Journal of Plantation Crops <p>As a multidisciplinary journal, Journal of Plantation Crops (JPC)&nbsp;aims at dissemination of research findings in plantation crops (coconut, arecanut, cocoa, cashew, oil palm, coffee, tea, rubber, date palm), including cropping systems, as well as various spices. Since its inception in 1973, 45 volumes have been published. The journal is published thrice a year during April, August and December and publication of the articles is subject to peer reviewing and recommendation by experts in the field.</p> Scienceflora Publishers Pvt. Ltd. en-US Journal of Plantation Crops 0304-5242 Seasonal abundance and host plants of coconut stick insect (Graeffea crouanii Le Guillou) in coconut plantations of Fiji islands <p>Field survey conducted in major coconut growing regions in the three Fiji islands <em>viz.,</em> Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, and Taveuni, revealed the presence of only one pest species of stick insect, <em>Graeffea crouanii</em>. Temperature had a significant effect on the level of infestation in the farms surveyed, while the effect of rainfall and humidity on the infestation was insignificant. Severe infestation was observed in isolated pockets, and the pest distribution was discontinuous in the surveyed areas. On a damage scale index, the insect infestation on coconut palms ranged from 0 to 4 grades. The peak increase of <em>G. crouanii</em> populations was from November to April in wet season at each of the three hotspots: Namaumada (Viti Levu), Dawara (Vanua Levu), and Salialevu (Taveuni). The occurrence of <em>G. crouanii</em> at varying damage levels in the present study may be attributed to the presence of sparse coconut palms in isolated coconut plantations. The field survey identified many alternate host plants of <em>G. crouanii</em> in the two plant families <em>viz.,</em> Arecaceae and Pandanaceae. The information on the seasonal abundance and infestation levels of <em>G. crouanii</em> and its alternate host plants are discussed in formulating location-specific pest management strategies.</p> Aradhana D. Deesh Anjeela D. Jokhan Ravindra C. Joshi Mohammed M.G. Khan B. Augustine Jerard ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-04-25 2020-04-25 1 10 10.25081/jpc.2020.v48.i1.6211 Infectivity and management of dry rot, eye rot and soft rot of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) <p>Dry rot and eye rot of ginger are post-harvest infections noticed as caused by <em>Macrophomina phaseolina</em> and <em>Fusarium oxysporum,</em> respectively. To investigate whether these pathogens cause damage to the crop only during the cropping period and then remain latent, or are purely post-harvest in nature, an experiment was undertaken by artificially inoculating the pathogens and comparing them with soft rot caused by <em>Pythium myriotylum</em>. The results of the study indicate that <em>M. phaseolina</em> could infect ginger plants during the cropping period and cause rhizome infection, manifested as yellowing of the pseudostem and the pathogen reside inside the rhizome and develop latent infection as dry rot during storage. The pathogen could be re-isolated and proved Koch’s postulates. However, none of the <em>Fusarium</em> challenged plants showed symptoms either manifested as yellowing or rotting of the pseudostem. In <em>Macrophomina-</em>challenged plants, the infection appeared only during the post-monsoon period that coincides with the yellowing of the leaves during maturity. This observation was supported by the occurrence of natural infection by <em>Macrophomina </em>in harvested fresh rhizomes during 2018 and manifested as scattered elongated streaks with black mycelia inside the rhizomes, which extended from the cut end to the tip. But <em>Pythium</em> inoculated plants succumbed to infection as rotting of the basal portion of the pseudostem and yellowing of the lower leaves. The intensity of infection varied from 0-63 per cent. <em>In vitro</em> testing of seven fungicides in four different concentrations showed that metalaxyl-Mz, copper oxychloride (COC), and mancozeb even at 500 ppm are not inhibitory to <em>M. phaseolina.</em> But carbendazim and carbendazim-mancozeb were highly effective, giving complete inhibition even at 50 ppm. In the case of <em>P. myriotylum</em>, metalaxyl-Mz, COC, and Bordeaux mixture showed &gt;70 per cent inhibition at 500 ppm. Mancozeb alone at 500 ppm was not effective against <em>Pythium</em>. <em>In planta</em> evaluation was done with fungicides individually and in combinations along with a systemic insecticide, dimethoate. Most of these treatments resulted in reduction of Macrophomina infection, of which metalaxyl-Mz alone or in combination with carbendazim (0.2%) and dimethoate (0.05%) showed 100 per cent reduction in infection. Metalaxyl-Mz (0.125%) with dimethoate (0.05%) was highly effective in reducing the infection caused by <em>P. myriotylum</em>.</p> R. Suseela Bhai ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-04-25 2020-04-25 11 20 10.25081/jpc.2020.v48.i1.6212 Integrated management of pod rot disease of cocoa in hilly tracts of Karnataka <p>Cocoa suffers heavily due to pod rot disease caused by <em>Phytophthora palmivora,</em> causing yield losses ranging from 30 to 60 per cent. For devising strategies for effective management of pod rot disease, the present study was conducted during <em>Kharif</em> seasons of 2012-13 and 2013-14 in farmer’s field in the hilly tracts of Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka State, India. The results revealed that sequential spray of Metalaxyl MZ 68WP at 0.2 per cent followed by 1 per cent <em>Pseudomonas fluorescens</em> at 15 days interval significantly reduced the severity of pod rot disease (20.1%) in cocoa. This was followed by spraying of Mancozeb at 0.25 per cent + <em>P. fluorescens</em> at 1 per cent and spraying of Bordeaux mixture (1%) + <em>P. fluorescens</em> at 1 per cent. The reduction in disease severity has reflected in increased crop yield. The plots sprayed with Metalaxyl MZ 68WP + <em>P. fluorescens</em> has recorded the highest yield of 518.2 kg of dry beans ha-1 followed by 436.2 and 433.6 kg ha-1, respectively, in Mancozeb + <em>P. fluorescens </em>and Bordeaux mixture +<em> P. fluorescens</em>. The maximum disease severity was recorded in untreated control plots (46.2%) with a minimum yield of 337.3 kg ha-1. The highest net return of <strong>`</strong> 62,007 was recorded in plots sprayed with Metalaxyl MZ 68WP + <em>P. fluorescens</em> sprayed plots. Thus, the integration of chemicals with a biological control agent was found to be promising not only in the management of pod rot disease but also in obtaining higher net returns in cocoa.</p> Gurudatt M. Hegde ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-04-25 2020-04-25 21 26 10.25081/jpc.2020.v48.i1.6213 Climate based coconut yield model for Arsikere taluk of Hassan district in Karnataka <p>Coconut has a prolonged reproductive phase of 44 months from the initiation of the inflorescence primordium to full maturity of the nuts. Weather affects all stages of the long development cycle, and thus there is likely to be extended predictability based on climate variability. Arasikere taluk of Hassan district, which has a major share of coconut area of Karnataka state, is frequently experiencing deficit rainfall coupled with a decline in groundwater level. Hence, an attempt was made to relate the coconut sample survey data of Coconut Development Board with climate data of Arsikere taluk of Hassan district. Mean nut yield per palm, per year in the Arasikere taluk was 49.2. Among the villages, Gijihalli recorded significantly lower nut yield (42.2) followed by Jajur (48.8) and Aggunda (55.3). Mean maximum, and minimum temperature during 2010-2017 was 32.40C and 19.50C respectively, with an average annual rainfall of 840 mm. Annual rainfall during 2011, 2012 and 2016 was below normal compared to other years. Correlation of monthly nut yield per palm with rainfall showed a significant positive correlation with the previous three to four years rainfall. Long dry spell during primordial initiations to nut maturity during consecutive two years 2011 and 2012 has resulted in significantly low nut yield during 2014. Rainfall during 2013 and 2014 was comparatively better, resulting in significantly higher nut yield during 2016 compared to 2014. Among the different stages, the primordium initiation stage and the ovary development stages were more strongly and significantly influenced by the weather parameters during all the years. Rainfall during button development stage followed by T<sub>max</sub> and rainfall during the spadix emergence stage showed a significant contribution to the weather-based regression model. Future climate of Arasikere showed an increase in annual rainfall mainly during September and October but declined during November/December period. Maximum and minimum temperature showed an increase by 1-1.50C which may increase the evaporative demand and dry spell duration resulting in moisture stress thus highlighting the importance of rainwater harvesting to take advantage of increased rainfall under future climatic condition. The future climate scenario may also favour the attack of pests like eriophyid mite.</p> Shripad Vishweshwar Shankar Meti B.V. Champa M.S. Nagaraja ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-04-25 2020-04-25 27 35 10.25081/jpc.2020.v48.i1.6214 Preservation and long-term storage of Trichoderma spp. by sodium alginate encapsulation <p><em>Trichoderma </em>species have become popular as biocontrol agents and are being used to protect crops from many plant pathogens world over. The experiments carried out to preserve <em>Trichoderma</em> species in the form of sodium alginate encapsulated beads revealed that the conidial and mycelial stages in encapsulated form remained viable for more than six years at room temperature. Production of alginate encapsulated <em>Trichoderma</em> was relatively a simple procedure but found to be an efficient method for maintaining the pure culture and also for long-term preservation. The survival and conidiation from the encapsulated beads are very much comparable to freshly inoculated culture. The organism can be revived from encapsulated beads by inoculating onto either PDA or organic substrates like vermicompost. On revival, its bio-efficacy remained as in fresh culture, and on soil application the antagonistic potential was sheltered.</p> R. Suseela Bhai ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-04-25 2020-04-25 36 44 10.25081/jpc.2020.v48.i1.6215 Validation of organic management in cassava intercropped in coconut plantation in the humid coastal tropics of Kerala, India <p>Crop diversification and alternatives like organic farming assume importance for sustainable food production, especially during climate change. Besides, organic farming enables environmentally benign and clean food production. Cassava, an important food-cum-nutritional security crop with diversified uses in feed and industrial sectors, is a common intercrop in coconut plantations. On-station field experiments at ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram conclusively proved that organic management promoted productivity, tuber quality and soil properties in cassava. Cost-effective technologies were also developed, which required large scale field validation. Hence, a field experiment was conducted under Network Project on Organic Horticulture during 2015-2017 at the Research Farm, ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod, to validate the ICAR-CTCRI developed organic farming technologies in cassava under intercropping in an organically raised mature coconut garden. Three varieties of cassava (Sree Vijaya, Vellayani Hraswa and H-165) were tested under four production systems <em>viz</em>., traditional, conventional, integrated and organic, and replicated thrice in split-plot design in a 48-year-old coconut (var. Kera Keralam) garden. Organic and conventional practices were equally efficient in crop growth, yield, tuber quality and soil chemical properties. Averaging over the years, yield under organic management was 76 per cent of conventional farming. The domestic and industrial varieties of cassava performed similarly under the different production systems, with almost the same yield reduction (24%) under organic over conventional management. The organic technology package comprising farmyard manure, green manure cowpea, cassava crop residue and biofertilizers, resulted in significantly higher available N in soil and improvement in P, K, Mg, Mn and Zn contents in cassava tubers. However, cassava var. Vellayani Hraswa under an integrated production system resulted in the highest net income (<strong>`</strong> 1,97,830 ha-1) and B:C ratio (1.99) when intercropped in coconut.</p> G. Suja R. Surekha P. Subramanian D. Jaganathan C. Lintu Maria Rakhi K. Raj ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-04-25 2020-04-25 45 54 10.25081/jpc.2020.v48.i1.6216 Studies on different formulations of the bioagent Trichoderma in the management of stem bleeding disease in coconut <p>Stem bleeding disease is the most common and well-known disease of coconut and is prevalent in almost all coconut growing countries. <em>Thielaviopsis paradoxa</em> is the pathogen causing stem bleeding disease. The symptoms of the affected trunk areas exhibit dark discolouration and a reddish-brown or rust-coloured liquid bleeding from different points. Affected plants die within 3 to 4 months after stem symptoms first appeared, if corrective measures are not taken properly. Keeping in view the severity of disease and the need for managing the disease with effective biocontrol formulation, the current experiment was initiated during 2014 at Mukkamala village of East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh State, India. The treatments like <em>Trichoderma harzianum</em> cake formulation, <em>Trichoderma reesei</em> paste formulation along with paste application of copper oxychloride were tested in the field conditions. Among the treatments tested, application of <em>T. harzianum</em> cake formulation completely brought down the disease index from 12.91 to 0 per cent within 50 days of cake application. Disease index of 17.70 was reduced to 2.05 in case of paste application of copper oxychloride, and disease index of 14.02 was reduced to 3.69 in case of paste application of <em>T</em>. <em>reesei</em> against stem bleeding disease of coconut over three years from 2015-2018. Thus, the cake formulation of <em>Trichoderma</em> was found very effective in managing the disease at the field level, which is a bioagent and safer for environment protection.</p> B. Neeraja A. Snehalatharani N.B.V. Chalapathi Rao G. Ramanandam ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-04-25 2020-04-25 55 59 10.25081/jpc.2020.v48.i1.6217 Why are the pepper prices declining? An analysis of changing production and trade scenario in India <p>During the 1950s, India was the major player in the pepper market. Recently India has dropped to 4th position in production and exports. The price per kilogram of pepper in Cochin market reduced from <strong>`</strong> 687 to <strong>`</strong> 383 between 2014-15 and 2018-19. This manuscript attempts to study the reasons for the decline in India’s share in world pepper market and the recent fall in prices. The secondary data from the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Bank - World Integrated Trade Solutions, Reserve Bank of India and Spices Board of India were used for analysis. Transitional probability matrix was deployed to analyse the change in the direction of trade, relative comparative advantage and competitive index was used to study India’s market power in the international market. There has been a change in the direction of trade since 1999-2000. The results revealed a four per cent decline in area under pepper during 2000-2018, and now Indian pepper market has become import oriented with a CAGR in imports of 13 per cent during 1981 to 2000 and four per cent during 2001 to 2016. A similar trend was observed in production and exports as it got reduced from 25 per cent and 20 per cent in 1960s to ten per cent and five per cent respectively, in 2016. Increased supply in the international market, decreased production, cheaper imports and illegal imports have pulled down the domestic prices sharply in recent years. From 1995, workers’ wages have increased by around 10 per cent, and with decreasing prices, the Indian pepper industry looks grim. Appropriate policies to safeguard Indian farmers’ interest, such as export promotions, increasing productivity, delivering reasonable prices and incentives for processors would instil confidence in the farming community and the industry as a whole.</p> A.G. Adeeth Cariappa B.S. Chandel ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-04-25 2020-04-25 60 69 10.25081/jpc.2020.v48.i1.6219