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Agriculture > Plantation Crops > Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis)

Crop Management

Parasitic and non-parasitic maladies

Tapping panel dryness (TPD)

TPD leads to approximately 15-20% decrease in yield.

Symptoms: Excessive late dripping of latex occurs simultaneous with a reduction in the dry rubber content of the latex in the initial phase. Total inhibition of rubber biosynthesis occurs and no latex is produced towards the final phase.

Management: Giving tapping rest and changing the tapping panel are the generally followed plantation practices. As a curative measure, resting the trees without tapping for a considerable period is advised. Therefore, tapping can be resumed changing the tapping panel and following a low intensity tapping system.

Phanerogamic parasites

Phanerogamic parasites, Loranthus and Cuscuta (Dodder) attack both rubber and cover crop Purearia phaseoloids and Mucuna bracteate.

Management: The best remedy is to destroy them in the initial stage itself along with the host by cutting, removal and burning of attacked parts.

Lightning injury

Symptoms: In the affected portions, exudation of latex is observed and the bark separates from the wood. The damaged bark is colonized by borer beetles in large numbers. A characteristic feature is that cambium is the tissue that gets damaged first and as a result, cambium and the inner bark are coloured scarlet to dark violet. Dying of tissues starts from the cambium extending through the bark in an outward direction. Soon after lightning strikes, incidence of patch canker also increases.

Management: In the case of partially affected plants, the damaged bark is scraped out, the exposed area washed, cleaned with Dithane (Indofil) M45, 0.75 per cent solution and after drying, a wound dressing compound applied. If exposed to hot sun, the treated portions may be whitewashed.

Sun-scorch

Symptoms: The bark at the collar region dries up resulting in a girdling effect and affected seedlings dry subsequently.

Management: In plants where the damage is not deep and extensive, the affected region may be scraped and washed with fungicide Dithane (Indofil) M45, 0.75 per cent solution and a thin coating of wound dressing compound applied. Above the treated surface, whitewashing of the stem from the collar upwards on the brown bark may be carried out using lime, during hot weather and this may be continued till the canopy closes.

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