter has been extracted the ram is reversed to the starting position, the press pots open up and the cocoa cakes from each pot are deposited on a conveyor and taken away for grinding. The extracted cocoa butter will need to be cleaned to remove non-fat solids in suspension, this can be done by filtration or centrifugally. Cocoa butter produced by this method is normally a very pale yellow
colour and it sets at a fairly hard fat showing crystal formation. Its melting point is 35 oC (Glossop, 1993).

Expellers
Cocoa beans for expeller pressing are either very lightly roasted at low temperatures or not roasted at all. They may be just warmed sufficiently to loosen the shell. The beans are steamed before being fed to the press to soften them and help release the cocoa butter. Basically the expeller press consists of a tapering tube perforated along its length in which is situated a rotating screw. The cocoa beans are fed into the tube where they are subjected to shearing and increasing pressure by the action of the rotating screw. Cocoa butter is forced out through then perforations in the tube. The tube is terminated by an adjustable cone which gives a variable gap between the tube and the cone. Thick flakes of expeller cake are extruded through this gap. The extracted fat must be filtered or centrifugally separated to remove cocoa solids. Expeller cake contains 8-9 percent fat and this can be extracted using organic solvents.

Solvent extraction
Cocoa butter can be produced at the large scale by solvent extraction. It should be noted that it is unlikely that solvent-extracted cocoa butter would alone account for the added cocoa butter in a chocolate. Generally, it would be incorporated in a butter blend at the rate of 2 to 5 percent.

The production of cocoa powder
The cocoa powder is taken from the press as a cake. It is broken in a mill. The resulting powder is sieved through fine silk, nylon or wire mesh. Most cocoa powders are made from mass which has been treated with alkali with the purpose of controlling the colour of the powder and improving the dispersability.

The production of plain chocolate
To produce plain chocolate mass is mixed with sugar and sufficient cocoa butter to enable thechocolate to be moulded. The ratio of mass to sugar varies according to the national taste.

Melenging
The mixture is ground to such a degree that the chocolate is smooth to the palate. At one time this was done by a lengthy process in melengeurs - heavy granite rollers in a revolving granite bed - but nowadays grinding is done in a series of rolls.

Conching
After grinding the chocolate is conched. The original conche was a tank shaped rather like a shell in which a roller is pushed to and fro on a granite bed. During the conching process which may last for several hours the chocolate is heated, this helps to drive off volatile acids, thereby reducing acidity when present in the raw bean, and the process finishes the development of flavour and makes the chocolate homogeneous.

Tempering
After conching the chocolate has to be tempered before it is used for moulding. Tempering
involves cooling and reaching the right physical state for rapid setting after moulding.

The production of milk chocolate
Similar processes are involved in the manufacture of milk chocolate. The milk is added in various ways either in powder form to the mixture of mass, sugar and cocoa butter, or by condensing first with sugar, adding the mass and drying this mixture under vacuum. This product is called crumb and this is ground and conched in a similar manner to plain chocolate.

Further Information
Cocoa
Wood, Lass Pub. Longman 1989
Covers the areas of cultivation, pest & disease, and marketing
Small-scale Processing of Cocoa, Food Chain
Journal No23, ITDG, July 1998



Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 04:36:44 PM
Ang gabi ay isa sa pinakamahalagang halamang-ugat sa ating bansa. Sa katunayan, ito’y pangatlo sa hanay ng mga halamang ugat na itinatanim dito sa bansa. Karaniwan itong itinatanim sa likod-bahay at kadalasan sa maliit na sukat ng lupa na hindi hihigit sa isang ektarya.

adyang mahalaga ang halos lahat ng bahagi ng gabi. Ang dahon at tangkay nito ay naiibigan ng karamihan bilang gulay samantalang ang ibang parte ay itinatanim upang mapagkunan ng tubers.ang gabi ay nagagawa ring arina, para sa paggawa ng sopas, biskwit, tinapay, sari-saring inumin at puding. Ito’y madaling matunaw kaya inirerekomendang sangkap sa pagkain ng mga sanngol. Ito rin ay magagamit na pagkain ng alagaing-hayop.

Uri ng Lupa at Klima

Ang gabi ay maitatanim sa anumang uri ng lupa, ngunit higit na maganda ang tubo nito sa lupang buhaghag at malalim na water level.
Ang klimang tropical ang pinaka-angkop sa pagtatanim ng gabi. Ito’y maaring itanim sa dalawang regular na pagtatanim: pamamanahon basa (tag-ulan mula Oktubre hanggang Nobyembre) at tuyo (tag-araw Abril hanggang Mayo).

Mga Uri ng Gabi

Maraming uri ng gabi ang itinatanim sa kapatagan o mataas na lupa o kati. Maaring itanim ang corms at cormel 0 ang buong laman rhizomebago tabunan ng lupa. Ang naiwang dahon, tangkay at laman ay iginugulay.

Ang iba’t ibang uri ng gabi sa kapatagan at sa kati ay ang sumusunod:

Kapatagan Mataas na Lupa/Kati
Princesa Trinidad
Quezon White Calamba
Bicol Purple Kinusol
Ilocos Purple Batek Kalpao
Viscaya Green Batek Ngatong
Balatika Sibulanon
Kalpao Dashee

Paghahanda ng Pananim

Ang pananim na gabi ay tinatawag na setts. Ito ay inihahanda mula sa suckers. Ito ay nagmumula sa isa hanggang dalawang sentimetro sa itaas na bahagi ng parent corm at unang 15-25 sentimetro ng tangkay.

Paghahanda sa Lupa

Araruhin at suyurin ang bukid ng tatlo hanggang apat ng ulit upang mabuwag at mapatag ang tingkal na lupa.
Ihanda ang tudling at tudnos para sa setts isang araw bago magtanim.

Pagtatanim

Sa kati o mataas na lupa, inirereklamo ang paggamit ng asarol sa itak sa paghukay ng taniman. Itanim ang setts sa butas na may lalim na 8-15 sentimetro.
Kailangang magkaroon ng sapat na tubig habang tumutubo ang gabi. lagyan ng alip-ip pagkatapos magtanim. Ito’y makaktulong upang mabawasan ang pagtubo ng damo at mapanatili ang halumigmig. Ang mga tuyong dahon, dayami, dahong ng niyog, at saging ay maaring gamiting alip-ip o “mulch”.

Paglilinang at paggagamas

Ang pagsugpo ng damo ay isang malaking suliranin sa kataasan kaysa sa kapatagan. Ang paglilinang ay isa sa paraan ng pagpigil sa pagtubo ng damo. Ang halinhinan o salitan na pagtatabon hilling up at pagbubungkal na palayo sa tudling off-baring ay isa sa pamamaraan upang masupil ang pagtubo ng tamo. Ang unang pagbubungkal at pagtatabon ay ginagawa tatlo hanggang apat na linggo pagkatapos magtanim.

Pag-aabono

Maganda ang tubo ng gabi kapag ina-abonohan ng Nitrogen. Tatlumpung kilo bawat ektarya ang kinakailangan sa pangkataasan at gayundin sa kapatagan.
Ang paggamit ng kompost ay mainam rin na pamamaraan. Ihalong mabuti sa lupa ang kompost habang inihahanda ang taniman.
Hayaang mabulok nang husto ang kompost, sa loob ng isa hanggang dalawang linggo bago magsimulang magtanim.

Pagkontrol sa Peste at Sakit

1.Iwasang magtanim ng gabi nang dikit-dikit lalo na sa malalim na lugar.
2.Ugaliin ang pag-iiba-iba ng tanim 0 crop rotation .
3.Alisin at Sunugin ang mga sirang dahon o ang mga dahon na apektado ng peste/sakit lalo simula pa lamang naa-apektuhan ng peste/sakit.
4.Gamitin sa pagtatanim ang mga matatambok na setts
5.Gamitin ang matibay na uri ng gabi sa pagtatanim.

# Para sa karagdagan kaalaman sa pag-sugpo sa mga kulisap at sakit na namiminsala sa gabi , sumangguni sa farm management technologist o sa taggapan ng Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) at Fertilizers andPesticides Authority (FPA) sa inyong lugar.

Pag-aani

Ang gabi ay maari nang anihin kapag ang dahon ay naninilaw na. Ang gabing itinanim sa kataasan ay gumugulang mula 7-11 buwan matapos maitanim. Anihin ang gabi sa pamamagitan ng itak, asarol, at araro . ingatan na huwag masugatan ang laman o “tubers”. Alisin ang nakakapit na lupa at pinong ugat. Putulin ang dahon ng gabi at mag-iwan lamang ng dalawang sentimetro mula sa corms. Ihiwalay ang sugatang corms</> para hindi mahawa ang iba.

Pag-iimbak

# Huwaghuhugasan ang gabi.
# ibukod ang laman o corms at piliin bago ilagay sa naaangkop na lalagyan.
# ilagay ang gabi sa kaing o gumawa ng hukay na malalim at ilagay ang inanidito. Kapag ito ay inimak sa hukay, ay tumatagal ng anim haggang sampung buwan luwag lamang itong mauulanan.

Source:
Philippine Department of Agriculture


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 04:39:38 PM
Introduction

Ampalaya, amargoso or bitter gourd (Momordica Charantia Linn) is one of the most important commercial and backyard fruit vegetables in the country today. It has both nutritive and medicinal use. The fruit and leaves of which are used as vegetable and the latter are further used as a laxative for new born babies while the stem and roots as antidotes for fever. They are rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron, carbohydrates and vitamin B. It is also known to cure diabetes, arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, warts, and ulcer.

The commercial cultivation of the crop is concentrated to Region II and IV. Generally two types are being grown the Sta. Rita type, which is long, dark green and less warty and the Pinakbet type which is short and warty and much bitter in flavor.

Varieties

Variety
 Maturity (DAP)*
 Remarks
 
Sta. Rita strains
 70-75
 OP
 
Makiling
 65-70
 OP
 
Sta. Isabel
 70-75
 OP
 
Jade star (A, L, XL)
 60-70
 F1 hybrids
 
Mayon
 65-70
 F1 hybrids
 
Million Green
 65-75
 F1 hybrids
 
Galaxy
 65-75
 F1 hybrids
 

* Days after planting

Climatic and Soil Requirement

Ampalaya thrives well in all types of climates but high yield can be obtained during the cooler months because of more flower setting and bigger fruits. It grows in low elevation area anytime of the year. The crops grow well in any types of soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5. Higher yield however is attained on sandy loam soil. Soil analysis is a must for commercial planting.

Land Preparation

A good land preparation is very important in ampalaya culture. The field should be well prepared, plowed and harrowed twice to remove weeds and other plant debris in the field. Furrows are then made 3 meter apart. Organic fertilizer is applied at the rate of 5 tons per hectare during land preparation or a week before planting.

Plastic Mulching

An improved technology in the Philippines for ampalaya production is the use of plastic mulch to cover the beds. Planting holes are bored into the plastic sheet base on the planting distance. It offers number of advantage, its control weeds, preserve soil moisture, prevent soil erosion and leaching of fertilizers and reflect light, serving as repellant to insect which hide under the leaves.

To use the plastic mulch, stretch it over the planting beds, with edges held down by thin bamboo slats, staple well into the soil every 20 cm. Punch holes at 50 cm between plants in the row and 3 meters between rows.

Planting

Ampalaya can be direct seeded or transplanted. Direct seeding is most common, a hectare of production area requires 2.5 to 3.0 kilograms of seeds, Seeds are soak in water overnight or wrap in cheesecloth to facilitate water absorption. Seeds are planted the following day or as the radicle break. Transplanting can also be done specially when the seeds are scarce and during off-season planting. Seeds are planted in small plastic bags (1 seed/bag with soil mixture of 1:1 garden soil and sand/compost/carbonized rice hull) and transplanted to the field when the vine starts to grow. Pre- germinated seeds result in good seedling and an even crop establishment.

Time of Planting

Early planting in some areas is usually done during the months of October to December and the late planting are during the month of January to February.

Rate of Planting

The rate and distance of planting use by most farmers is three meters between furrows and 0.5 meters between hills with 3 seeds line at 4 inches apart. Other recommended spacing are: 30 m x 30 m with 1 plant/hill and 2.0 m x 0.5 m with 2 plants/hill.

Trellising

Bitter gourd or ampalaya grows best with overhead (balag type) trellis about 6 ft high. A lining of bamboo poles with abaca twine as lateral supports is done three weeks after germination. Lateral support of bamboo poles are spaced three meters between furrows and two meters between hills and the side support is place after the bamboo poles are constructed. The horizontal support of abaca twine is place before the vine reaches the top with a 6-inch mesh.

Abaca twine is use as a lateral and horizontal support because it does not absorb too much heat however it is not reusable for the next cropping season.

For plantation, the use of big wooden posts (kakawate or ipil-ipil) are dug into the soil about 1.5 to 2 ft at the four corners of the field and the posts are interconnected with G.I. wire stronger enough as main frame. The side support is used to prevent breaking down of the trellis.

Vine Training and Pruning

Train the vines on the vertical trellis regularly by tying the vines to the trellis. Lateral shoot/vine may be pruned every 4-5 days, leaving only the main stem. Initial pruning should be done one month after planting or when lateral vines appeared. Remove all lateral vines from ground level up to the top of the trellis and all ineffective lateral vines above the trellis at 15 to 20 days interval.

Remove all female flowers below the overhead trellis. Allow branching and fruiting on the overhead trellis. Fruits may also be allowed to form just above the 10th node.

Water and Weeding Management

Ampalaya is a plant that requires an abundant supply of moisture for vegetative and reproductive development to maintain a good crop stand in the dry season. Furrow irrigation is done twice a week during vegetative stage and once a week during the reproductive stage or before each application of fertilizer. Weeding is done when need arises.

Fertilization

The use of organic fertilizer such as manure or compost about 5 to 10 tons per hectare with inorganic fertilizer is recommended. Apply basal fertilizer at about 25 grams/hill of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) or 5 bags per hectare. During dry season, sidedress 10-20 grams/hill of (urea 46-0-0) and muriate of potash (0-0-60) once a month. However during wet season, side dress 5-10 grams/hill of urea and muriate of potash every week.

Pests and Diseases Control

Powdery Mildew- It is cause by a fungus that appears as white powdery growth on leaves. Crown leaves are affected first and may wither and die. The fungus may be introduced on greenhouse grown plants or wind from areas infected with the diseases. Disease development is favor by high temperature.

Downy Mildew - A irregular shaped yellowish to brown spots appears on upper side of the leaves, usually at the center of plants. Under moist condition, a purplish mildew develops on the underside of the leaf spots. Leaves die as spots increase it size. Spread is rapid from the crown toward new growth. Moist condition favors the development of the disease.

Bacterial Wilt -The disease is characterized initially by wilting and drying of individual leaves, which also exhibit cucumber beetle injury. Later, leaves on one or more laterals or entire plants wilts. Wilted parts may appear to recover at night, but they wilt on successive sunny days and finally die.

Several kinds of leaf diseases attack the plant and can cause yield reduction. Most often, the old leaves are affected; spraying of Fungicide is a preventive measure. You can consult your local inputs dealer on how and what fungicide to use. However crop rotation, field sanitation, and the use of resistant varieties is also highly recommended.

Fruitfly - The fruitfly is one of the major insect pests of ampalaya. Adults lay it eggs on the young fruits. The eggs later hatch into small worms that starts feeding inside the fruits. Symptoms are deformed fruits, fruits with holes that turn orange or yellow prematurely. The insect can be control by removing all damage fruits from the field. Spray only after the removal of the damage fruits with insecticides recommended by your pesticide dealer. Wrapping young fruits with newspaper or plastic bags prevent the fruit fly from laying eggs on the fruits. Wrapping reduce the use of pesticides.

Thrips - it is a very small crawling insect on that stays on the lower side of the leaves. It is recommended to spray during nighttime 2 t0 3 consecutive nights if infestation is severed. This was found to be very effective time to spray. The pest hides during daytime and cannot be control using contact insecticides. Neighboring plantation should also be sprayed at the same time. Consult your input dealer on what pesticides to use in controlling this pest.

Harvesting

Harvest when the fruits are green. Harvesting starts 45 to 50 days after seedling. It can be done twice a week. Harvest early in the morning to protect harvested fruits against rain, sun, and mechanical damage. Sort fruits according to marketable standards, and remove damage fruits. Pack in plastic or bamboo crates line with newspaper or bamboo leaves. Fruits can be stored for 2-3 days under this condition.

Cost and Return Analysis Per Hectare


<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Activity
 Quantity
 Unit
 Amount/Unit (P)
 Total Amount (P)
 
Land preparation
 
A. Labor cost (200/MD)
 
Plowing
 10
 MD
 200
 2,000.00
 
Harrowing (2x)
 8
 MD
 200
 1,600.00
 
Bedding
 8
 MD
 200
 1,600.00
 
Manure application
 5
 MD
 200
 1,000.00
 
Planting
 2
 MD
 200
 400.00
 
Mulching
 6
 MD
 200
 1,200.00
 
Fertilizer application
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 
Basal
 3
 MD
 200
 600.00
 
Side-dress
 10
 MD
 200
 2,000.00
 
Irrigation
 40
 MD
 200
 8,000.00
 
Trellising
 50
 MD
 200
 10,000.00
 
Vine training/pruning
 30
 MD
 200
 6,000.00
 
Weeding
 20
 MD
 200
 4,000.00
 
Spraying
 30
 MD
 200
 6,000.00
 
Harvesting
 60
 MD
 200
 12,000.00
 
Miscellaneous
 20
 MD
 200
 4,000.00
 
Sub-total
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 60,400.00
 
B. Materials
 
Seeds
 3.0
 Kilograms
 3,500.00
 10,500.00
 
Animal manure
 5
 Tons
 1,200
 6,000.00
 
Fertilizers
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 
14-14-14
 5
 Bags
 700
 3,500.00
 
46-0-0
 8
 Bags
 800
 6,400.00
 
0-0-60
 2
 Bags
 700
 1,400.00
 
Trellis
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 
Bamboo post 2 uses
 1,200
 pcs
 10
 12,000.00
 
GI wire 4 uses
 300
 Kilograms
 10
 3,000.00
 
Abaca twine
 200
 Roll
 50
 10,000.00
 
Pesticides
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 5,000.00
 5,000.00
 
Fuel and oil
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 6,000.00
 6,000.00
 
Miscellaneous
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 5,000.00
 5,000.00
 
Sub-total
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 67,800.00
 
II. Fixed Cost
 
Land rentals
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 7,500.00
 
Depreciation
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 
Scythe (2 yrs)
 5
 pcs
 12
 63.00
 
Hoe (3 yrs)
 3
 pcs
 125
 375.00
 
Knapsack sprayer (5 yrs)
 2
 pcs
 800
 1,600.00
 
Sub-total
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 9,538.00
 
Total Cost
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->
 137,738.00
 

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

Marketable yield of 10 to 15 tons hectare at P15 per kilogram
 
Gross Income at 15 tons/hectare
 225,000.00
 
Total Cost of Production
 137,738.00
 
Net Income
 87,262.00
 

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->


References

Ampalaya Growing Guide, Agriculture Monthly Magazine. April 2001
Ampalaya Production Guide, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forest and Natural Resources. Department of Science and Technology. Information Bulletin No. 156 / 2000
Estimated Cost and Return of Production of Fresh Vegetable for 2001. Bureau of Plant Industry. Crop Production division.
M.E.C. Reyes. B.H. Gildemacher and G.J Jansen. PROSEA Vegetables. Plant Resources of Southeast Asia. Siemonsma J.S. and Kasem Piluek (Editors) Bogor Indonesia. 1994. pp 206-210
TECSON, AMELITA B., D.C. Reyes and R.T. Donato. 1994. The effect of Pruning on the Production of Marketable Fruits of Ampalaya and Upo. The Philippine Journal of Plant Industry. Vol. 59., No. 3. Bureau of Plant Industry, Manila. pp 29-36


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 04:51:43 PM
A Sip of Excellence

“Coffee is the source of happiness and wit,” said King Louis XIV who after experiencing coffee’s excellent taste and distinctive aroma began to recognize the value of it.

A sip of coffee reminisces significant events which shaped many a nation’s history. It has chronicled historical records that date back to as far as 1200 A.D. when coffee became a very important crop in the economy of many nations.

In the Philippines, the coffee industry began in 1740 during the Spanish regime. It is considered one of the high-value crops in the local and foreign markets. Coffee is among the top ten agricultural crops in terms of value.

Coffee registered a total production of 123,934 metric tons valued at P6,818.84 million in 1995. Today, we are exporting to ICO and non-ICO member countries which include Japan, Singapore, West Germany, Netherlands, Malaysia, Muscat Oman, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and U.S.A. These countries alone account for 97 percent of the total Philippine coffee export.

AGRONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS

Coffee trees require a rich, moist loose, well-drained soil best composed of organic matter, decomposed mold, and disintegrated volcanic rock; a well-distributed rainfall of about 40 to 70 inches annually with peak wet season’ high humidity; seven hours of sunshine daily; and plenty of mist and moderate winds.

Coffee trees vary greatly in sizes from dwarf trees to thick-trunked forest giants twenty feet or more in tropic. Generally they are restricted to areas with a medium average annual temperature of 70oF, not lower than 55oF and much above 80oF.

VARIETIES



 

Arabica is characterized by wavy leaf margin, light green leaf color, thin leaves, pulp and parchment, known as ” kapeng tagalog.” Yields 500-1,000 kg of clean dry coffee beans per hectare. It could be grown productively in cooler places with an elevation ranging from 1,200 to 1,800 meters above sea level.



Robusta is characterized by large umbrella shaped growth with thinner leaves which have more wavy margins. The berries are borne in heavy cluster with the pulp and parchment. Yields 1,200 kg of clean dry coffee beans per hectare. It could be grown in areas with an elevation ranging from 600 to 1,200 meters above sea level.



Excelsa has wide leaves that are thicker than Robusta but thinner and smoother and more rounded than Liberica with smooth edge. Young leaves are usually shiny with bronze violet color. The berries are borne in heavy cluster, varying in size and usually bigger than Arabica but smaller than Liberica. Pulp and parchment are thicker than the Leberica. Yields 1,000 kg of clean dry coffee bean per hectare. It could be grown from sea level to 600 meters above sea level.



Liberica is locally known as “kapeng barako” because it produces the biggest berry. It is rounded and are borne signly or in small clusters. Has thicker leaves than Excelsa and twice as long as Arabica. The pulp is thick and the parchment is more woody. It also characterized a very strong pharmocopical taste and flavor. It is tolerant to drought and grows in a wider type of soil. Yields 1,000 kg. Of clan dry coffee beans per hectare.

TECHNOLOGY

Seed Preparation



* Coffee is grown from seeds;
* Gather seeds from disease and pest-free, high yielding trees;
* Grow coffee plants in the nursery to produce better seedlings. They nursery be located in the plantation or nearby and accessible to water supply;
* Three-fourth kg (i.e. 750 gm) of quality seeds is enough to plant a hectare;
* A 50% allowance of seeds must be considered for ungerminated seeds, poor seedlings and for replanting;
* Select viable seeds, stir berries in a bucket of water and remove floaters. Those that sink are the good ones;
* Remove pulp by hand or pulping machine, then soak beans in water for 24 hours to hasten the removal of mucilage;



* Wash beans and discard floaters. Air dry in well-ventilated room for least 4 days;
* Keep dried parchment in cool dry place or mix with charcoal to preserve its viability;
* Germination bed must be 1 meter wide and of convenient length. To avoid flooding, raise bed 15 cm from ground level;



* A 1 x 20 m plot can accommodate one ganta of seeds;
* Sow seeds on shallow rows at ¾ inch deep and cover with fine soil;
* Water the seedbed regularly but not too wet and partially shade plants from sunlight;



* This out and prick seedlings (transplant to another seedbed/plastic bags) or when 2-3 pairs of leaves have developed.

Vegetable Propagation



* Coffee can also be propagated asexually;
* Clone is used for coffee propagation. It is a part of a plant that is made to reproduce an offspring which carries all the qualities of its parents.
* Split lengthwise into two halves of a fingersized vertical shoot of about one foot long with 4-6 nodes to produce a clone. Partially cut leaves before splitting;
* Set modal cutting in germination box 1×2 inches apart and 1 inch deep, then place boxes in germination chamber. Nodal cuttings will produce roots and shoots within 45 days;
* Prick seedlings into individual plastic bags with soil.
Full-grown seedling with 4-6 pairs of leaves could be attained within 6-8 months;
* Coffee plants raised from nodal cuttings bear fruits 18 months after transplanting, earlier than plants grown from seeds.

Establishment of Plantation

Intensive clearing is necessary for newly opened areas (forest area). Plow and harrow twice open field to check weed growth. Mark places where holes are to be dug. Recommended spacing are as follows:

Variety: ARABICA
Distance in Meters
3 x 1 to 3 x 2 m
2 x 2 x 2 x 3 m double row



Variety: ROBUSTA
Distance in Meters
3 x 1.5 to 3 x 3m
2 x 2 x 2 x 4m double row



Variety: Liberica & Excelsa
Distance in Meters
4 x 5 to 5 x 5.5m



Transplanting

Coffee seedlings are ready for transplant when 6 pairs of leaves have been fully developed and with no lateral branches yet. Dig holes and transplant in the field at the start of the rainy season. This will give sufficient time for young plants to establish roots before dry season sets in. Dig hole wide and deep enough to accommodate ball of earth with roots intact. Return topsoil in the hole, then add tablespoons phosporous fertilizer, and mix thoroughly.

Fertilization



The general recommendation for non-bearing trees in the absence of soil and tissue analysis, is an equal amount of NPK and ammonium sulfate or urea from 250-300 grams per tree per year; and for bearing trees (7 years and above) 1 kilo of 14-14 per tree per year plus ures sidedressed at the rate of 300 grams per tree per year.



Non-bearing trees (1-3 years old) make shallow canal furrow 5 cm deep around the plant; place recommended fertilizer in continuous band and cover with soil.

Bearing trees (7 years old)-localized placement is recommended for sloping land. Apply fertilizer in holes or trenches made around trees between outside of the crown and onehalf meter from the base. Broadcast fertilizer 0.5m for level land.

Pruning

Removal of unnecessary branches (excess, old and dead branches) and undesirable sprouts. Pruning regulates the height of the plants, facilitates harvesting and other field operations, promotes better aeration and light penetration. This is best done before general flowering or after harvest.

Common Pests and Control

Coffee Berry Borer most destructive and hardest to control. Attacks all stages of fruit after berries become mungo-size. Infested young berries turn from normal green color to yellow orange and shortly afterwards, fruit falls prematurely. Presence of empty or partially filled fruits underneath tree is a sure sign of infestation.

Coffee Leaf folder larvae feed on leaves and sometime attack flowers and fruits. Adult is a small moth with light brown forewings. The eggs are laid in clusters on leaves. Development period is 5-6 weeks.

Control: Collect and destroy infested berries before and after harvest. Pick up all berries, including those that fall on the ground, to eliminate breeding and feeding sites of insects. Spray Endosulfan at recommended rates at 14 to 21 days interval or 4 to 5 times spraying during fruiting season. The first spraying should be done when the berries attain the size of a mungbean seed.

Common Diseases and Control

Coffee Rust the most prevalent and destructive disease of coffee, Small, yellowish spots appear on lower surface of leaves; as spots enlarge, powdery yellow to orange spores are produced. Affected leaves drop and tree may die. To prevent, use resistant strains, spray susceptible varieties with copper fungicides at 2-3 week intervals at start of heavy rains.

Die-Back is characterized by drying of branches and twigs from to and downwards. Appearance of spots with concentric lines on both surfaces of seedlings, twigs, and berries. If severe affected, leaves fall, twig and branches dry. To control, maintain vigor of trees by fertilizing with the right kind and amount of nutrients at proper time; regulate plant growth to prevent overbearing by pruning and/or shade.

HARVESTING

Maturity of berries is 6 to 8 months after blooming but varies on the environmental factors from region to region. In Mindanao, Arabica flower in January to May and berries are harvested in August to December. In Luzon, coffee trees bloom just after the first heavy rains in May and June, Arabica and Robusta berries are harvested in late December to March; Excelsa and Liberica later.



Individually pick berries (i.e priming) to avoid presence of pedicels. For quality beans, harvest only matured berries (i.e. berries turn red from its ground color.)

Sources:
Philippine Department of Agriculture
Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 04:54:51 PM


Calamansi or calamondin (Citrfortunella microcarpa) is a fruit tree native to the Philippines. It is the most commonly grown backyard tree among the citrus species. It can thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions.

It is a small tree with a height ranging from 2 meters to 7 ½ meters at maturity. Its broad egg-shaped leaves are dark green in the upper surface and pale green underneath. The fruit is round, about 2 cm to 4.5 cm in diameter, and greenish - yellow in color.

Like its relatives, such as the mandarin, pomelo and sweet orange, the calamansi is rich in phosphorous, calcium, iron and Vitamin C or ascorbic acid. It is the most popular and most commonly used citrus fruit in the country. Its juice is nutritious and traditionally made into a fruit drink that helps prevent respiratory diseases. It also helps strengthen the bones and stimulate growth especially among growing children. It can be used as a flavoring ingredient in desserts, e.g. leche flan, or as an additive in various food preparations, such as fish steak. Its pulp is used as a major ingredient in beverages, syrups, concentrates, and purees. The peel is made into jams, candies, and marmalade. With its alkalinizing effect, on the body calamansi helps circulate blood evenly and facilitates normal digestion.

Filipinos can have a year-round supply of this versatile citrus fruits by growing the plant right in their front yards or backyards or even in big boxes.

SOIL AND CLIMATIC REQUIREMENTS



It is easy to cultivate calamansi. This plant grows well in cool and elevated areas and in sandy soils rich in organic matter. Waterlogged areas are not suitable for cultivation because calamansi plants cannot tolerate too much moisture.

PROPAGATION

Calamansi can be propagated by seeds, still, it is much better to grow this citrus crop using its vegetative parts. It is best to buy planting materials from reliable sources, particularly from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), or government agency under the Department of Agriculture.

PLANTING

Establish the planting materials at the start of the rainy season. Dig a hole, at least 40 cm wide and 40 cm deep. Set the seedling into the hole and put back the dug soil mixed with compost. Water the plant daily, at least every morning.

SPACING

The usual distance for planting calamansi is five meters between plants.


FERTILIZATION

To produce big, luscious fruits, it is recommended to fertilize the plants regularly. Apply 50 g to 100g ammonium sulfate or urea, around each tree one month after planting. Do this every four (4) months but on the second year, increase the amount of fertilizer to 200g or 300g. Use the same kind of fertilizer per tree every four months thereafter.

The tree bears fruit on the fourth year, it is best to apply complete fertilizer, like ammophos and potash, to increase fruit yield at the rate of 500g per tree. At eight (8) to ten (10) years old, apply more fertilizers to the trees, from two to three kg per tree, three times a year. First, during the rainy season before the flowering stage; next, two months after flowering, and last, after harvesting.

To properly apply the fertilizer, mix it with the soil. It is also good to cover the soil around each tree with dry leaves to conserve moisture. Weed from time to time.

PESTS AND THEIR CONTROL

To keep the trees healthy and allow them to attain maximum yield, it is always best to protect them from pests and diseases. Pests in calamansi are easy to spot. Zigzag marks, savoyed cuts, and rugged edges on the bark indicate that the tree is infested with citrus bark borers. These are light brown or bluish-black beetles that lay their eggs in the cuts and cavities of the calamansi bark. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the bark and leaves.

To control the citrus bark borers, spray the trees with pesticides recommended for citrus trees. To prevent the pest from spreading, cut off the infected parts and burn them.

Another harmful insect pest is the aphid. This greenish or brownish insect not only retards the plant’s growth, but also acts as a disease carrier. To control, spray the trees with pesticides recommended for aphids but if the pests have already attacked, cut off the infected parts of the plants and burn them.

Other harmful pests of the calamansi are the Purple Scale and Glover’s Scale. These pests suck the tree’s sap until its leaves and fruits wither and fall, and the tree finally dies.

DISEASES AND THEIR CONTROL

Aside from pests, the calamansi is also prone to diseases, such as gummosis, citrus canker, and citrus scab. Gummosis is caused by either a lack of, or an excess of fertilizer, or damage from insect pests or machinery. The disease is marked by a dark sticky substance or gum oozing out of the infected branches and trunk. As the disease worsens, gum secretion increases. It is recommended that as soon as this gum-like substance is noticed, spray the trees with chemicals especially recommended for gummosis control. Apply the chemical directly to the diseased bark.
Citrus canker, a disease caused by bacteria, is characterized by raised lesions and glazed margins, with an oily appearance. Citrus canker affects the leaves, twigs, branches and the fruits. To control the canker, spray the trees with fungicide solutions when the trees area at dormant stage. Consult the dealers of fungicides for proper application of the chemicals.

Citrus scab is a disease caused by a fungus. It starts as a small pale-orange, somewhat circular, elevated spot on the leaf. A severely infected leaf becomes so distorted, crinkled and stunted that whatever remains has very little semblance to a normal leaf. To control this disease, spray with a copper fungicide solution. Following the manufacturer’s recommended application or formula. Spray when new flushes of growth have developed, or during blooming stage when two-thirds of the petals have fallen and, also two weeks thereafter until the fruits are half mature.

HARVESTING

Calamansi trees will start to bear fruit one or two years after planting. To harvest, pick the fruits from the branch, either by hand or by using a pair of scissors. Take extra care to prevent damage to the branches or to the leaves. To keep the fruit fresh, leave a portion of the stem attached to the fruit and avoid injury to the skin when harvesting.

PROCESSING OF CALAMANSI

CALAMANSI NIP (SYRUP)

* Use freshly harvested mature calamansi
* Wash and drain
* Cut across the upper portion to avoid cutting the seeds
* Squeeze out the juice by hand or use a fruit juice squeezer.
* Strain
* For every part of the juice, add 1 13/4 parts sugar (60oB)
* Stir to dissolve the sugar.
* Allow to stand undisturbed for three (3) days, preferably in a refrigerator
* When the fruit pulp and other fruit sediments have floated and the clear calamansi juice has settled, this clear solution is called the calamansi nip.
* Siphon the nip into a dry sterile, narrow mouth glass bottle with a stopper.
* Fill containers completely
* Refrigerate at 50oF or below.

CALAMANSI PRESERVE

* Select big, green calamansi fruits
* Cut slits in the lower end of the fruit to extract the seeds and the juice
* Soak the de-juiced fruit in water overnight
* Boil in a copper vat with enough water
* Remove from the fire when the natural green color of the fruit has set
* Soak again in water for three (3) days but change the water often.
* Boil in plenty of water three or 4 times but change the water after boiling
* Drain
* Cook in syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water) for 15 minutes. Soak overnight
* Boil in the same syrup until it begins to thicken.
* Drain syrup
* Pack calamansi in jars and pour strained syrup
* Remove bubbles, refill, half-seal, and sterilize 12 oz jars for 20 minutes in boiling water

Sources:
Philippine Department of Agriculture
City of Dipolog

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on March 22, 2008, 04:59:26 PM
Watermelon, commonly known as “pakwan” in Tagalog, is probably native to Africa. It is mainly eaten as dessert fruit. The rind is made into preserves and pickles; the seeds are processed into butong pakwan. In 1982-83, the area planted to watermelon was 15,410 hectares with a total production of 75,650 metric tons of fruits; but area was reduced to 5,370 hectares in 1983-1984 and production went down to 57,000 metric tons of fruits. The demand for watermelon could go up as freign markets like the USA offered to buy all the watermelon the country can produce.

VARIETIES



Varieties commonly grown in the Philippines are Valencia, Meak, Klondyke, Northern Hybrid, Tender Sweet, honey Cream and Mallorca.

Elevation - Watermelon is grown commercially in lowland areas after rice harvest. These provinces are Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Rizal, Batangas and Laguna.

Months of planting - Planting season is from October to january. In some parts of the country, planting is done as early as August to produce an off-season crop which commands better market price.

CULTURE

Plow land at least 20 cm deep to increase soil aeration. Plow and harrow 2-3 times for early growth and development. These are done several weeks in advance of planting to condition soil. Though this is quite expensive, labor cost of weeding will be reduced.

Planting and spacing - Watermelon is grown from seeds directly planted in the field. Plant 3-4 seeds to a hill, 2.5 cm deep. Distance of planting ranges from 1.5 x 1.5 to 2.5 x 2.5 meters apart, depending on variety.

FERTILIZATION

Watermelon is generally grown in rotation with other crops; it is necessary to use manure or any soil-improving crop to maintain organic matter in the soil. Apply 10 to 15 tons of manure per hectare. Apply complete fertilizer the rate of 100 to 150 kilogams per hectare at planting time by hand placement 5 to 8 cm below the soil and 5 to 6 cm away to the side where seeds are placed. If plants show signs of yellowing, apply sid-edressing or nitrogenous fertilizer.

Watermelon has a spreading, hairy, tendril-bearing vines reaching 3-5 meters long. Leaves are oblong-ovate 8-20cm long with 3-7 lobes. Flowers are monoecious, yellow in color and about 2 cm in diameter. Fruits are large, green-mottled or deep green. Introduced hybrids and varieties produce much bigger fruits, shapes varying from globular to oblong.

SOIL AND CLIMATE



Watermelon prefers a well-drained sandy loam soil rich in organic matter and which has not been previously planted to watermelon. Watermelon requires more aeration than any other kind of crops, so the field must have good drainage to obtain good yield. In areas where growing season is short, light soil is desirable for early harvest. It grows satisfactorily in heavioer soil if properly cared and managed.

Watermelon is tolerant to a wide range of soil acidity with soil pH 5.0 to 6.8 to successful growth. A long period of warm, preferably dry weather contributes to growth. A temperature of 25oC to 30oC isideal for growth and 25 C is the best temperature for fruit setting.

After plants are well-established, thin to one to two plants per hill. Alternate plant is planting incon-tinuous rows and thinning the plant to a distance of 1.5 to 2.0 meters. When plants have 3-4 leaves, thin to one plant per hill.

CULTIVATION

Cultivate and weed to check weed growth. Any implement may be used for the purpose. Avoid injury to roots while cultivating.

IRRIGATION

Watermelon may suffer injury when exposed to a long period of drought. Apply irrigation water when necessary. Frequent may suffer injury when exposed to a long period of drought. Apply irrigation water when necessary. Frequent light irrigation 5-6 times during growing season is beneficial. During early stage of growth, irrigate sparingly since too much water tends to hinder root development.

PEST AND DISEASES

Cucurbit beetle - Adults are yellow beetle 6 to 8 mm in length. They eat leaves of young and old plants.
Aphids - Adults and young are tiny, greenish insects generaly wingless and soft-bodied. Insects suck the sap of leaves. Infested plants show curling and distorting of leaves.
Mites - Very tiny insects usually found on undersurface of leaves. Adults are reddish in color.
Downy Mildew - Caused by Pseudiperonospora cubensis Berk and Curt. Characterized by the presence of yellow spots on up-per surface of leaves and pur-plish powdery material on lower surface.
CONTROL OF PEST AND DISEASES

Treat the watermelon seeds with appropriate fungicides to minimize early development of diseases in the field.

Dust or spray the young plants regularly with any suitable insecticides as soon as the false leaves have spread. At the seedling stage, watermelon are easily attacked by insect pests.

HARVESTING

Harvest watermelon fruits when mature enough to be sweet. Generally, it takes a watermelon fruit to mature 35 to 40 days from pollination depending on the variety. The old method of determining maturity of watermelon is by “thumping” with a finger. a dull or hollow sound is an indication of maturity. The most practical index,

However, is when the color of the lower part of the fruit that rests on the ground changes from white to creamy yellow. Harvest fruit with a sharp knife.

POST HARVEST ACTIVITIES

Pilenewly harvested fruits in shaded areas. Do not bruise fruits during sorting, packing and shipping.

MORE PLANTING TIPS

October is the right time for planting watermelon, (not December when the thrips come out) usually just after the palay harvest when the soil still retains moisture.

Watermelon likes clay-loam soil with good irrigation and drainage.

1. Plant seeds 3 in a hill, with canals in between rows to facilitate drainage. In an area of 2,000 square meters, 1000 hills can be made. If the seeds do not germinate, put seeds again in each hill.

2. Apply fertilizers:
- 4 kilos complete fertilizers
- 2 kilos Furadan (to prevent dumping off disease)

3. After 2 weeks, apply:
- 1 liter of the above mixture
- 1/2 small can Urea put in a pail of water
- Apply 1 liter per hill

4. After another 2 weeks
- 1 liter Urea
- 1/2 liter Triple 14 in a 1 pail of water
- From this, get 1 liter & mix in a pail of water & apply 1 liter of it per hill

5. After 10 days, apply the above mixture every 5 days

6. After 10 days
- 2 liter Urea and 1 liter Triple 14 (in a pail of water)
- Apply 1 liter of this in one pail of water every 5 days

7. After another 10 days:
- 3 liters Urea
- 2 liters Triple 14 in 1 pail of water
- Apply 1 liter to a pail of water; 1 liter for each hill every 5 days.
For fruiting purposes,
- 2 liter Triple 14 and 1 liter Urea (in 1 pail of water)
- 1 liter of this in 1 pail water every 5 days

8. In another 10 days
- 3 liters Triple 14
- 2 liters Urea
- 1 pail of water
- Apply same as above every 5 days

9. Another 10 days, apply
- 4 liters Triple 14
- 3 liter Urea
- 1 pail water

10. Another 10 days:
- 5 liters Triple 14
- 4 liters Urea
- 1 pail water
- Same way as above

Download: Watermelon.pdf

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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 08, 2008, 10:08:07 AM
How to Grow Guyabano
By Pinoy Farmer | April 2, 2008





Guayabano, guyabano or soursop in English (Anona muricata Linn.) is a small tree about 5 to 7 meters in height. The leaves are alternate, oval in shape, pointed at both ends, smooth and shining, 7 to 20 centimeters long and with petioles about 5 millimeters long. The flowers are large, yellowish or greenish yellow and solitary. There are six large, fleshy or leathery petals in two series. They are heart-shaped, with pointed tip, and up to 5 centimeters in length and 3 centimeters in breadth. In the center of the flower is a cone-shaped mass of many carpels which will form the fruit, and below this are very numerous stamens.

A native of tropical America, was introduced into the Philippines at an early date and is no cultivated in all parts of the Archipelago.

Guyabano is a green, soft spine, pea-shaped fruit with a sweet-sour flavor. It weighs about two to five kilos. The skin is thin and its flesh is a white, soft fibrous pulp which has a very agreeable flavor but rather sour. Its mature, green fruit is used as vegetable and made into sweet meats, while the ripe fruit is eaten raw or for dessert.

A lot of concoctions can be made into guyabano like delicious sherbets, ice drops and fruit drinks. An assortment of punch and cocktail drinks can be made by mixing the nectar with wine rum or cola drinks or buko (fresh coconut) juice and ice.

There are two strains of guyabano: the sweet and the ordinary. Both have the same botanic description. The former, however, tastes sweeter than the ordinary. Belonging to the family Anonaceae, other familiar fruits beside guyabano are atis (Anona Squamosa or sugar apple), anonas (Anona reticulata or custard apple), and atemoya (Anona).

Nutritive Mineral Content of Guyabano

Guyabano fruit is an excellent source of vitamins B and C. However, it is deficient in Vitamin A, calcium and phosphorous. Below is the mineral content analyses of the fruit:

Moisture
Ash
Phosphorous(P20)
Calcium (CaO)
Iron (Fe2O2)
Proteins
Soil and Climate

The plant grows in any kind of soil, but a fairly deep, friable soil of volcanic origin is conducive to growth & fruiting. It thrives very well from sea level up to 500 meters above sea level. It is best to plant them at the start of the rainy season.

Method of Propagation

Grafting
cutting
marcotting
budding
Note:

Refers to time from field setting to first harvest. Asexually propagated plants generally mature about twice earlier than plants grown from seeds.
Computed on the bases of distance of planting given for each crop.
Fertilization Guide

Age of Plant Recommended Rate of
N-P-K (kg/hectare) Method of Application
Planning time 250-300 gms. Complete
fertilizer (14-14-14)
or (12-24-12) Apply 3 inches below the roots
and 5 inches to side of seedling
at planting. 8 cm. below roots
and 10 cm. to the side.
Planning time
(1-3 years) 300-500 gms. of complete
fertilizer (1414-14) or
(12-24-12) plus 200-300 gms.
Urea (45-0-0) Mix and apply in two equal doses
by digging along periphery of
the tree. 1st application- start
of rainy season. 2nd application
- end of rainy season.
Bearing trees 0.5-3 kg. complete
fertilizer plus 200-
300 gms. muriate of
potash (0-0-60) - same as above -

Disease Control

Anthracnose is the most common disease of guyabano, cause by a fungus and transmitted by means of wind-splashed rain and contact with infected fruits. Spray flowers and developing fruits with any following:

Benlate at 2-4 grams per gallon of water
Manzate at 6-8 grams per gallon of water
Shell Copper Fungicide at 14-1 grams per gallon of water.
Pink disease is caused by a fungus and infective material is the common mode of transmission.

Symptoms: appearance of cracks on trunks or branches and secretions of gums; affected area covered with a thick mass of pink mycelia during the rainy season; drying of mycelia during dry weather with color changing to dirty white or gray eventually leading to die-back condition.

Control

Prune and burn infected branches and twigs.
Disinfect by spraying with copper fungicide or lime-sulfur mixture
Keep orchard clean of any source of infections.
Maturity

Fruits are mature when they become dark and shiny green with recurved spines set far apart and the skin appearing to burst with pressure from within. Ripe fruits are light yellow and soft.

Medicinal Value

The guyabano fruit is use as a cure for cough, scurvy and fever. It contains Vitamin A, calcium, phosphorous and rich with vitamin B and C. It also contains 11.62 percent sugar, mostly glucose and fructose. The green fruits and seeds can induce vomiting, remedy dysentery and arrest secretion or bleeding.

The sap of the young leaves may be applied directly on pimples to induce suppuration. The sap is also considered parasitical. An alcoholic extract of the leaves, when distilled with steam, yields a small amount of essential oil. The portion of alcoholic extract which is soluble in water contains a large amount of potassium chloride together with dextrose tannins, amorphous products, and a small amount of an alkaloid substance which could not be crystallized. The leaves and roots also cure colic and convulsions.

source: http://www.icuc-iwmi.org

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 08, 2008, 10:11:15 AM
Growing Ginger or Luya
By Pinoy Farmer | April 2, 2008





Ginger can grow in sandy or loose soil, provided it is planted at a depth of about 30 cm, has enough water and which does not hold water when it folds or rains. It can grow in shady places together with tall trees or plants. It is most productive when it is 25% shaded.

Four Kinds that Grow Locally

Our native ginger
a. white ginger — small, very fibrous but most pungent of all kinds
b. yellow ginger — like the white in kind except that it is orange in color, but the part above is dark green.
Imugan improved native, bigger crop, with resistance to soil diseases, its leaves have deeper lines. It bears more crops than the original native, about 1/3 or 2/3 more.
Jamaica “Oya” — pale and moderate in size. Dried “Oya” is leather-colored and aromatic, used in the manufacture of soft drinks.
Hawaiian — bigger, stouter crops and yellowish brown flesh, sometimes pinkish not so pungent but liked by foreigners. This kind yields about 20-30 tons per hectare. It is good for making into powdered or dried ginger.
Planting

One week before planting ginger, plow the field and remove all weeds and roots and make sure the place does not hold water when it rains.
If planting will be in two rows, the plot must be about 30 cm high and less than two meters wide. The length depends on the farmer.
If the soil has disease, sterilize it first by burning plenty of straw, or dried leaves of banana and coconut over it about 3 times.
Plant only fresh ginger free from disease, about 20 grams in weight, and showing early germination. A hectare of land can accommodate about 800 seedlings.
Before planting the ginger, wash them very well first in running water, and to make them free from disease, soak first for 10-15 minutes in chemical:
a. dissolve 5-6 grms mercuric bichloride in a porcelain cup of hot water
b. mix this in five (5) gallons of water
c. add 189 cc strong hydrochloric acid
Plant the ginger about 5 cm deep in every hill, about 25 cm apart from each other. Arrange the hills in pyramid shape, whether the place has good drainage or not. Plant the ginger sideways or lying down, and cover with about 10 cm thick soil. If the place is under the shade of coconut or other trees with good drainage, plant the ginger about 20-25 cm in a shallow hill, about 45 cm apart from each other.
As in any plant, ginger needs fertilizer. If the soil is sandy, apply 400 kilograms complete fertilizer for every hectare (or 300 kilos if the soil is clayey sand).
After planting, cover the ginger with plenty of leaves (ipil-ipil, straw or madre de cacao) to keep the soil from drying up, and to keep the soil from eroding when it rains. These also add to the fertilization of the soil when the leaves decompose.
On the second and fourth month, apply fertilizer again, about 400 kilos complete fertilizer for every hectare.
Always clean the plot from weeds.
To overcome attacks of pests and aphid, spray malathion 5% active ingredient — 4-7 grams for every gallon of water.
To overcome disease, spray Parzate or Dithane z - 78, 2 grams for every gallon of water.
Diseases in the soil can be overcome only by sterilizing the soil before planting (as earlier mentioned) and in selecting varieties resistant to disease.
The land must be plowed early to hasten its getting dry before planting time.
Harvesting

Ginger is ready to harvest when the leaves turn yellow and begin to wilt, about 8 months after planting.
Harvest ginger only when it is mature enough. In harvesting, dig every hill with the help of a fork, then pull up the plant, shake off the soil, and lay them on the ground. The branches and leaves may be cut off but take care not to hurt the crops.
While harvesting, segregate the ginger according to variety and size. Put in containers so as not to hurt them.
Drying: Ginger rots easily, but this can last long if dried

Soak and wash in water the fresh ginger. Scrape off gently all outer skin so as not to hurt the cells beneath this skin. Most of the cells that contain the oil and fragrance of ginger lie under the skin.
Cut up the ginger about 1/8 inches thin.
Dip in 2% sodium metabisulfite solution (1½ tbsp./1 water) for about 5-10 minutes, drain.
Spread the sliced ginger on a wire tray or nylon. Dry in the sun or in the oven at 65°C until brittle.
Store in containers safe from insects.
Harvesting and preserving ginger

When the leaves of the ginger plant turn yellow and begin to wilt, it is time to harvest the ginger. In a ginger plantation, three people should do the harvesting: one will dig up the crop with the help of a fork or spade another will pull up the plant, shake off the soil and stack them in rows.
The third will cut the stems and lay them for drying.

Care must be taken not to hurt the crops. Gather the harvest three (3) hours after, preferably late in the afternoon. Segregate them according to sizes. Wash well.

Storing: To make the ginger last even up to one year:

Expose the baskets containing ginger to warm air (or blower) about 42°C. Do this 1-2 days in an open place.
Air the ginger (normal temperature) about 5-10 days.
Store the ginger in a place about 20.6°C at 80% humidity, or in a cool place if not refrigeration is available.
source: http://www.elgu2.ncc.gov.ph

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 08, 2008, 10:15:43 AM
Growing Sweet Pea or Citzaro
By Pinoy Farmer | April 2, 2008





Sweet pea or “citzaro”, as locally called, is a cool climate annual legume raised for its edible pods and matured seeds.

Varieties

Sugar Pea Oregon - stringless green and flat pod. Best suited to Tropical conditions, heat resistance. Direct sowing.

Pea Alderman - Green wrinkled seeded, shelling and climbing pea. Only by dry and cold season, at altitudes higher than 800 m. Direct sowing. Harvest is 100 days after sowing.

Climatic and Soil Requirements

Being a semi-temperate legume, sweet pea thrives best at high elevations in the tropics like the Philippines. However, success production at low to medium elevations has also been reported with the choice of right varieties when planted during the cold months. (November to February) A loamy and loose soil rich in organic matter is ideal for sweet peas. Heavy manuring is done during land preparation to improve fertility, tilth and texture. Wooden ash is also commonly added.

Months of Planting

The season for sweet pea culture is rather broad but distinct. Many growers start drilling the seeds as early as mid-September for the November - December market of green pods and as late as March for late summer and early rainy season produce. High demand for “citzaro” reaches its peak during the Christmas season and in summer (April to May) in Baguio.

Nutritional Requirements

Being a legume, peas are capable of satisfying much of their nitrogen requirement largely through fixation from the air.

Cultural Requirement

Planting and Spacing - There are two methods of planting, the furrow and the plot methods. In Baguio, where there is intensive farming, the lot system of planting is followed. The plot is established one meter wide on which the seeds are drilled 15 cm. apart along 2 rows 35 to 40 cm. apart two to three seeds are drilled in a hole at a depth of about 5 to 7 cm. And covered with fine soil. Approximately 50 to 60 kilos of dried seeds are needed to plant a hectare.

Cultivation and Irrigation

Early cultivation is done as soon as rows of young plants become visible to achieve early control of weed and to provide optimum soil conditions for vigorous growth. Under dry environment, light over-head irrigation at least twice a week is provided over the plots. Irrigation by gravity is resorted to under extensive cultivation of the crop and when the furrow method of planting is adopted. Light flowing at about 2.5 cm. Every week between the furrows provides sufficient moisture for satisfactory growth.

Sticking

This is a must, especially in Baguio where up to the present all existing commercial varieties are viny and tall growing. A local grass called “rono” with a long but sturdy stem is commonly used. The sticks are introduced on the middle of the plot providing a common “trellis” for the rows of the plants. Sticking also facilitates harvesting of the pods. This is done about three weeks after planting or when the plants have already attained a height of 30 to 35 cm.

Fertilizer Application

Aside from the manure needed and applied during land preparation, the required complete fertilizer is applied in band at equal depth with the hill of seeds in between the rows during planting time.

Other Requirements

As the plants develop, they are braced with sticks against the trellis to prevent them from toppling over.

Control of Pests

1. Leaf mine - Phytomyza atricornis Meigen. This is the most destructive and persistent pest of sweet peas in the Baguio area. The larvae are small and they bury through the leaves. Under severe infestation, the leaves appear whitish and papery and in some cases the pest causes the death of the plant.

Control - Early protective spraying of the plants is recommended using Bayrusil and Phosdrin. Weekly spraying with sticker has been proven highly effective against the pest.

2. Cutworm, Prodenia litura (Fabr.) often a nuisance during the dry months, this pest attacks the young plants by nibbling or cutting off the stem near the ground level. They usually attack at night, hence its control is best achieved by drenching the soil where the larvae seek refuge during the day. Aldrin or Heptachlor have been proven very effective against the pest when applied late in the afternoon.

Harvesting, Curing and Storing

Index of Maturity - Most sweet peas grown in Baguio and its environs are harvested and marketed as green pods. These are picked when the seeds have just started to bulge in the pods. With present commercial varieties, initial picking of pods commences about 70 to 80 days after planting, and proceeds at 7-10 day interval thereafter, reaching the peak production through the second and third weeks of harvesting. The pods are cut from the stalk with a pair of scissors and placed in a basket tied around the waist of the picker as he goes along from one plot to the another. The best time to harvest is early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Care of Harvest - The pods are hauled under a shade, cleaned and sorted and neatly packed in small bamboo baskets lined with banana leaves. Damaged pods are those with brown spots or freckles are left for the family’s consumption.

For seed production intended for the next planting season, the pods are left in the field until mature and dry. These are harvested, further cured under the sun for a few days, then threshed by hand. The seeds are cleaned and spread under the shade for further drying. Bare seeds dried directly under the sun tend to crack their seed coats which affects their viability and keeping quality. Properly dried seeds are kept in tins or muslin bags and stored under dry environment.

source: Cultural Requirements for Phil. Agricultural Crops, http://www.da.gov.ph







 



 
 

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 08, 2008, 10:18:34 AM
Growing Lettuce
By Pinoy Farmer | April 2, 2008





Lettuce commonly known as lechugas is native to Southern Europe and Western Asia. In the Philippines lettuce is considered as one of the most important salad crops. Aside from salad, it is used as garnishing for other food preparations.

Varieties

1. Loose Leaf Type: Red Salad Bowl - Head is Long deeply cut, lobe frilled, color is bronze red, size is very large. Heat tolerant. Other varieties includes: Green Salad Bowl

2. Crisp Head/Batavia: Blonde de Paris - Leave shape - Tight cap fairly savored, deeply notched borders, color is yellow green, large size. Heat tolerant. Other varieties: Great Lakes, Minetto, Armada, Iceberg, Brillantine

3. Butterhead: Kagraner Sommer - Leave shape - slightly wavy, medium green color,
medium size. Slow bolting, heat tolerant. Other varieties: Madrilene, Sucrine, Green Mignonette, etc.

Adaptation

Climatic and Soil Requirements - The loose leaf type thrives well both in the lowlands and highlands. Difference, however, are noticeable in the growth habit. Heading varieties perform best in areas with low temperature. Lettuce does best in sandy loam and silt loam soils rich in organic matter. Where earliness is desired, sandy loam is preferred. If yield is important, silt loam and muck soils are highly preferred. Studies show that lettuce seems to grow better in soil with pH value ranging from 6.0 to 6.8.

Cultural Requirements

Seedlings are transplanted as soon as they have formed the first true leaves (two to three weeks after sowing) at intervals of 20 to 25 cm. both ways for non-heading varieties and 30 * 30 cm. for the heading varieties. The seedlings are set in two to four rows with a working path of 20 cm between the rows. Planting is recommended during cloudy days or late in the afternoon to avoid excessive wilting of the transplants. Lathering is advisable right after transplanting.

In large scale transplanting, direct seedling can be done depending on the growers desire and on the availability of necessary equipment. In direct seedling, shallow multiple rows, two to four rows, provided with a working path of 50 cm. between multiple rows, are made and the seeds sown very thinly in the furrows and covered thinly with fine soil. Water is sprinkled, particularly when the moisture content of the soil is insufficient for germination. Thin mulch of straw is necessary to enhance germination and to suppress weed growth.

Cultivation - Cultivation is done when the soil becomes compact. This is to disturb the weeds and to promote soil aeration.

Irrigation - The greatest amount of root development in lettuce is confide in the top 20 to 25 cm. of soil texture., evaporation losses and rainfall.

Fertilization - Lettuce plants are poor foragers because of their small root system. In this regard, the soil must be well-supplied with nutrients either from organic or inorganic matter. Preplanting application with 10 tons of stable manure to a hectare, applied during the last field preparation, is recommended. This must be supplemented with about 250 to 300 kg of 12-24-12 fertilizer mixture. Without manure, a hectare may require about 400 kilograms of 12-24-12. Two weeks after planting, side dressing
with about 100 kg of ammonium sulfate can be done.

Control of Pests and Diseases

1. Aphids - These are minute, pale green or black insects, mostly wingless, usually harboring themselves under the surface of the leaves. They cause injury by sucking the plant sap. Heavily infested plants develop abnormal growth, become dwarf and unproductive. Spraying with Malathion or Sevin at the rate of 1 tbs. per gal. of water gives satisfactorily control of the insects.

Diseases and their Control

1. Mosaic. The disease is caused by a virus. Symptoms on the leaves appear as yellow mottles. Plants become stunted and deformed. Severe infections result in a reduced plant size. Foliage is dull, greenish or yellowish control is by rouging or eliminating weed hosts of the aphids and diseased plants.

2. Bottom Rot this disease is caused by Rhizoctonia solani Khun, a fungus. The disease may be distinguished by the presence of sunken brown spots on the midribs and petioles. In severe cases, the fungus attacks succeeding layers or leaves until the whole plants become slimy. The disease can be controlled through sanitation and crop rotation with non-susceptible crops.

source: Cultural Requirements for Phil. Agricultural Crops, http://www.da.gov.ph


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 18, 2008, 10:33:46 AM
Chayote or Sayote Growing
By Pinoy Farmer | April 18, 2008





Chayote is a climbing plant that can rise as high as 12 meters. Its leaves are heart-shaped, 10-25 cm wide and with tendrils on the stem. The flowers are cream-colored or somewhat green that come out beneath a leaf or branch. If the plant is male, the flowers are in cluster; if female, the flowers come singly.

The fruit, light green, is elongated with one end narrower than the other with deep ridges lengthwise. The young leaves are eaten as vegetables (as salad), the roots grow like yam (ubi) and are also edible when cooked as sweets or fried like camote. If the harvest of chayote is abundant, it is cheaper to use it as food for pigs than the usual commercial feed. Chayote likes a cool climate with rains that are even during the year. It grows well in loose soil with fertilizer and likes rich volcanic soil.

Planting

Plant the matured fruit. This is allowed to germinate, first in a nurery. Upon reaching about 30 cm, it can now be transferred to the field.
Make holes about 30 cm wide and 3-5 meters apart from one another. Mix the soil with compost and put it back into the hole.
One to three seedlings can be planted in each hole. Cover with soil. Always clear the surroundings of weeds - until about 2 meters away from the plants. When the plant spreads and fill the trellises, the growth of weeds will be controlled.
Put trellises on every plant when these are about 30 cm high. Compost is the best fertilizer, but at 7-8 weeks, apply complete fertilizer before and after every rain.
Harvesting

If the chayote plant is planted for its fruits, do not prune the plant to get shoots; allow the big vine to spread so as to get the most sunshine and dew. But if the purpose is for shoots only, the plant gets pruned while the young leaves are gathered.

Manually pick the fruits when the desired size is reached.
Place the container of the harvested chayote in shade to keep them fresh for a longer time.
Pests and Diseases

Chayote is not beset with enemies of diseases like other plants. All it needs is care from weeds and adequate watering.




Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 18, 2008, 10:35:36 AM
Growing Cucumber
By Pinoy Farmer | April 18, 2008





There are two kinds of cucumber: one is for preserving and the other is for serving raw as salad. The one for serving is short and plump with white or black spikes, dark green in color that turns whitish at the ends. If the spikes are white, these turn yellow or white as they mature. If the spikes are black, this turns reddish when mature from end to end and has white spikes.

Manner of Planting

Cucumber seeds for planting are taken from matured plants. The more mature, the more seeds will germinate.
Cucumber grows in any kind of soil but it likes best loose, sandy soil enriched with compost. it does not like sticky soil.
Loose soil makes cucumber germinate and grow fast, but it must be maintained with watering as it dries up quickly especially in Summer.
Growth and development of cucumber is good in long summer days.
Preparation of Land

If the area for planting is small, a hoe will be enough for tilling the soil; but if it is wide, plow is necessary.
Make hills 6 ft. apart and 8 ft. away from one another. The farther apart , the more productive in fruits the plants will be. if they are close to one another, some fruits will be left unseen during harvest time as these will be obscured by the vine ends. Also, if the plants are far apart, danger of infection and diseases is lessened when the rain comes.
Plant 5-6 seeds in every hill and reduce it to 3 plants when they grow. When the seed germinate, culture the soil around each plant, but take care not to hurt the roots of the plant. Similarly in reducing the newly germinating plants, avoid hurting the plants to be retained.
Cucumber like moderate watering.
Apply fertilizer to increase the fruits.
Put up trellises to prevent the plants being bushy. It can also be made to crawl on the ground, but the quality of the fruits will not be as good. To have straight and fruits of the same color for salad, trellises are necessary. It can also be made to climb the side of the fence.
Avoid pests and diseases through smoking and spraying pesticide.
Harvesting

After 55-65 days, cucumber can be harvested if these will be used as salad or preserved.
Cut with a knife from the stem so as not to disturb much the vine from where it is gathered.
Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 18, 2008, 10:37:31 AM
Growing Carrot
By Pinoy Farmer | April 18, 2008





The carrot is one of the principal vegetables in the market for its rich content of carotene, Vitamins C and B besides calcium iron and phosphorus. This may be eaten cooked or raw. In other countries, the carrot is also used as medicine.

In Mexico, carrot is boiled in milk to give relief against cough and painful chest. In Europe, boiled carrot is known for its cure for jaundice. And if eaten raw, it drives out intestinal parasites.

Manner of Planting

In the Philippines, carrot grows in high altitudes. It likes fertile, loose soil that does not retain water. It dislikes sea water and hardly grows in soil with a high boron content.

The land for planting carrot must be prepared — fine and not in clumps.
Holes for sowing the seeds must be about 2 cm, and 20 cm apart.
The seeds are sown directly on the ground.
After sowing the seeds, cover them with fine soil. They will germinate within 3 weeks after planting. Good planting time is between October-December where there is rain.
Do not plant in areas where water stays because this will cause the roots and fruit to rot. But the plant also needs watering while it grows to make the fruit well developed.
The best fertilizer is compost, but if chemical fertilizers will be used, it is recommended that NPK 90+170+90 be broadcast over the field for every hectare before planting, and during rainy days.
Do the same during dry weather.
In planting, apply half of the nitrogen and all of the phosphorus and potassium on the soil. Apply the remaining half 4-6 weeks after planting. If animal manure will be used, apply 8-10 tons per hectare, and supplement with complete fertilizer.
Reduce the leaves when the plants are 15 cm high and already sturdy. 10. Put thin soil at the base of the plant to prevent the greening of the shoulder of the crop.
Pest

The most common enemy of the carrot is the larvae that eats the leaves. Spray this with tercyl. The disease of the leaves can be controlled if there is crop rotation in its place, the field is cultured, and sprayed with Parafungus or Fugitox. Avoid the bruising of the roots so as to prevent rotting.

Harvesting

According to kind, carrot may be harvested from 3 to 6 months after planting. By digging a little beneath the plant, the size or growth of the growing carrot can be seen. In harvesting, remove only the dried leaves. The young end roots hasten drying up, so these must be removed.

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 18, 2008, 10:41:02 AM
Sesame Growing
By Pinoy Farmer | April 18, 2008





(Tilseed, Cameline, German sesame, benniseed, dodder, linga) Sesame (linga) oil is used, not only for cooking food, but also for the manufacture of other things, such as margarine, soap, cosmetics, perfume, insecticides, pain and medicine. What is left after the extraction of its oil is excellent for feed for poultry, hogs, goat and rabbits. Its protein content is 22%, besides other substances.

There are many kinds of sesame. The following varieties yield good harvest and abundant oil: Sri Lanka Black, Japanese Black, and Iligan Marinduque Black, which are native to us. The white varieties that similarly yield good harvest and abundant oil which are used for special cuisine, are: the Japanese White, Guatemala White, Mexican White and our own native white variety. These are resistant to pests and diseases. Sesame grows in warm weather. This will not thrive in temperature as low as 21°C. It can withstand dry weather, but also needs watering as it grows. Because sesame seeds are very tiny, it seeds should be planted shallow in soil, free from weeds, does not retain water, and fertile.

Planting

The distance of the plants from one another should be one-half meter apart if the variety does not bear branches, and 70-80 cm apart if it bears branches. Mix the seeds with sand, and plant 5-10 seeds in a hole about 10-15 cm apart if it is branch-bearing, and only 8-12 cm if it is not branch bearing. In one hectare of land, 4-6 kilos of seeds can be accommodated. Irrigation is necessary in planting, but only once or twice after planting when it is growing. It needs watering before flowering and before fruit bearing.

Germination

The seeds germinate 5-7 days after sowing. Two weeks after germination, remove some leaves and branches and transplant the plant. Leave only two strong plants in every hill. After 3-4 weeks when the plants are sturdy, loosen the soil (culture). Culture again when the plant is 30 cm high. Always remove the weeds because this will diminish the capacity for fruit bearing.

Applying Fertilizer

Sesame does not like humid and rainy place. In rainy season, it is vulnerable to disease, so choose only varieties that are resistant.

Do not plant sesame repeatedly in the same area after harvest, so as to avoid disease or pest. Do not use insecticide containing sulfur because this is not good for sesame.

Harvest

The sesame plant flourishes from 85-150 days. Harvest when flowering stops, and the leaves turn yellow and fall off.
The pods burst out when these are ripe, so the seeds will scatter. Cut off the pods when still green and bunch them.
Spread the branches on a mat and thick cloth and put these under the sun.
When dried, beat the branches to bring out the seeds. Clean off the stones and dirt, and branches.
Dry the seeds before storing. If they are for planting, apply chemical on the seeds to keep pests away.



Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 18, 2008, 10:43:21 AM
Growing Radish
By Pinoy Farmer | April 18, 2008





Almost every part of the radish plant is useful. The leaves and roots may be eaten raw or cooked as vegetable, or cooked with meat or fish. Besides its use as food, radish is also used in many other ways its oil does not dry up like ordinary oil. This is used in soap making the meat after juice extraction is used as fertilizer. Radish is also medicine for diseases of the liver and spleen. There are two kinds of radish. One is planted for its crop and the other for its leaves and roots. The different varieties we have are:

Japanese radish — big and long, late harvested
Chinese radish — fine, smooth and white, productive and has moderate
length of time for harvest
White icicle — early harvest, rounded, long with small roots.
Bombay, 60 Days and others — can harvest within 100 days from planting, and mature 30 days from germination.
Land Preparation

Plow and harrow the field lengthwise and crosswise, and leave it for seven days to allow the uprooted weeds to rot and their seeds to grow.
Plow and harrow as before, repeat a third time but deeper.
Make elevated beds about one-half meter away from each other.
Put fertilizer where plants will be grown mix this with the soil by means of a rake.
Planting

A hectare of land would accommodate about 100 grams of seeds. Apply a kerosene can of compost before planting.

Treat the seeds first in growth regulator like “Seet Treat.”
Mix one teaspoon Orthocide 50 WP per kilo of seeds to check whatever diseases they may have.
Prepare the planting of the seeds. To make them evenly apart, use a string attached to both ends — one at 10 cm, a second at 40 cm, etc.
With the aid of a pointed stick, make a hole one and a half (1-½) cm deep and 10 cm apart, following the distance of the string.
Drop two seeds in each hole and cover with fine soil. Water with fine spray so as not to dislodge the seeds or remove the top soil.
Cover with straw about 5-10 cm thick between the rows of plants, with space of about 5 cm from the plant. Do not cover the seed especially if it has not germinated. Keep away chicken from scratching the seeds away. The straw or dried leaves serve to protect the plants from strong rain or intense heat, and from growing weeds.
Water morning and afternoon in the first three (3) days after planting do not allow them to get dry. When the seeds germinate, water only in the morning. Ten days after all have germinated, water only in the afternoon when the ground is dry.
Dig a canal around the plot about 30 cm wide and 40 cm deep to where the water will run in case of heavy rain.
Before planting, mix a can of compost to every 2 sq. meters of plot. If animal manure will be used, apply this after the first plowing: one can per sq. meter. If chemical fertilizer will be used, have the soil analyzed first at the Bureau of Soils Laboratory. If not, the National Food and Agricultural Council recommends 8 bags of ammonium sulfate for every hectare of radish plants.
Maintenance - When the soil around the plant becomes compact, loosen it especially when the roots are beginning to grow. Be careful not to hurt the roots. If in spite of putting straw or dried leaves, weeds continue to grow, remove them manually.

Pests - To control insect pests, spray any of the following: Orthene 75 SP, SD, Tamaron 600 EC, Phosdrin 1.5 Ec, Hostathion 40 EC, or Vegetox, following instructions on the label, at an interval of 7 days. Trapping by means of light helps to control insect pests.

Diseases - A soil-borne or seed borne disease of radish attacks the new plant when the soil is very wet. As mentioned earlier, treat the seeds with orthocide or Spergon Fermate or Zerlate — one-half teaspoon per gallon water. The black rot disease has a V-shape on the leaves. The leaves turn yellow then fall off. There is a black ring around the body when the leaf is removed

Harvesting - Different varieties have different times of maturity, from 30 days from germination to 100 days after planting. Thus, it is good to know the variety to be planted, or try ten plants first. When overmature, radish is fibrous, porous and does not taste good. Pull up the crop when harvesting in early morning or late afternoon. Do not harvest when the sun is hot because it will wilt immediately. Wash, bundle and bring to market first hour in the morning. Do not pile them too high so as not bruise the crops, and to avoid heating for the crops under the pile.

Seeding - Get seeds only from healthy plants. Let these flower and bear seeds. Apply 2 grams ammonium sulfate, and water daily. Maintain with care until the fruits turn yellow. Select good seeds from good plants. When the pods are over mature, these will burst open. Dry the seeds in the sun to kill pests or disease. Before storing them, mix a little DDT or Orthocide 50 WP before packing. Put in a jar with fine charcoal at the bottom and over it a piece of cardboard with holes. Label jar. Seal the cover with masking tape until the next planting season.



Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 30, 2008, 07:44:51 AM
Sweet Sorghum - Raw Material for Ethanol
By Pinoy Farmer | April 28, 2008





We dread the steady rise of fuel prices, but we are not without options. You have probably heard of ethanol and how groups, especially those who are espousing the cause of protecting the environment, are batting for widespread use of this alcohol.

Ethanol is a renewable fuel that is considered environment friendly and could help reduce the country’s dependence on oil imports. It is a high-octane, waterfree alcohol produced from the fermentation of sugar and converted starch, such as that from corn, potato, and sugarcane.

Ethanol is widely used in countries such as Brazil, the United States, Canada, Thailand, Japan, China, and India. The Philippines has also started programs on ethanol.

In May 2005, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo launched the National Bioethanol Program of the Philippines in San Carlos City, Pangasinan to mark the signing of contracts for a P1.5 billion-ethanol and power generation plant, which is the first in the country.

Wanted: Alternative Raw Material

Raw materials cannot keep up with the demand of producing ethanol. This is one of the reasons why scientists from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) conducted a study to determine the advantages of using sweet sorghum, a grain sorghum with sugar-rich stalk, as raw material for ethanol production.

Sweet sorghum is one of the two fundamental seeds which the Government of India, through ICRISAT, turned over to the Philippines for testing, and probably use, if found to be viable under Philippine conditions. Sweet sorghum has a wider range of adaptability, more rapid growth, and higher sugar accumulation and biomass production potential than sugarcane.

Ethanol in Fuel

Pure ethanol is not used as a motor fuel, instead, a percentage of ethanol is combined with unleaded gasoline. Combining ethanol with unleaded gasoline makes for lower fuel cost, increased fuel octane rating, and decreased harmful emissions.

Although any amount of ethanol can be combined with gasoline, the combinations, E10 and E85 are the most common. E10 simply means that the fuel is made up of 10% ethanol and 90% unleaded gasoline. E85 is 85% ethanol and 15% unleaded gasoline.

E10 is recommended by most automakers because of its clean-burning, yet high performance characteristics. In the United States, almost one-third of the country’s gasoline has been blended with ethanol since 2004.

E85, however, is recommended as alternative fuel for flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). If E85 is not available, these FFVs can operate on straight gasoline or any ethanol blend up to 85%.

Sweet Sorghum’s Edge

The cost of cultivating, crops growth duration, and water requirements of sweet sorghum are far lower than that of sugarcane. While sugarcane is cultivated for a year or more, sweet sorghum takes only four months. Sugarcane requires around 36,000 cubic meter of water in a cropping season, sweet sorghum only requires 8000 cubic meters. Studies show that the cost per liter of ethanol production from sweet sorghum is lower than that in producing from sugarcane molasses. Producing ethanol from sweet sorghum is also less polluting.

Sweet sorghum is found to grow well in the northern part of the country. If the National Bioethanol Program of the government pushes through, we can stop holding our breaths for those fuel prices rollbacks, and bat for a certain degree of self-sufficiency in our fuel needs.

source: Maria Lizbeth Severa J. Baroña of http://www.bar.gov.ph

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on April 30, 2008, 07:47:41 AM
Production Guide on Amaranth or Kulitis
By Pinoy Farmer | April 28, 2008





Common Names/Local Names: Amaranth, Chinese spinach, tampala, pigweed (English), Kulitis, Uray (Tagalog)

Varieties

Tiger leaf - spineless, leaf soft tender and variegated in color
Red leaf - spineless, often used as an ornamental plants in certain areas
Green Leaf - spineless
Uray - spiny, It has a reddish color on the undersurface of the cotyledons and on the stem
Botanical Description

The edible amaranth (A. tricolor L or A. viridis L) is an annual leafy vegetables belonging to the amaranthaceae or amaranth family.

Amaranthus - Erect annual, strongly branching, up to 2.5 m tall, with strongly branched tap root. Leaves alternate, long petiolate, simple and entire. Flowers in axillary clusters, upper clusters often leafless and in panicled spikes, unisexual, solitary in the axil of a bract, witrh 2 bracteoles, 3-5 tepals either free stamens as many as tepals (male flowers) or ovate or oblong ovary with 2-3 stigmas (female flowers). Fruits a dry capsule, dehiscent or indehiscent.Seeds shiny black or brown.

A. tricolor - Erect annual up to 1.5 m tall. Leaves elliptical to lanceolate or broad-ovate, dark green, light green or red. Clusters of flowers axillary, often globose, with a reduced terminal spike, but occasionally the terminal spike is well developed. Teplas 3. fruit dehiscent, with a circumscissile lid. Seeds black, relatively large; 1200-2900 seeds/g. cultivated

A. dubius - Annual sometimes biennial, up to 2 m tall, erect, strongly branching, Leaves ovate or rhomboid ovate, shortly cuneate at base, dark green. Lower clusters of flowers axillary, upper clusters leafless and in lax panicled spikes. Tepals 3-5. Fruits dehiscent, with a circumscissile lid. Seeds black, very small; 3000-4800 seeds/g. cultivated vegetables, sometimes escaped as weed.

A. cruentus - Tall annual, up to 2.5 m. Leaves lanceolate, accurate and often short decurrent at base, grayish-green. Clusters of flowers in large axillary and terminal panicled spikes. Tepals 5. Fruit dehiscent, with a circumscissile lid. Seeds dark brown to black; 2,500 - 3,000 seeds/g. seeds of grain types are light yellow. Cultivated as vegetable or grain.

A spiny relative of kulitis called uray (A. spinosus L) is a common vegetable in some regions in the Philippines. Though, spiny, it makes excellent greens or potherbs when used in the same way as spinach.

Adaptability

It is highly adapted under lowland condition. Grow well at day temperatures above 25°C and night temperatures not lower than 15°C. Amaranthus are quantitative short day plants. It consumes high amount of water and uses 6 mm/day. Amaranthus prefers fertile, well drained soils with a loose structure.

Uses / Importance

Amaranth is one of the most delicious leafy vegetables. It is a good crop for greens especially during the summer months when it is hard to grow and other kinds of vegetables. Amaranth is used in stews, ?sinigang? and other dishes wherever spinach (Spinacea oleracea L).

Many wild Amaranthus species are used as pot herbs. Used as ornamentals are A. tricolor forms with red, yellow and green coloured leaves or leaf sections and A. cruentus with large bright red inflorescences. Amaranthus weeds are used as for fodder (pigweed).

Vegetable amaranths are recommended as a good food with medicinal properties for young children, lactating mothers and for patients with fever, hemorrhage, anemia or kidney complaints. The wild A. spinosus L. used as a depurative against venereal diseases and as dressing on boils.

Nutrient Value

Amaranth is a rich source of calcium, iron and vitamin A as shown in below.

Nutritional values of amaranth (Raw and Boiled/100 grams edible portion)

Nutrients Raw Boiled
Moisture (%)
Food energy (cal.)
Protein (g)
Fiber (g)
Total Carbohydrates (g)
Ash (g)
Calcium (mg)
Phosphorus (mg)
Iron (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Potassium (mg)
Vit. A (I.U.)
Thiamine (mg)
Riboflavin (mg)
Niacin (mg)
Ascorbic acid (mg) 84.4
47
4.6
1.1
7.4
2.5
341
76
18
51
443
12,860
0.01
0.37
1.8
120 83.9
27
4.4

4.4

314
62



12,235
0.01
0.33
1.7
109

Propagation

Amaranth is propagated by seeds. Depending on the cultivar, photoperiod and cultural practices, flowering may start 4-8 weeks after sowing then the seeds mature after 3-4 months (it will serves as the source of planting materials). However, A. dubius will continue its generative stage for a much longer period and when cut regularly, the plant may become shrubby and perennial but even at its mature stage the leaves are succulent which is suitable for consumption as vegetables.

Preparing the field

Amaranth requires thorough land preparation with twice plowing and harrowing and well prepared bed for good growth.

Planting

Amaranth is planted either by direct seeding or transplanting. The choice of planting method depends on availability of seed and labor and may also vary with growing season. Direct seeding is appropriate when plenty of seeds is available, labor is limited and during the dry season when frequency of watering is less. Transplanting is preferred when there is limited amount of seed, plenty of labor and during the wet season when heavy rains and flooding are most likely to wash out the seeds.

However, the most common practices is sowing directly in rows with 0.5-1.0 cm deep and space rows 10-20 cm apart. Sow the seeds 5 cm apart within the row and cover with a layer of compost or rice hull, or broadcasting with a seed rate of 2-5 g/m2 (20-50 kg/ha). If transplanted, the seed requirement is only 2 kg/ha with plant densities of 400 plants/m2.

Fertilizing

Although amaranth is a low management crop and can grow in poor soils, yield increased with fertilizer application. A combination of both inorganic and organic fertilizers improves yield and maintains soil fertility. The amount of fertilizer to apply depends on soil fertility, soil type, fertilizer recovery rate, and soil organic matter. A soil test is highly recommended to determine the available N, P, and K. Fertilizer recommendations depend on local conditions, consult your fertility management specialist or conduct soil analysis to determine optimal rates.

Water Management

Amaranth is relatively drought tolerant, insufficient water will reduce yield. Water should be applied especially just after sowing or transplanting to have a good stand. As a rule, the plants should be irrigated if wilting occurs at noontime. During the rainy season, drainage is essential for plant survival and growth. Raised beds, clean furrows and large drainage canals facilitate quick drainage of excess water after heavy rain. Another way to gauge soil moisture content is to take a handful of soil from the bottom of a 15-cm deep hole. Squeeze the soil. If it holds together when you release your grip, there is sufficient soil moisture; if the soil crumbles, it’s time to irrigate.

Irrigate thoroughly to maintain vigorous plant growth. Avoid over-irrigation, which may enhance disease development and nutrient leaching. Drip irrigation or micro-sprinkler irrigation is recommended in areas with limited water supply. If sprinkler irrigation must be used, avoid late evening irrigation to prevent diseases.

Weed Management

Weeds compete for light, water, and nutrients, thereby resulting in reduced yield. It may be controlled using a combination of methods. Choose the most appropriate method(s) for your location. Thorough land preparation is the first key to effective weed control. Amaranth is small-seeded and slow to germinate, therefore, weed control is essential in their early stage. A seedbed free of weed seeds allows amaranth seedlings to get a head start on the weeds and establish a canopy that can shade out emerging weed seedlings. Hand or hoe weeding can be performed as needed.

Pests and Disease Management

Insect pests and diseases must be controlled to ensure good yield and marketable quality. Amaranth is susceptible to damage by foliar insects such as leafminers, leafrollers cutworms, aphids, flea beetles, and mites.

Traditional method of spreading wood ash to dispel insects have been replaced by spraying regularly up to twice a week with insecticides. Chemical pesticides should be used mainly as a corrective measure. Choose a pesticide that targets the specific insect that is causing the damage, and try to avoid pesticides that kill or inhibit the development of beneficial organisms. Choose pesticides that have short persistence, i.e., the effects last only a few days. Pesticides should be applied in the evening, and workers should not be allowed into the field until the recommended waiting period (usually 12 to 24 hours) has passed . An alternative but effective method of controlling insect pests is to cover the bed with a fine screen or nylon mesh netting (32-mesh or finer).

Harvesting

Amaranths are ready for harvest in 20-45 days after planting or sowing depending on variety and plant type. Plants may be harvested once or several times. Once-over harvesting is adapted for short maturing and quick growing varieties such as A. tricolor. Whole plants are pulled from soil with roots, washed and tied in bundles. With multiple harvests, young leaves and tender shoots are picked at 2-3 week intervals. Eventually, the plants begin to flower and develop fewer leaves. Frequent harvesting of leaves and shoots delays the onset of flowering and thus prolongs the harvest period. Amaranth and other leafy vegetables have large surface-to volume ratio and lose water rapidly. To reduce water loss, harvest during the cooler time of day, such as early morning or late afternoon.

Post-Harvest Handling

Since amaranth wilts rapidly, common practice in markets and shops is to sprinkle with water to keep its fresh appearance. If uprooted, the vegetables can be kept fresh for some days by putting it into basin with the roots in the water and sold in bunches or by weight.

Prospects/Opportunities

Amaranth is recognized as an easy to grow and very productive crop. It is probably the highest yielding leaf vegetable of the tropics with its excellent nutritional value thus of high importance for human consumption and as a cheap green vegetables for city dwellers. Research should focus on optimization of cultural practices, effective pest control with fewer residues and plant nutrition.

source: http://www.pcarrd.dost.gov.ph

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on May 03, 2008, 11:14:39 AM
New Technology of Extracting Coconut Oil
By Pinoy Farmer | May 1, 2008





Here’s a new technology of extracting coconut oil that can triple the income of coconut farmers. Dr. Pham Binh Chay, a researcher of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), University of the Philippines Bahos, has developed a better method of getting oil other than the traditional, tedious and uneconomical “copra system.”

The new technology is using “gamanase,” a bacterial enzyme which has the ability to break the cell wall surrounding the fresh coconut by decomposing the strands of complex carbohydrates which constitute 70 percent of the wall into simple substances or sugar and allow the oil its components to leak out.

Pham says that through the gamanase method, super quality oil that is colorless, tasteless and smells like fresh coconut meat can be extract

Compared with the copra method, as much as 20 percent more oil is recovered by using the enzyme.

Aside from the oil, two other by-products with economic significance are produced by this new technology: the protein-packed “supernatant,” which can be solidified to enrich hamburger patties, produce textured vegetable proteins and other foods; and fiber that can be added to flavc crag and biscuits.

In a nutshell, the steps involved to squeeze out the oil from the coconut shell through the gamanase method are as follows:
• Pick 11 to 12 months old coconuts.
• Remove meat and place in a clean container.
• Shred meat using a special grater, then place shredded meat in a large tank that combines blender and homogenizer.
• Add water three times the volume of meat. Let stand for few minutes, then transfer slurry to another tank.
• Add gamanase while stirring.
• Leave slurry for three hours. (The slurry will slowly separate into three parts - the oil on top, the supernatant in middle, and the fiber at the bottom).
• Remove crystal white fiber first, then the supernatant, using a siphon or hose. (Mix supernatant mixed with hydrochloric acid, filter to isolate protein then, dry).
• Filter oil to remove unwanted solids.
With the oil, supernatant and fiber recovered through enzymatic processing, the coconut farmers can triple their income. (BPG).

source: http://www.pcarrd.dost.gov.ph

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey on May 03, 2008, 11:16:41 AM
Cocoa and Chocolate
By Pinoy Farmer | May 2, 2008





The cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao) is a native of the dense tropical Amazon forests where it flourishes in the semi-shade and high humidities, but wild varieties also occur from Mexico to Peru. The Mayas of Yucatan and the Aztecs of Mexico cultivated cocoa long before its introduction to Europe, and Montezuma, Emperor of the Aztecs, is stated to have consumed regularly a preparation called chocolate made by roasting and grinding the cocoa nibs, followed by mashing with water, maize, anatto, chilli and spice flavours. The richness of this mixture no doubt had some connection with the Aztec belief that the cocoa tree was of divine origin and later led the Swedish botanist, Linnaeus, to give the name Theobroma - Food of the Gods - to the genus including the cacao species. The Aztecs also considered the drink to have aphrodisiac properties.

Botany

The genus Theobroma consists of some twenty-two species of small bushes and trees.
Theobroma cacao is the only one of commercial value and this species is divided into two main groups:
Criollo
Forastero
There is a third group known as Trinitario which is basically a cross of the two.

Cultivation

The growing conditions required by the cocoa tree are fairly precise and the areas of cultivation lie within 20 degrees latitude of the equator.
The temperature in cocoa growing areas is usually between 30C and 32C. The minimum
allowable is 18C. Rainfall levels of 1,150 to 3,000mm are required.
Soil conditions can vary considerably but a firm roothold and moisture retention are
necessary. It is traditional for cocoa to be grown under shade trees although such conditions resemble those in its natural habitat it has been shown that higher yields can be obtained without shade if sufficient moisture and nutrients are made available.
Propagation by seed is the most economical way of increasing stock but vegetative
methods can also be used and these provide a more consistent and reliable method of
reproducing trees of particular strains.

Fermentation

Cocoa beans are fermented not just to remove the adhering pulp but also develop the distinctive flavour of cocoa. Correct fermentation and drying of cocoa is of vital importance and no subsequent processing of the bean will correct bad practice at this stage. A good flavour in the final cocoa or chocolate is related closely to good fermentation but if the drying after fermentation is delayed moulds will develop which will produce very unpleasant flavours.
After the pods are cut from the trees the beans with the adhering pulp are removed. Fermentation is carried out in a variety of ways but all depend on heaping a quantity of fresh beans with their pulp and allowing micro-organisms to ferment and to produce heat. Most beans are fermented in heaps. Better results are obtained by the use of fermentation boxes which give more even fermentation.
Fermentation takes five to six days. Forastero beans take rather longer to ferment than Criollo.
During the first day the adhering pulp becomes liquid and drains away. By the third day the mass of beans will have fairly even heated to 45 deg. C and will remain between this temperature and about 50 deg. C until fermentation is completed. It is necessary to occasionally stir the beans to aerate and to ensure that the beans initially on the outside of the heap are exposed to temperature conditions prevailing in the interior.

Drying

After fermentation the beans are placed in shallow trays to dry. In some growing areas where the main harvest coincides with the dry season, sun drying is adequate. The beans are dried by being spread out in the sun in layers a few centimetres thick. Sun drying trays may be movable on rails so that they can be pushed under canopies. Where the weather is less sunny, artificial driers are used. There are numerous types of dryers but an essential feature of all must be that any smoky products of combustion do not come in contact with the beans otherwise taints will appear in the final product. Some system involve the complete combustion of the fuel so that the flue gases can be used to dry the beans.

Cleaning

The beans are cleaned to remove the following extraneous matter: bean clusters and other large pieces using rocking and vibratory sieves; light material like dust, loose shell and fibre using a gentle upward air stream; iron particles using a magnetic separator and stones and heavy material using a fluidised bed with air aspiration to lift the coca beans. It may also be necessary to grade the coca beans according to size to ensure even roasting.

Roasting

This is the most important stage in the development of flavour. This can be achieved by roasting the whole bean, the cocoa bean cotyledon or even the ground cocoa bean cotyledon (cocoa mass). For chocolate production the roasting temperatures are 100C to 104C. For cocoa powder production higher temperatures of 120 to 135C are used.

There are many designs of roasters:

Both batch and continuous systems. The operation is controlled so that: the nib is heated to the required temperature without burning the shell or the cotyledon and producing undesirable flavours; the heat is applied evenly over a long period of up to 90 minutes to produce even roasting; the nib must not be contaminated with any combustion products from the fuel used and provision must be made for the escape of any volatile acids, water vapour and decomposition products of the nib. After roasting the beans are cooled quickly to prevent scorching

Crushing

The shell will have been already loosened by the roasting. The beans are then lightly crushed with the object of preserving large pieces of shell and nib and avoiding the creation of small particles and dust. The older winnows used toothed rollers to break up the beans but modern machines are fitted with impact rollers. These consist of two hexagonal rollers running in the same direction that throw the beans against metal plates . The cocoa bean without its shell is known as a cocoa nib. The valuable part of the cocoa bean is the nib, the outer shell being a waste material of little value.

Winnowing

The crushed material is winnowed to remove the broken pieces of shell. This is achieved by sieving and blowing air through the material.

Alkalisation

Alkalisation is a treatment that is sometimes used before and sometimes after grinding to modify the colour and flavour of the product. This was developed in the Netherlands in the last century and is sometimes known as Dutching. This involves soaking the nib or the cocoa mass in potassium or sodium carbonate. By varying the ratio of alkali to nib, a wide range of colours of cocoa powder can be produced. Complete nib penetration may take an hour. After alkalization the cocoa needs to be dried slowly.

Grinding

The cocoa nib is ground into cocoa liquor (also known as unsweetened chocolate or cocoa
mass). The grinding process generates heat and the dry granular consistency of the nib is turned into a liquid as the high amount of fat contained in the nib melts.

Production of cocoa butter

Cocoa butter can be extracted using extrusion, expeller, or screw presses. Cocoa butter can be produced from whole beans, and mixtures of fine nib dusts, small nibs, and immature beans.
Sometimes, whole nibs are pressed when the expeller cake is needed for the manufacture of coatings and therefore must be free from shell and as low as possible in cocoa butter content.
When pressing whole beans, very light roasting or even no roasting is needed, and this gives the mild-flavoured cocoa butter that is desirable for milk chocolate.

Hydraulic presses

Hydraulic presses are used to produce cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Cocoa powder can be prepared by the hydraulic pressing of finely ground cocoa liquor. This can be achieved by compressing the liquor in heavy steel pots until a predetermined amount of cocoa butter is squeezed through very fine mesh screens or filters situated at each side of the pot. The pots, each with a capacity of about 18kg, are mounted in a horizontal frame and the cocoa liquor, heated to 93-102 deg. C, is pumped in at a pressure of up to 300lb per square inch. Cocoa butter immediately starts to be forced out through the filter screens and when the pots are full the pressure pump is turned off and a hydraulic ram set in motion. A pressure of up to 6000lb per square inch is then applied. Cocoa butter runs from the pots to a trough and eventually to a collecting pan situated on a balance. When the required amount of cocoa butter has been extracted the ram is reversed to the starting position, the press pots open up and the cocoa cakes from each pot are deposited on a conveyor and taken away for grinding. The extracted cocoa butter will need to be cleaned to remove non-fat solids in suspension, this can be done by filtration or centrifugally. Cocoa butter produced by this method is normally a very pale yellow
colour and it sets at a fairly hard fat showing crystal formation. Its melting point is 35 deg C .

Expellers

Cocoa beans for expeller pressing are either very lightly roasted at low temperatures or not roasted at all. They may be just warmed sufficiently to loosen the shell. The beans are steamed before being fed to the press to soften them and help release the cocoa butter. Basically the expeller press consists of a tapering tube perforated along its length in which is situated a rotating screw. The cocoa beans are fed into the tube where they are subjected to shearing and increasing pressure by the action of the rotating screw. Cocoa butter is forced out through the perforations in the tube. The tube is terminated by an adjustable cone which gives a variable gap between the tube and the cone. Thick flakes of expeller cake are extruded through this gap. The extracted fat must be filtered or centrifugally separated to remove cocoa solids. Expeller cake contains 8-9 percent fat and this can be extracted using organic solvents.

Solvent extraction

Cocoa butter can be produced at the large scale by solvent extraction. It should be noted that it is unlikely that solvent-extracted cocoa butter would alone account for the added cocoa butter in a chocolate. Generally, it would be incorporated in a butter blend at the rate of 2 to 5 percent.

The production of cocoa powder

The cocoa powder is taken from the press as a cake. It is broken in a mill. The resulting powder is sieved through fine silk, nylon or wire mesh. Most cocoa powders are made from mass which has been treated with alkali with the purpose of controlling the colour of the powder and improving the dispersability.

The production of plain chocolate

To produce plain chocolate mass is mixed with sugar and sufficient cocoa butter to enable the chocolate to be moulded. The ratio of mass to sugar varies according to the national taste.

Melenging

The mixture is ground to such a degree that the chocolate is smooth to the palate. At one time this was done by a lengthy process in melengeurs - heavy granite rollers in a revolving granite bed - but nowadays grinding is done in a series of rolls.

Conching

After grinding the chocolate is conched. The original conche was a tank shaped rather like a shell in which a roller is pushed to and fro on a granite bed. During the conching process which may last for several hours the chocolate is heated, this helps to drive off volatile acids, thereby reducing acidity when present in the raw bean, and the process finishes the development of flavour and makes the chocolate homogeneous.

Tempering

After conching the chocolate has to be tempered before it is used for moulding. Tempering
involves cooling and reaching the right physical state for rapid setting after moulding.

The production of milk chocolate

Similar processes are involved in the manufacture of milk chocolate. The milk is added in various ways either in powder form to the mixture of mass, sugar and cocoa butter, or by condensing first with sugar, adding the mass and drying this mixture under vacuum. This product is called crumb and this is ground and conched in a similar manner to plain chocolate.

Source : Intermediate Technology Development Group


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey 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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey 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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey 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


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey 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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey 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
Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey 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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey 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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey 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


 

 

 

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey 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

Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: mikey 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


Title: Re: Crops and Vegetables Planting Guide:
Post by: ayeshaaakter 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.