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 Soil organic matter characterization in rubber based systems in central Kerala - A spectroscopic approach <p>Land use and agro-management practices influence the quantity and quality of soil organic matter. Soil properties to a large extent are influenced by the content and nature of soil organic matter. A field study was conducted in two locations, one at Amayannoor and the other at Mundakayam in Kottayam district, Kerala to undertake the spectroscopic characterization of soil organic matter. The four rubber systems investigated at Amayannoor were mature rubber, immature rubber with cover crop <em>Pueraria phaseoloides,</em> immature rubber with inter-crop banana and immature rubber with inter crop pineapple. At Mundakayam, mature rubber, immature rubber with cover crop <em>Mucuna bracteata,</em> immature rubber with inter crop banana, and immature rubber with inter crop pineapple were investigated. Both, UV-Vis and FTIR spectroscopic studies were carried out. Soil organic matter under mature rubber was observed to be more aromatic than soil under immature systems at both locations. Among the different immature systems, the soil organic matter in rubber-<em>Pueraria</em> system showed the presence of more carbohydrates and polysaccharides than rubber-pineapple and rubber-banana systems. However, rubber-<em>Mucuna</em> system showed relatively higher aromaticity than rubber-pineapple and rubber-banana systems. This study confirms the earlier reports about the faster decomposition of soil organic matter in rubber-<em>Pueraria</em> system and slower decomposition of soil organic matter in mature rubber plantation. This spectral investigation also revealed the specific nature <em>viz</em>., higher aromaticity of the soil organic matter in rubber-<em>Mucuna </em>system which contributed towards the buildup of soil carbon in the system.</p> Annie Philip Joshua Abraham ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 132 139 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6040 Assessment of crop loss in Arabica coffee due to white stem borer, Xylotrechus quadripes Chevrolat (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) infestation <p>The coffee white stem borer (CWSB) is the most dreaded pest of Arabica coffee in India. Due to the concealed nature of this pest, the management measures are difficult and require the timely implementation of control measures. The recommended practices for the management of CWSB mainly targets on eggs and early instar larvae, apart from tracing and uprooting of infested plants before the commencement of flight periods (April-May and Oct-Dec). In general, youngArabica coffee plants infested by CWSB die within a year, whereas aged plants withstand the attack for few more years. However, such plants become less productive, susceptible to diseases and also serve as inoculum for further spreading of the infestation. A study was undertaken to assess the crop loss due to CWSB infestation on established Arabica plantation in Tamil Nadu. The result indicated a significant difference between healthy and infested plants and the crop loss was to the tune of 17.7 per cent. Further, quantitative data on out-turn percentages recorded at different stages of coffee processing (right from harvesting of fruits to marketable green coffee bean) are discussed in this paper.</p> A. Roobak Kumar T. N. Gopinandhan P. Krishna Reddy M. S. Uma Somashekhargouda Patil G. V. Manjunath Reddy H. G. Seetharama ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 140 144 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6041 Crop weather relationship in arecanut <p>Weather plays an important role in the crop development and yield of any agricultural crops. Even though, arecanut (<em>Areca catechu</em> L.) grows in a wide range of climatic conditions, its performance is greatly influenced by the weather. The effect of weather variables such as maximum temperature, minimum temperature, relative humidity and rainfall at different stages of crop development on the annual yield of arecanut is studied. The study showed that the maximum temperature positively influences the flowering and fruit set in arecanut. Also, high rainfall and relative humidity during the flowering and fruit setting period adversely affect the arecanut yield. The stepwise regression model fitted using the significant weather variables could explain 97 per cent of the yield variation in arecanut.</p> C.T. Jose K. P. Chandran K. Muralidharan S. Jayasekhar ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 145 151 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6049 Varietal Evaluation of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) in Kachchh, India <p>Date palm (<em>Phoenix dactylifera</em> L.) is one of the important fruit crops of semi-arid regions of the western border of India with Kachchh district of Gujarat comprising of the highest area and production. The majority of the plantations in this area are seed propagated, resulting in high variability and irregular orchards. For systematic planting, a variety of desired quality is required for which this experiment was laid out in 2007 to evaluate five promising varieties <em>viz.,</em> Barhee, Halawy, Khunezi, Khalas and Selection-3 in an RBD design, replicated four times. Evaluation of all these varieties was done during 2016-18 when all the plants came into regular bearing. Observations with respect to vegetative characters, yield attributing characters, duration of fruit harvesting and fruit characters were recorded and finally varieties were compared with a scorecard to identify the best variety for commercial cultivation. After the evaluation, it was found that Barhee performed best among the cultivars compared and is suitable for commercial cultivation in the Gujarat state of India.</p> Kapil Mohan Sharma C. M. Muralidharan D. A. Baidiyavadra C. N. Panchal Piyush Verma ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 152 157 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6050 Leadership and social intelligence of coconut farmer leaders and implications in extension services <p>Coconuts cultivated in small and marginal holdings pose social and economic challenges in extension outreach programmes. A study was undertaken during 2016-17 regarding the leadership and social intelligence of coconut farmer leaders, to assess their socio-personal variables and their relationships in two blocks of Alappuzha district. The results showed 46 per cent of producer societies were of five or more years of activities and 86.7 per cent of the leaders holding positions in multiple organizations. Regarding the knowledge levels, 66.61 per cent had a medium level and 94 per cent had more than 15 years of experience in coconut cultivation. Coconut producers' societies could establish only a few linkages and time spent by farmer leaders for societies were found to be very low. Whereas 58 per cent of farmer leaders had a medium level of leadership practices and occupational status, the social intelligence of the leaders was positively correlated with leadership abilities. Social intelligence of 56 per cent of them was in medium level and experience in coconut cultivation was the only variable positively and significantly correlated. This study highlights the importance of identification of training needs in leadership and social skills of farmer leaders, evolving realistic criteria for leader selection, inclusive policy for gender and youth representations in leadership positions and pathways to evolve pro-active power dynamics in grass root level farmer organizations. Doubling farmers' income and enhancing the productivity of small and marginal farmers require vibrant and responsible social support through farmer producers' organizations in the coconut sector.</p> P. Anithakumari S. Jayasekhar ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 158 165 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6051 Gibberellic acid (GA3) can shorten the grafting cycle through enhanced seedling growth and biomass in cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) <p>Due to the slow growth of cashew seedlings, nurserymen and growers have to wait for more time for taking up softwood grafting operations to market or planting them. The use of growth regulators has resulted in a shortening of propagation time in many fruit crops. Therefore, the nursery experiment was conducted to study the effect of foliar spray of GA<sub>3</sub> and NAA on the growth and biomass of cashew seedlings. Five treatments <em>viz.</em>, control and foliar application of GA<sub>3</sub> @ 50 ppm, GA<sub>3</sub> @ 100 ppm, NAA @ 50 ppm and NAA 100 ppm were replicated four times in completely randomized design. Growth regulators were sprayed on 10 days old seedlings of cashew cultivar Vengurla-4. Cashew seedlings sprayed with GA<sub>3</sub> @ 100 ppm recorded highest shoot length, seedling length and girth, leaf numbers, shoot fresh weight and shoot dry weight. However, spraying of NAA @ 100 ppm recorded maximum root length and highest root fresh weight and root dry weight. Irrespective of the treatments, most of the seedling growth parameters increased as days progressed. Post germination sprays with GA<sub>3</sub> @ 100 ppm can be effectively employed for increasing the seedling growth of cashew which would help in producing healthy seedlings in a short period for advancing the grafting operations and in turn reduce the duration of propagation as well as the cost of seedling production.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Lakshmipathi , J. D. Adiga D. Kalaivanan ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 166 172 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6052 Seasonal variation in yield and yield contributing characters of selected cocoa clones <p>Cocoa, the only source of chocolate, is divided into three groups <em>viz.</em> Forastero, Criollo and Trinitario. This study was taken up to gauge the performance of 12 years old cocoa clones of three types. Among these, Forastero was found to perform well under tropical conditions in all three seasons. The performance of Forastero was unrivaled with pod weight 429.95 g and wet bean weight 117.79 g. All three varieties performed well under post-monsoon season exploiting advantages of monsoon. When correlated with weather, it was observed that number of rainy days, rainfall and relative humidity had a negative correlation with number of pods, whereas mean sunshine hours had a positive correlation with pod weight, wet bean weight, and TSS. In order to comprehend the significance of weather parameters, canonical correlation was estimated. The high value indicated that all the weather parameters influenced the characters to a great extent. Rainfall, temperature and relative humidity were the three climatic factors influencing the yield parameters. High R<sup>2</sup> value obtained in prediction model suggested that it could be efficiently used in the prediction of yield and yield contributing characters of cocoa.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> J. S. Minimol T. K. Shija B. Suma P. G. Chithira K. S. Shilpa ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 173 179 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6053 Assimilating socio-economic perspective in designing crop sector technology interventions: A farmer participatory study on coconut sector in Kerala <p>The economic viability of coconut farming in the state has witnessed a steady decline due to a complex interplay of several socio-economic, environmental and institutional factors. But the crop sustains the livelihood of a significant share of the population in the state. Equitable growth in agricultural sector of the state cannot be attained unless the fortunes of coconut farming sector are revived. A critical understanding of the production environment is very important in crafting appropriate strategies for the sector. This study is based on a detailed analysis of socio-economic profile of 180 coconut farmers in Kerala across five major agro-ecological units, collected using pre-tested structured questionnaire. The study draws on trends in relevant socio-economic trends to examine the reasons for the vicious cycle of low investment-low profits -low productivity. The study identified structural agrarian changes like low dependence on farm income, High share of non-farm income, high cost and non-availability of skilled labour, <em>etc.,</em> as contributing factors to the extant situation. Based on the socio-economic profile of the coconut farmer and technical studies, soil nutrient management centric strategy was identified as the key element in reorienting coconut farming. The intervention strategy was designed as an alternative approach for reviving the economic viability of coconut farming. The initial results on farmer perception on impact of technology intervention, with direct and indirect links to several biological and socio-economic limiting factors, indicate significant improvement across several parameters influencing crop productivity. Assimilating the lessons from the operation of the intervention strategy, the study also outlines a roadmap for multiple institutional involvements for scaling up this strategy across the state.</p> C. Thamban Lijo Thomas K. P. Chandran S. Jayasekhar M. K. Rajesh Jesmi Vijayan V. Srinivasan K. M. Nair K. S. Anil Kumar ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 180 188 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6054 Microbial insight into rhizosphere of arecanut palms of Wayanad using metagenomics <p>The rhizosphere bacterial diversity of a plant is considered to play an essential role in mediating plant as well as soil health. An attempt to explore the bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere of arecanut palms in Wayanad was done to obtain an understanding of dominant bacterial phylotypes and the status of nutrient concentrations in rhizosphere soil and plants. Since arecanut production in Wayanad is facing a decline, a study to understand the rhizosphere conditions of healthy palms essentially provided insight into what strategies needed to be adopted for improvement of arecanut cultivation. The nutrient imbalance involving increased iron in soil and deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and boron in the Arecanut rhizosphere was found to be an evident reason for the decline in production. Apart from that, the biological activities in the rhizosphere by the diversity of microorganisms were studied to understand the dominant bacterial phyla and genera present in the Arecanut rhizosphere. The presence of various important bacterial phyla like Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes revealed the presence of various beneficial soil microorganisms and emphasized the need to enhance or augment the population of native microflora for efficient nutrient cycling by increasing the organic content of the soil. Since organic carbon is an essential requirement to support bacterial diversity, proper management practice that encompasses organic carbon amendment along with proper nutritional management could enhance bacterial diversity as well as health of the arecanut palms. The study indicated that the dominant bacterial phyla contained various beneficial microorganisms that can be exploited for improving nutrient recycling in the arecanut rhizosphere.</p> Mahesh Mohan D. Girija K. Surendra Gopal P. Sureshkumar ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 189 196 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6055 Chromosome number analysis in different sex types and open-pollinated seedlings of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt) <p>-</p> R. Ramakrishnan Nair ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 197 201 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6056 Seasonality in sprouting and growth of black pepper rooted cuttings under sub-Himalayan Terai region <p>-</p> Arun Kumar Sit Sandip Shil ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 202 206 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6057 Management of basal stem rot disease in coconut through fungicides <p>-</p> S. Thangeswari A. Karthikeyan H.P. Maheswarappa ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2020-01-24 2020-01-24 207 210 10.25081/jpc.2019.v47.i3.6058