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Three Decades of Research in Arid Zone Fruits

(1983-2008)

1. Introduction

Indian agriculture is predominantly a rainfed agriculture and in Tamil Nadu around 70


per cent of the cultivated area comes under rainfed agriculture. The state Tamil Nadu is
geographically located between 8o 5’ and 130 35’ North latitude and between 76 o 14’ and 80 o
21’ East longitude. As a result of this geographical position, Tamil Nadu enjoys semi-arid
climate, which permits high crop productivity under irrigation.

Monsoon rainfall is the basic resource of water availability in Tamil Nadu . The dominant
monsoon for rainfall is North East monsoon which contributes 42–48 per cent to total annual
rainfall of each district (30 districts) where as the contribution from South West monsoon is 32
per cent. The rainfall of Tamil Nadu is 46.4. 140.9, 334.0 and 459.0 mm respectively for cold
weather period (January- February), hot weather period (March-May), South West monsoon
( June- September) and North East monsoon period ( October – December).

Tamil Nadu has a total geographical area of 13m ha which is 3.95 per cent of the
geographical area of India. The cultivable area in Tamil Nadu is around 7m ha and 55 per cent of
which is dryland. Though red soil is the dominant soil type in the state, both block and alluvial
soils are spread over next to red soil in extent. In the past scenario of cultivation these soils were
originally infertile and prone to high soil erosion. Thus as a consequence of dependence on
nature, scanty, uncertain and insufficient rain low yields form the hall mark of rainfed
agriculture. Considering these facts growing of horticultural crops in these areas is one of the
many ways of crop diversification. Rainfed horticulture with arid fruits not only provides higher
income to the farmers, but also more stable returns, besides utilizing the off-season precipitation.

Tamil Nadu is blessed with seven agro-climatic situations where exist a wide spectrum
of agro-ecological and edapho- climatic conditions supporting wide bio-diversity. This has
gifted a wide range of arid zone fruit crops and varieties for rainfed farming in the state. The
arid fruit crops which are cultivated and recommended in Tamil Nadu are Sapota, Aonla,

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Custard apple, Ber, Jamun, Bael, Wood apple, Manila Tamarind, Karonda and West Indian
Cherry.

In the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University the Arid Zone Research Centre was
established at the Regional Research Station located at Aruppukottai during July 1981 which is
near Kovilangulam about 43kms south of Madurai on Madurai to Tuticorin National Highway
(NH 45 B) in Tamil Nadu. Geographically, this arid zone centre is situated at 9o 33’16” North
latitude and 78o 05’27” East longitude and the altitude is 102 m above MSL. The total area of the
station is 82 hactares

Genesis and Growth


The Regional Research Station, Aruppukottai under the umbrella of Tamil Nadu
Agricultural University, flourished as one of the arid region of southern Tamil Nadu and selected
as one of the Coordinating research centres of arid zone during July 1983 in India to satisfy the
needs of dryland farmers and their location specific problems particularly in the districts of
Virudhunagar, Tuticorin, Ramnad, Sivaganga, Tirunelveli, part of Madurai, Dindigul and
Pudukottai districts. Initially, the coordinating centre was at yercaud during 1978 and then
shifted to Regional Research Station, Aruppukottai (TNAU) during 1983 in which ber, custard
apple, aonla, pomegranate, tamarind and bael crops were included as mandate crops under the
project entitled All India Coordinated Research Project for arid zone. The main focus of this
coordinating centre is to evolve high yielding varieties of fruit crops in rainfed condition and to
develop suitable post harvest and processing technology for arid fruits. Out of the total extent of
82 hactares of total area ,20.50 hactares of area is occupied by arid fruit crops viz., ber, custard
apple, aonla, sapota, tamarind, fig, mango, guava, wood apple, bael, phalsa, west Indian cherry,
datepalm, jamun and pomegranate.

Soil
Soil of this centre belongs to Periyanaickenpalayam soil series which covers
Kovilangulam, Ramanujapuram and Gopalapuram. The major soil order group is vertisol and
there is always deep cracking during dry season and silicon sites throughout the year. The pH of
the soil is 8.4 and EC is 0.3 ds m-1. The soil nature is shallow to medium depth (0.6 m to 1.2m)

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having underlying kankar nodules and low water holding capacity. The texture of the soil is
sandy clay and calcareous nature. Soil is low in organic carbon, low in available nitrogen,
available phosphorus and high in available potassium. The soil is deficient in zinc, iron and
magnesium. The structure of the soil is platy and angular blacky nature. The bulk density of the
soil is normal up to 1.3g/cc.

Climate
The climate is an important contributing factor for the development of arid horticulture at
Aruppukottai. Rainfed farrming is a means of cropping with seasonal rainfall variabilty such as
delayed onset of monsoon, early withdrawal of monsoon, intermittent dry spells and prolonged
dry spell. This concept aims at anticipation of tree planting and modification of farming
decisions in ways calculated to maximise production returns per unit of rainfall received. The
maximum temperature ranges between 22oC and 34 oC. The centre receives an average annual
rainfall of 830 mm rainfall in 45 rainy days. The annual crops like blackgram, greengram,
redgram, sorghum, cumbu, maize, cotton, sunflower, castor, fodder sorghum, coriander and
chilli, arid fruit crops viz., ber, custard apple, aonla, sapota, tamarind, fig, mango, guava, wood
apple, bael, phalsa, west Indian cherry, datepalm, jamun, pomegranate are grown depending on
rainfall quantity, length of the rainy season and moisture capacity of the soil.

2. Research activities
Mandate crops : Ber, Custard apple, Aonla, Tamarind, Jamun ,Bael and Wood apple
Research achievements
Crop improvement
Varieties released

Custard apple APK (Ca) 1 Year of Release : 2003

Tree height 3.20 m

Tree Spread (North and South) 2.30 m

Tree Spread (East and West) 2.26 m

Tree girth 35.00 cm

Fruit colour Light yellow

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Fruit shape Heart shaped

Fruit weight 207.5 g

Pulp colour White

Pulp weight 114.1 g

Pulp percentage 54.90

Skin weight 72.60 g

Skin percentage 34.9

Seed weight 20.8 g

Seed percentage 10.0

Fruit length 11.5 cm

Fruit girth 12.4 cm

Fruit volume 142.60 cc

Number of fruits / tree 72

Fruit yield (kg/tree) 14.94

Estimated yield (kg/ha) 7300

Total Soluble Solids (%) 24.5

Pulp Seed ratio 5.5 :1

Germplasm collection

Ber

In the ber germplasm collection 26 genotypes are maintained and evaluated for yield and
yield characters and the results are presented in Table 1.

Table 1 Yield and yield characters of ber germplasm year of planting-1985(Oct)

Yield Progressive Fruit Pulp Stone T.S.S


Acc. (kg / mean yield weight weight weight o
Brix
Source
No. tree) (kg/tree) (g/fruit) (g/fruit) (g/fruit)

ZM 1 Banarsi 5.50 19.79 11.421 10.183 1.238 14.5

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ZM 2 Umran 3.09 15.11 15.423 13.795 1.628 14.0

ZM 3 Kaithali 5.75 24.96 18.840 17.640 1.020 16.5

ZM 4 Gola 4.00 20.33 18.046 16.814 1.232 13.5

ZM 5 Kathapal 4.90 16.08 12.040 11.210 0.830 14.0

ZM 6 Safeda 4.35 23.87 12.690 11.740 0.950 13.0

ZM 7 Aruppukottai Local 3.00 8.24 12.048 10.628 1.420 13.0

ZM 8 Kakadia I 3.40 17.05 15.040 13.740 1.300 13.5

ZM 9 Kakadia II 4.10 16.56 11.828 10.560 1.268 14.0

ZM 11 Ilachi RS 4.50 18.82 9.622 8.496 1.126 13.0

ZM 12 Ilaichi RS 2.97 13.14 10.012 8.870 1.142 14.0

ZM 13 Ilaichi RS 2.80 11.77 9.428 8.404 1.024 13.5

ZM 14 Ilaichi RS 5.45 12.90 10.030 9.030 1.000 14.5

ZM 15 Sendurai RS 3.80 16.91 9.500 8.580 0.920 14.0

ZM 16 Sendurai RS 4.15 11.55 11.050 9.726 1.324 13.0

ZM 17 Sendurai RS 4.00 13.22 11.080 9.830 1.250 12.0

ZM 18 Sendurai RS 4.30 11.15 10.890 8.938 1.952 14.0

ZM 19 Sendurai RS 4.50 12.86 10.900 9.600 1.300 13.0

ZM 20 Sulakarai 3.00 11.88 11.700 10.650 1.050 13.0

ZM 21 Seb 2.75 10.13 10.900 9.730 1.170 12.0

ZM 22 Mundia 2.50 9.85 12.150 10.930 1.220 13.0

ZM 23 Guli 4.40 11.49 13.300 12.200 1.100 12.5

ZM 24 Sivakasi 2.65 8.48 10.850 9.950 0.900 14.0

ZM 25 Kalayamputhur 3.40 9.27 12.300 11.050 1.250 13.5

ZM 26 Periyakulam Local 3.30 9.49 9.000 8.275 0.725 13.5

SEd 0.13 - 0.765 0.467 0.165 0.62

CD (P = 0.05) 0.26 - 1.537 0.739 0.331 1.25

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Among the genotypes evaluated, the accession ZM3 (Kaithali) registered the highest
mean values in respect of yield (75 kg/ tree), fruit weight ( 18.840 g/fruit), pulp weight (17.640
g/fruit), TSS (16.5 oBrix) and the progressive mean yield (24.96 kg/tree). The stone weight
ranged from 0.725 g to 1.952 g per fruit. The stone weight was the lowest in ZM 26
(Periyakulam local).

All the genotypes were also evaluated for fruit fly incidence and the results are presented
in Table 2. The incidence was very low during August which ranged from 50 to 90 per cent.
From September to November, the incidence was very severe which ranged for 85 to 100
percent. Among the genotypes, the accession ZM3 (Kaithali) registered the lowest incidence of
50 per cent (August) and 85 percent (September). The same genotypes registered 100 per cent
incidence during November and December.

Table 2 Fruit fly incidence in ber genotypes

% Fruitfly incidence
Acc.No. Source
August September October November

ZM 1 Banarsi 55 90 100 100

ZM 2 Umran 80 95 100 100

ZM 3 Kaithali 50 85 100 100

ZM 4 Gola 85 95 100 100

ZM 5 Kathapal 85 95 100 100

ZM 6 Safeda 80 100 100 100

ZM 7 Aruppukottai Local 90 100 100 100

ZM 8 Kakadia I 85 100 100 100

ZM 9 Kakadia II 80 100 100 100

ZM 11 Ilaichi RS 90 95 100 100

ZM 12 Ilaichi RS 85 95 100 100

ZM 13 Ilaichi RS 85 100 100 100

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ZM 14 Ilaichi Rs 90 95 100 100

ZM 15 Sendurai RS 85 95 100 100

ZM 16 Sendurai RS 90 95 100 100

ZM 17 Sendurai RS 85 100 100 100

ZM 18 Sendurai RS 85 100 100 100

ZM 19 Sendurai RS 85 95 100 100

ZM 20 Sulakarai 80 95 100 100

ZM 21 Seb 90 100 100 100

ZM 22 Mundia 90 100 100 100

ZM 23 Guli 85 95 100 100

ZM 24 Sivakasi 85 95 100 100

ZM 25 Kalayamputhur 85 95 100 100

ZM 26 Periyakulam Local 85 95 100 100

In the collection, assembling and evaluation of different accessions of ber it was found
that the ber cultivars Kaithali consistently registered the highest yield over five years period and
this variety is recommanded for commercial cultivation under rainfed vertisol.

Custard apple

In Custard apple germplasm 16 genotypes are maintained and evaluated for the yield and
yield characters and the results are presented in Table 3.

Table 3 Yield and yield characters of custard apple genotypes year of plantin g-1984 (Sep)

Acc.No Source Yield Progressive Fruit Pulp Seed TSS Mealy bug
Kg/ tree Mean Yield weight weight Weight 0
incidence
(kg/tree) (g/fruit) (g/fruit) (g/fruit) Brix %

AS 1 Courtallam 19.8 26.50 205.0 138.0 20.12 25.5 15

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APK (Ca)1

AS 2 Pond Apple 11.5 19.00 96.0 70.2 8.95 18.0 40

AS 3 Mammoth 16.5 22.98 110.0 80.0 9.20 20.3 30

AS 4 Britishguinea 17.5 26.28 175.0 95.6 13.50 20.5 60

AS 5 Washington 15.2 24.87 164.0 99.0 11.75 21.8 25


10700

AS 6 Aruppukottai 19.0 26.78 147.8 98.4 17.85 22.8 35


Local

AS 7 Washington 18.5 24.97 154.6 102.8 22.20 19.5 15


98797

AS 8 Balanagar 20.5 25.31 195.3 120.4 15.50 20.4 30


Seedling

AS 9 Bangalore 13.2 17.58 155.0 105.1 22.60 20.5 35

AS 10 Balanagar graft 11.5 18.69 168.3 108.7 12.40 19.4 25

AS 11 Mettupalayam 12.0 16.90 170.4 105.8 11.25 18.5 30

AS 12 Yercaud 14.0 20.06 175.2 102.4 13.72 21.2 40

AS 13 Virudhunagar 15.0 21.42 165.0 110.2 12.22 20.5 25

AS 14 Atemoya 20.5 20.50 198.2 152.0 11.50 22.4 10

AS 15 Ramsita 12.1 12.10 195.0 141.0 12.20 11.9 0

AS 16 Cherimoya 12.0 12.00 165.0 115.0 12.75 19.4 0

SEd 0.49 - 0.78 0.49 0.36 0.49 -

CD (P = 0.05) 1.09 - 1.60 1.09 0.73 1.09 -

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Among the genotypes, the yield was the highest in the accession AS8 (Balanagar seeding)
and AS14 (Atemoya) with 20.5 kg / tree closely followed by AS 1 (APK (Ca) 1) with 19.8 kg / tree.
The progressive mean yield was the highest in AS6 (Aruppukottai Local) with 26.78 kg followed
by AS 1 (APK (Ca) 1) and AS4 (Britishguinea). The accession AS1 (APK (Ca)1) registered the
highest mean values in respect of fruit weight (205.0 g/fruit), pulp weight (138.0 g/fruit) and TSS
(25.5 oBrix). The seed weight was the lowest in AS2 (Pond Apple) followed by AS3 (Mammoth)
with 8.95 g and 9.20 g per fruit respectively. The accession AS9 (Bangalore) and AS 7 (Washigton
98797) registered the highest seed weight.

With regard to the mealy bug incidence the accession AS 15 (Ramsita) and AS16
(Cherimoya) registered no incidence where as it was 10 per cent in AS 14 (Atemoya). The
accession AS1 (APK (Ca) 1) registered 15 per cent incidence.

Aonla

In Aonla germplasmten genotypes are maintained and evaluated for the yield and yield
characters. The data are presented in Table 4.

Table 4 Yield and yield characters of aonla germplasm year of planting-1988(January)

Progressive
Acc. Fruit weight (g /
Source Yield (kg/tree) mean yield TSS oBrix
No. fruit)
(kg/tree)

EO 1 Madurai 10.5 23.16 14.0 8.2

EO 2 Panpozhi 4.0 11.59 12.14 7.9

EO 3 Srivilliputhur 16.5 37.89 14.50 8.5

EO 4 Coimbatore 15.0 30.28 14.20 8.6

EO 5 Banarasi 10.5 26.59 17.12 7.9

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EO 6 Palur 7.5 32.63 14.20 7.5

EO 7 Vridhunagar 14.5 38.39 15.35 8.0

EO 8 Mettupalayam 18.5 48.93 16.24 8.2

EO 9 Chakkiah 20.5 46.32 20.50 8.7

EO10 Kallar 12.5 34.88 12.10 7.6

SEd 0.60 - 0.30 0.40

CD (P =0.05) 1.26 - 0.63 0.75

Among the genotypes, the accession E09 (Chakkiah) registered the highest mean values
in respect of yield (20.5 kg/tree), fruit weight (20.50 g/fruit) and TSS (8.7 oBrix). The mean
progressive yield was the highest in E08 (Mettupalayam) with 48.93 kg/ tree followed by E09
(Chakkiah) with 46.32 kg/tree.

Tamarind ( Tamarindus indica)

The gene pool of Tamarind with ten genotypes available at the experimental farm of the
Regional Research Station, Aruppukotai, Tamil Nadu was evaluated for the variation in different
physico-chemical traits viz. fruit weight, fruit length, fruit circumference, number and weight of
seeds, rind weight, fibre weight, pulp percentage and weight, ash and moisture content, TSS,
acidity, total sugars and reducing sugars. The study revealed that there was a wide variation
among the accessions. The individual fruit weight ranged from 10.2 to 24.4g; length 8.7 to 20.8
cm; circumference 4.7 to 6.9 cm; number of seeds 4.8 to 8.8; seed weight 3.4 to 8.7g; rind weight
2.5 to 5.7g; fibre weight 0.3 to 1.5g, pulp weight 3.3 to 8.7g and pulp percentage 31.7 to 41.9.
There was a wide variation in chemical characters also. Ash content varied from 1.0 to 2.6 per
cent, moisture content 50 to 65 percent; TSS 18 to 330 Brix; acidity 5.1 to 11.8 per cent; total
sugars 40.0 to 45.0 per cent and reducing sugars 25.0 to 4.0 per cent

Varietal evaluation

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BER
The results on the varietal evaluation in ber with 4 varieties are presented in table 5

Table 5 Varietal evaluation in BER

Variety Tree Girth Spread Fruit Fruit TSS


o
height (cm) (cm) yield weight Brix
(cm) EW NS (Kg/tree) g/fruit
Banarsi 362.50 34.86 249.00 261.50 14.33 32.88 11.13
Umran 492.25 47.45 363.25 390.50 17.88 29.88 11.65
Kaithali 434.75 29.25 267.00 365.00 16.30 24.95 10.48
Gola 516.75 40.60 292.50 313.75 19.00 26.88 10.25
Sed 30.72 2.157 45.67 97.55 0.172 0.286 0.050
CD 69.49 4.088** 91.34 221.32 0.388** 0.645** 0.110**

The morphological observations on nine varieties in the another varietal trial on ber
presented in Table.6

Table 6 Morphological characters of ber varieties

Plant Spread
Varieties height Girth (cm) East West North South
(m) (m) (m)

Narendra - 2 1.60 16.2 2.65 1.80

Narendra - 1 1.24 10.5 0.90 0.80

Gola 2.0 15.4 2.80 2.85

Kaithali 2.10 17.3 3.05 2.80

Umran 1.90 18.3 2.50 1.90

Chuhhara 1.73 18.5 1.65 0.90

Ciah Sel-1 1.80 21.2 1.80 2.10

Ciah Hybrid 2.10 16.7 2.25 1.65

Goma Kirthi 1.90 17.4 2.10 1.50

SEd 0.17 0.6 0.14 0.07

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CD (P =0.05) 0.36 1.3 0.20 0.15

Among the varieties, Kaithali and CIAH hybrid registered the highest plant height (21.0
m) where as the variety Narendra 1 registered the lowest plant height (1.24 m). The plant girth
was the highest in CIAH Sel.1 (21.2 cm). The plant spread was the highest in Kaithali with 3.05
m (EW) and 2.80 m (N-S).

Custard apple

In the varietal trial with six custard apple varieties, the morphological characters viz., tree
height, tree girth and number of branches were observed and are presented in table7.

Table 7 Morphological characters of custard apple varieties year of planting


2004 (Sep.)

Tree girth No. of


S.No. Varieties Tree height (m)
(cm ) branches /tree

1. Red Sita 1.02 8.30 4.0

2. Mammoth 1.85 15.30 6.0

3. Balanagar 2.05 15.20 8.3

4. APK(Ca)1 2.00 14.30 8.0

5. Raidurg 2.10 13.20 8.7

6. Arka Sahan 1.92 12.10 7.5

SED 0.04 0.52 0.50

CD (P =0.05) 0.08 1.01 1.07

Among the six varieties, the variety Raidurg registered the highest tree height (2.10 m)
closely followed by Balanagar (2.05 m). The tree girth was the highest in Mammoth (15.30 cm)
and Balanagar (15.20 cm). The variety Raidurg registered the highest number of branches (8.7
g/tree) followed by Balanagar (8.3) and APK (Ca) 1 (8.0)

Aonla

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In the aonla varietal trial with four varieties, the yield and yield characters were observed
and are presented in table 8.

Table 8 Yield and yield characters of aonla varieties

Fruit weight
Variety Yield (kg/tree) TSSoBrix
(g / fruit)

Krishna 8.25 23.20 10.1

Kanchan 10.10 21.35 10.2

NA 7 11.54 25.12 9.7

Chakkiah 9.20 20.55 10.0

SEd 0.69 0.67 0.16

CD P = (0.05) 1.50 1.46 0.35

Among the varieties, NA7 was the best with the highest yield (11.54 kg/tree) and the
biggest fruits (25.12 g/fruit), but it registered significantly the lowest TSS (9.7 oBrix).

POMEGRANATE
Studies on evaluation and growing technology in pomegranate revealed that though
pomegranate is a hardy arid zone fruit, it requires supplemental irrigation for flower set, fruit set
and ultimately for fruit yield under rainfed vertisol condition for this agro - climatic zone. The
varietal trial in pomegranate revealed that varieties Ganesh and Jothi were adaptable for the
rainfed cultivation under black soil in Southern zone with protective supplemental irrigation
during fruiting season

Crop production

Propagation

From the research trials conducted the recommendations for the propagation methods and
optimum spacing for the arid fruit crops are given in Table9 . These findings have
revolutionized the production built up of quality planting materials which in turn paved way for
the increased productivity. The technologies developed for the high density planting systems

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resulted in higher returns to the farmers and these techniques have great potential for the
increased productivity and production of rainfed horticultural crops .

Table 9. Recommended method of propagation and spacing for arid fruit crops
Crop Method of Propagation Spacing Population/ha
Aonla Soft-wood grafting 6x6 m 275
Custard apple Soft wood grafting 4.5 x 4.5 m 490
Ber T budding (in-situ) 7x7m 204
Manila Tamarind Soft wood grafting 8x8m 156
Bael Soft wood grafting 10 x 10 100
Tamarind Approach/softwood grafting 10 x 10 m 100
West Indian cherry Layering/semi-hard wood 5x5m 400
cuttings
pomegranate Air Layering
In the seed germination studies in ber it was observed that the ber seeds sown during the
month of October registered the highest percentage of germination. The seeds sown in polythene
bags showed earlier germination and vigorous seedlings followed by seeds sown in-situ. The
budding under in-situ condition was more vigorous and precocious than budding in polythene
bags.

Planting system
Ber
Studies on standardization of plant density in ber revealed that growth characters like tree
height, spread and girth were significantly improved by different planting densities in ber.
Maximum values in tree height (312cm), spread (8.74m2) and girth (63.9cm) were recorded by
8x8 m spacing with the cultivar Kaithli. The. yield and fruit quality character were significantly
higher with 8x8m spacing in ber under different planting density treatment However values were
highly significant under 8x8 in spacing. However, among the different spacing treatment 8x3 m
spacing registered the highes estimated yield in Kaithli and banarasi with an yield of 7405
kg/ha and 5366 kglha respectively.Hence 8x3 spacing accommodating 416 trees in a hectare is
recommended for ber cultivation Under Aruppukottai conditions.

Custard apple
A trial on high density planting in APK (Ca) 1 cultivar of custard apple was conducted and
the results arepresented in table 10and 11.

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Table 10 Effect of different spacing on CSI and RWC of custard apple

Treatments CSI (%) RWC (%)

T1 – 6x6 m 73.51 89.11

T2 – 6x5 m 63.41 82.35

T3 – 6x4 m 59.47 76.73

T4 – 6x3 m 51.27 79.21

SEd 0.838 0.247

CD(0.05) 1.777 0.523

Among the treatments T1 (6m × 6 m) recorded significantly the highest values in


Chlorophyll Stability Index (73.51%) and Relative Water Content (89.11%) followed by T2
(82.35%).

Table 11 Effect of different spacing on morphological parameters of custard apple

Treatments Tree Tree Main Secondary Tree spread


height girth branches branches (m)
(m) (no./plant)
(m) (no. /plant) EW NS

T1 - 6x6 m 1.95 0.13 5.21 9.88 0.42 0.41

T2- 6x5 m 1.89 0.11 4.14 8.05 0.36 0.032

T3- 6x4 m 1.79 0.11 4.33 7.45 0.38 0.34

T4- 6x3 m 1.70 0.10 3.54 6.24 0.38 0.31

SEd 0.007 0.013 0.707 1.838 0.017 2.041

CD(0.05) 0.017 0.033 1.730 3.897 0.042 4.995

Among the treatments the wider spacing of 6x 6m (T1) registered the highest mean
values in respect of tree height (1.95m), girth (0.13m), number of main branches (5.21),

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secondary branches (9.88) and tree spread at East - West (0.42m) and North – South
(0.41m).

a) Water management
Water is the major constraint in commercial cultivation of rainfed horticultural crops.
Hence, for conservation of rain water in-situ technologies have been developed. Mulching with
organic materials (eg. hay, straw, dry leaves and local weeds) has been found highly beneficial in
reducing evaporation loss. The practice also suppresses weed growth, prevents erosion and adds
organic matter to the soil. The black polythene can be used as mulch in fruit crops. Although
local organic mulch materials are cheaper than polythene mulches, these require proper care to
maintain effective cover thickness.

Ber

The studies on in-situ water harvesting conducted in ber variety Kaithali have revealed
that providing 5 per cent slope for fruit trees facilitates maximum rain water harvesting and
increases soil moisture status. The increase in yield by this method was up to 27 percent. Slopes
are formed on either sides or all sides of the tree at 5 per cent level sliding towards the trunk.
These slopes act as mini catchments during precipitation. The soil moisture content in in-situ
water harvesting at flowering and harvesting stages increased with increase in spacing at both 30
cm and 60 cm depth and the content was maximum with 5 per cent slope.

Aonla

An experiment was conducted in six year’s old uniformly grown plantations of aonla variety
BSR 1. The observations on tree growth viz., Tree height, girth, number of main branches,
number of secondary branches and tree spread were recorded during the active vegetative
growth. The rainfall distribution pattern during the period under report is furnished in table12.

Table 12 the rainfall distribution during the year 2008

No. of Rainy
S.No. Month Rainfall (mm)
days

1. January 0.0 0

16
2. February 32.6 2

3. March 266.0 9

4. April 47.0 2

5. May 42.6 2

6. June 14.4 1

7. July 69.2 4

8. August 81.1 5

9. September 79.6 5

10 October 306 12

11. November 122.4 6

12. December 13.4 2

Total 1074.3 50

The available soil moisture at three different soil depth viz., 15, 30 and 60 cm were
observed during the month of August 2008 and are presented in Table 13.

Table13. Effect of soil moisture conservation on soil moisture content in different soil depth

Tr. Treatments 15cm 30cm 60 cm


No. Depth Depth (%) Depth (%)
(%)

T1 In- situ water harvesting in sunken basin with 14.51 17.40 21.05
5% slope towards centre + organic mulch

T2 In- situ water harvesting in sunken basin with 17.55 19.87 26.35
5% slope towards centre + inorganic mulch
T3 In- situ water harvesting in sunken basin with 13.05 17.98 20.93
5 % slope towards centre + no mulch
T4 In situ planting in half moon shaped basin 13.25 16.42 20.13
(slope 5%) + organic mulch
T5 In situ water harvesting in half moon shaped 14.81 18.08 24.49
basin (slope 5%) + inorganic mulch

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T6 In situ water harvesting in half moon shaped 13.20 17.54 20.65
basin (slope 5%) + no mulch
T7 Normal planting + organic mulch 13.00 18.67 21.50

T8 Normal planting + inorganic mulch 14.01 18.00 22.17

T9 Normal planting + no mulch 13.50 16.98 21.05

SEd 0.244 0.489 0.346

CD (P = 0.05) 0.517 1.036 0.733

Data on available soil moisture moisture content revealed that the soil moisture content
increased as the depth increased in all the treatments, Among the treatments, in-situ water
harvesting in sunken basins around the tree with 5 % slope and covered with 600 gauge black
poly thene sheet (T2) recorded significantly higher moisture content in all the three depths.

Growth and Morphological attributes

It was revealed from the data(Table 14) that the soil moisture conservation treatments
significantly influenced the growth and morphological attributes. Among the treatments, in- situ
planting in sunken-basin in the 5% slope plus mulching with inorganic material (T2) recorded
the maximum tree height, tree girth ,number of branches and tree spread.

Table 14 Effect of soil moisture conservation on growth and morphological parameters of


aonla

18
Treatment Tree height Tree girth Main Secondary Tree spread (m)
(m) (cm) branches branches
(no. / tree) (no. / tree) EW SW

T1 7.05 57.5 7.6 10.3 4.53 4.65

T2 7.40 62.8 8.7 11.5 4.85 4.58

T3 6.70 55.9 7.3 10.9 4.54 4.63

T4 6.45 47.0 6.4 8.9 4.20 4.38

T5 6.60 49.3 6.9 9.2 4.39 4.42

T6 6.10 48.6 6.3 8.3 4.09 4.20

T7 5.92 43.5 5.9 7.4 3.95 4.05

T8 5.87 45.4 5.5 7.8 3.84 3.75

T9 5.65 41.2 4.9 6.3 3.65 3.59

SEd 0.365 0.514 0.227 0.11 0.536 0.118

CD (P= 0.05) 0.078 1.091 0.481 0.23 0.113 0.249

Drought tolerant Characteristics

The physiological attributes relating to drought tolerance viz., RWC, CSI, Proline and
Nitrate Reductase activities were estimated in leaves at peak vegetative stage (prior to flowering)
and the data are presented in Table 15.

Table15 Effect of soil moisture conservation on drought tolerant characteristics of aonla

Tr. No. RWC CSI (%) Proline Nitrate Reductase


(%) (µg.g -1 fr.wt) activity (µmol NO2 - g -1
fr. wt)

T1 84.5 72.7 84.5 418.6

19
T2 87.6 75.3 87.6 431.7

T3 83.9 70.9 83.9 409.8

T4 81.7 67.5 81.7 375.9

T5 82.5 69.6 82.5 386.1

T6 79.4 66.2 79.4 345.6

T7 77.4 64.4 77.4 318.3

T8 78.1 65.8 78.1 327.5

T9 75.3 63.5 75.2 310.2

SEd 0.217 0.360 0.238 1.652

CD (P = 0.05) 0.461 0.763 0.505 3.503

Among the treatments, in-situ planting in sunken-basin in the 5 % slope plus mulching
(T2) in the inorganic material recorded significantly highest RWC, CSI and NRA activity. The
Proline content was the highest in control and the lowest in T2 indicating that the treatments
have not suffered moisture stress.

Yield and quality

Data on yield (Table 16) revealed that the treatments significantly increased the yield and
yield components. The treatment T2 recorded significantly higher yield (6.92 kg/tree)
as against the T9 (control) which recorded 5.27 kg/tree. The higher yield in T2 was due to more
number of fruits per tree, higher fruit weight and density.With respect to the quality, fruits from
T2 recorded higher TSS, Polyphenols, Ascorbic acid and acidity than the other treatments and
control.

Table 16 Effect of soil conversation on yield, yield components and quality of aonla

20
Fruit No. of Ascorbic
Yield Per cent Poly
fruits Densi Acidity acid TSS
Wt. increase phenols
Treatment ty of (kg/
Per over (%) (mg/ (oBrix)
(g/ fruits (%)
tree tree) control 100g)
fruit)

T1 21.53 287.4 1.32 6.18 17.6 2.61 3.05 582.8 11.5

T2 22.87 302.5 1.39 6.92 31.3 2.83 3.10 593.1 12.6

T3 21.25 290.8 1.25 6.17 17.0 2.54 2.89 584.5 11.3

T4 20.13 285.1 1.18 5.74 8.9 2.27 2.76 570.2 11.2

T5 20.85 287.6 1.25 5.99 13.6 2.36 2.82 587.6 11.6

T6 19.71 280.3 1.16 5.52 4.8 2.30 2.69 565.4 10.8

T7 19.58 275.4 1.09 5.39 2.3 2.26 2.53 559.3 11.0

T8 19.60 280.6 1.14 5.49 4.1 2.34 2.59 548.6 10.8

T9 19.32 273.2 1.10 5.27 - 2.28 2.45 560.9 10.5

SEd 0.253 0.648 0.026 0.089 - 0.119 0.332 0.742 0.265

CD(P = 0.05) 0.536 1.374 0.055 0.189 - 0.252 0.705 1.575 0.561

The other technologies like excavation of farm ponds, providing percolation ponds,
compartmental bunding, vegetative hedges with Vetiver and Cenchrus were also highly
beneficial. The studies on the effect of water harvesting techniques in Jamun have revealed that
compartmental bunding and application of coir waste as mulch registered high soil moisture at
60 cm depth which increased the yield.

Weed management

Ber

The weed management trial in ber was conducted with the following weed control
treatments during October 2005

Treatment
T1 Weeding with Power tiller thrice a year

21
T2 Hand Weeding
T3 Cowpea as cover crop
T4 Cluster beans as cover crop
T5 Pendimethalin + Paraquat
T6 Atrazine + Paraquat
T7 Pendimethalin + Glyphosate
T8 Atrazine + Glyphosate
T9 Mulching
T10 Control

The following weed flora were identified in the weed control trial field.
Cyperus rotandus

Cynodon dactylon

Rynchosia minima

Brachiaria repens

Chloris barbata

Corchorus olitorius

Digeria muricata

Phyllanthus maderaspatensis

Dactyloctenium aegyptium

Leucas aspera

The observations on weed intensity, fresh and dry weight of the weeds and weed control
efficiency are presented in table 17..

Maximum weed intensity was observed in control (75 no.) while the weeds were least in
T6 (50.00) which was on par with the rest of the treatments. The fresh weight was also
maximum in control (185.55 g). It ranged from 77.60 g to 129.58 g in the other treatments while
the minimum was observed in T8 ( 77.60 g). The dry weight of the weeds also followed a similar

22
trend with the control recording the maximum dry weight (59.72 g) and the minimum in T8
(25.72 g). The treatments T6, T7 and T9 also registered less dry weight viz., 25.91, 28.58 and
30.06 g respectively.

The weed control efficiency was maximum in T8 (52%) followed by T6 (49.00%) and T9
(47.02%) while minimum was observed in T2 (25%).

Maximum plant height was observed in the treatment with atrazine + paraquat (345.00
cm). This was followed by T8 (atrazine + glyphosate) ie 339.33 cm while the least plant height
was registered in T3. The girth was highest in T7 (pendimethalin + glyphosate) ie 84.37 cm
followed by T6 and T8 which recorded girth of 82.67 cm and 81.73 cm respectively while the
girth was least in control.

Highest yield was recorded in the treatment with atrazine + glyphosate (12.33 kg/tree)
followed by T7 (pendimethalin + glyphosate) ie., 11.40 kg while the least yield was observed in
control (Table 18). The size of the fruits was the best in T7 (17.73 g) and The total soluble solids
was also maximum in T7 (15.5o B) followed by T8 (15.4o B) while the least total soluble solids
was recorded in control (14.07o B).

Table 17 Weed population , Fresh Weight of Weeds, Dry Weight of Weeds and

Weed Control Efficiency in Weed Management trial in ber

Sl. No. No. of Weeds Fresh Weight of Dry Weight of Weed Control
Weeds(g) Weeds(g) Efficiency(%)
T1 73.33 129.58 42.08 29.00
T2 71.67 114.67 36.99 25.00
T3 61.67 112.67 36.72 40.89
T4 63.33 122.83 39.72 38.98
T5 60.00 106.65 34.75 37.33
T6 50.00 77.73 25.91 49.00
T7 56.67 91.10 28.58 41.00
T8 73.33 77.60 25.72 52.00
T9 50.83 80.33 30.06 47.02
T10 75.00 185.55 59.72 -
SED 14.097 24.221 8.235 1.325
CD 29.617* 50.889** 17.302* 2.807*

Table 18. Effect of Weed control treatments on growth and yield of Ber Var.

23
Kaithali

Treatments Tree Girth Yield/tree Fruit Total


height (cm) weight soluble
(cm) (Kg) (g) solids
(o Brix)

T1 Weeding with 324.00 63.30 8.73 15.80 14.73


Power tiller thrice
a year

T2 Hand Weeding 302.33 69.50 8.93 16.60 14.73

T3 Cowpea as cover 284.33 77.13 9.03 15.50 14.47


crop

T4 Clusterbeans as 285.00 76.33 10.47 15.10 14.50


cover crop

T5 Pendimethalin + 306.33 74.33 10.07 16.57 15.23


Paraquat

T6 Atrazine + 345.00 82.67 11.07 17.13 15.33


Paraquat

T7 Pendimethalin + 308.33 84.37 11.40 17.73 15.50


Glyphosate

T8 Atrazine + 339.33 81.73 12.33 17.20 15.40


Glyphosate

T9 Mulching 306.00 73.10 9.93 15.20 15.23

T10 Control 292.67 47.20 8.03 14.47 14.67

SED 1.497 0.208 0.098 0.069 0.062

CD 3.145** 0.437** 0.206** 0.205** 0.131**

24
In the orchards of ber under rainfed vertisols, pre-emergence application of atrazine @
2 kg/ha followed by application of glyphosate @ 2 1 / ha after weed emergence was effective
in controlling weeds in ber. The fresh and dry weight of the weeds were the least in the
treatment T8 with atrazine and glyphosate The fresh and dry weight of the weeds was also
minimum in the treatment with atrazine and glyphosate (T8) (74.67 g and 21.67 g
respectively). The weed control efficiency was also maximum in this treatment while the yield
per tree was maximum in T7 (pendimethalin + glyphosate) (13.28 Kg per tree). and the BC
ratio was 1.5 : 1.0.

Nutrient Management
The optimal use of manures and fertilizers at appropriate time according to the age of
plants is essential under rainfed orcharding.. The recommended doses of fertilizer for the bearing
fruit trees are given in table 19.

Table 19. Recommended fertilizer dose (kg/tree) for arid fruit crops

Crops FYM N P K
Aonla 10 0.200 0.500 0.200
Custard apple 50 0.250 0.125 0.125
Ber 50 0.500 0.200 0.500
Tamarind 25 0.200 0.150 0.250

Ber
Micronutrients are often found deficient in dry lands. Foliar feeding of nutrients such as
nitrogen (0.5 – 2.0 % urea), zinc (0.05 to 1.0% zinc sulphate) and boron (0.05 to 1.0% borax)
has given beneficial results in these areas. The studies conducted at Regional Research Station,
Aruppukottai in ber have indicated that foliar spray of urea at 3 per cent and DAP at 2 per cent
along with 75 per cent of recommended fertilizer dose (375g N,150 g P, 375g K/tree) increased
the yield up to 30 per cent.

25
Custard apple
Since the dry lands are mostly of degarded soils with low organic matter, attempts were
made to assess the use of biofertilizer in custard apple. The results revealed that application of
Azotobacter, Azospirillum, phosphobacteria and VAM along with 50 per cent of standard dose
of fertilizer (NPK 250: 125: 125g/ tree) registered 20 per cent higher yield than the
recommended fertilizer dose.

An experiment was conducted under rainfed condition during 2005-06 in the custard
apple variety APK (Ca)1. Observation on plant height, girth and spread and yield was recorded
after imposing the treatments.(Table 20 and 21)

There was significant difference between the treatments for plant height. The plants were
tallest in T5 (445.67 cm) which was also on par with T8, T9, T2 which recorded plant height of
432.50 cm, 428.69 cm and 421.62 cm respectively.Plant girth was maximum in T9 (49.54 cm)
while the least was observed in T0(38.55 cm). However there was no significant difference
between the treatments. The canopy spread EW was maximum in T9 (439.8 cm) followed by T8
and T9 (409.90 cm and 402.92 cm respectively) while the least was observed in T0 (312.36). The
canopy spread NS was observed to be highest in T7 (385.67) which was also on par with T4, T7,
T9, T5 and T10 (390.67 cm, 385.67 cm, 375.67 cm and 338.4 cm respectively). They yield was
maximum in t T10 (15.37 kg) followed by T11(14.52 kg). Moderate yield was recorded in T9,
T8 and T5 (13.23 kg, 12.93 kg and 12.91 kg respectively.Average fruit weight was maximum in
T10 (200 g) followed by T11(190.33 kg) and T5 (186.66 kg) observed in T10 (146.33 kg).
Similar trend was observed in pulp weight with T11 registering maximum i.e. 120.67 kg. The
fruits in T10 also showed highest total soluble solids followed by T1, T9, and T11 (22.03, 22.03
and 23°B) respectively while the minimum was recorded in T0 (21.00° B)

Table 20 Effect of bio-fertilizers on growth characters of Custard apple

Treatments Plant Girth


height Plant Spread
(cm) (cm) EW NS
(cm) (cm)

T0 Control 386.60 38.55 312.36 308.77

26
T1 Azotobacter (AZS) 408.60 38.53 335.80 296.16

T2 Azospirillum (AZS) 421.62 40.58 378.10 295.20

T3 VAM 326.05 39.99 289.28 252.52

T4 ‘P’ solubilization culture 364.73 40.10 402.92 390.67

T5 Standard dose of NPK 445.67 44.05 381.73 357.97


250:125:250g/tree

T6 AZB +AZS 392.00 40.30 390.56 226.73

T7 AZB+AZS+VAM 362.97 40.43 363.00 385.67

T8 50% N + AZB + AZS+P+K 432.50 42.33 409.90 409.00

T9 50% + AZB + AZS + VAM 428.69 49.54 439.78 375.67

396.10 46.83 337.62 338.40


T10 AZB+AZS+VAM +
Phosphobacteria +
Standard dose of NPK
T11 AZB + AZS + VAM + 352.11 39.29 339.20 288.67
‘P’Solubilization culture + 50% NPK

CD (0.05) 65.628** 8.59 109.387 82.049**

Table 21 Effect of Bio-fertilizers in custard apple on yield and quality


Treatments Yield / Average Pulp TSS
Tree(kg). Fruit Weight (g) (° Brix.)
Weight(g)

T0 Control 6.30 146.33 85.10 21.00

T1 Azotobacter (AZS) 9.50 163.33 93.59 23.03

T2 Azospirillum (AZS) 10.30 161.33 96.33 22.03

T3 VAM 9.52 167.33 100.33 22.04

T4 ‘P’ solubilization culture 9.46 164.00 101.34 22.20

T5 Standard dose of NPK 12.91 186.66 104.66 21.53


250:125:250g/tree

T6 AZB +AZS 11.28 173.00 98.00 22.10

27
T7 AZB+AZS+VAM 11.98 170.33 99.56 22.13

T8 50% N + AZB + AZS+P+K 12.93 176.33 107.00 22.10

T9 50% + AZB + AZS + VAM 13.23 179.00 106.33 23.03

15.37 200.00 120.67 23.33


T10 AZB+AZS+VAM + Phosphobacteria
+ Standard dose of NPK
T11 AZB + AZS + VAM + 14.52 192.33 117.67 23.00
‘P’Solubilization culture + 50% NPK

CD (0.05) 0.505** 5.019** 1.365** 0.245**

In order to improve the soil nutrient status raising of minor millets or green manures or
leguminous crops as intercrops and to facilitate deep root system digging deep and wide pits
filling with optimum quantity of compost, silt and sand mixture are recommended.

Canopy management
The recommended canopy management techniques for the rainfed fruit crops are given
in table 6 .

Table 22 Recommended canopy management techniques for arid fruit crops


Aonla • Allow main branches at 0.75 mm – 1m above the ground level.
• Train the trees to modified leader system.
• Allow 2-4 branches with wide crotch angle, appearing in the opposite
direction.
• Prune and thin the crowded branches during March – April.
Custard apple • Allow main branches at 0.75 mm – 1m above the ground level
• Light pruning of terminal shoots immediately after harvest.
Ber • The main shoots of the previous season are cut back retaining 15 – 20
nodes during Feb – Mar.

28
Ber

Pruning studies were carried out in ber at monthly intervals starting from January to June.
The studies revealed that the tree girth was significantly influenced by the month of pruning. The
trees which were pruned during the month of February recorded the highest girth of 57.88 cm
followed by trees pruned during January (53.53 cm). No significant difference in shoot length
was observed between pruning treatments at monthly intervals and control and there was no
definite influence of time of pruning on shoot length. The same trend was observed in tree
canopy spread also. The pruned wood weight was more during February pruning followed by
January pruning. Significantly difference on yield was observed between treatments and the
yield was more in trees which were pruned during February. Positive correlation between yield
and stem girth and canopy spread was observed irrespective of pruning treatments. There was no
significant difference of different pruning treatments on fruit quality.he clear inference available
from this study was that the pruning of the ber tree during the month of February every year not
only influenced growth of the trees and but also the yield.

Fruit based cropping system


Monoculture under rainfed orcharding is highly risk prone due to crop failures, hence a
suitable tree crop combinations is essential for alleviating the risk, generation of income and
improvement of productivity. Agri-horticultural combinations with annual horticultural crops
such as Chilli, Bhendi, cluster bean, cowpea, Brinjal, Senna, Periwinkle, Aloe, Coriander and
Ajowan are beneficial.

In areas with large livestock population, horti-pastoral system would be beneficial. Fruit
trees can also be planted in association with forest trees, and they yield wood for packaging and
fuel. Multi-storey combinations incorporating large trees, small trees, and ground crops can be
used. In low rainfall (300-500mm) zone, combinations such as custard apple/aonla +vegetables;
in 500–700mm rainfall zone, combination of mango/aonla/ sapota + vegetables; and in 700-1000
mm rainfall zone, combination of mango/tamarind/ aonla + vegetables can be adopted.

The trials conducted at Regional Research Station, Aruppukottai revealed that cluster
bean was highly suitable for ber based system of cropping. Another experiment revealed that
raising either fodder cowpea or fodder cholam either in between ber or sapota has been found

29
profitable.The studies on Agri-Horti- Sylvi-Pastural model for rainfed vertisol have indicated
that the model comprising of sapota+ sesbania+ annual field crops was a highly suitable system.

An experiment was conducted in ten farmers holdings during 1991-92 to evaluate


different mixed farming systems. The locations were selected based on the size of holdings and
area allocated for different enterprises in different villages were based on size of holding.
Different crop components viz., annual crop component and fruit crop component and animal
component were included. The results revealed that under dry land conditions inclusion of one
or more enterprises along with crop component complements the crop performance irrespective
of size of holding and provides year round employment. When the size of the holding is small,
the crop + Live stock particularly goat rearing is economical. When the size of holding medium
or big, inclusion of livestock particularly goat/sheep, cultivation of fruit trees and poultry rearing
is economical.

Pest and disease management


Besides wild animals, rodent and birds there are many insects and diseases causing severe
loss of crops. Major pests and diseases of rainfed fruit crops and their control are given in table
23.
Table 23. Major pests and diseases of rainfed fruit crops
Crop Pests/disease Control measures

Pests Leaf gall Spray of Endosulphon (0.05%)


Aonla midge
Custard Mealy bug i) Chlorpyriphos 20 EC 2.5 ml/l or monocrotophos 36 WSC
apple 1.5 ml/l
ii) Band the trees with 20 cm wide 400 gauge polythene sheets
iii) Release of Australian ladybird beetle @ 10/ tree
Ber Fruit Fly Destroy infested fruits. Dig the soil under tree canopy to destroy
pupae and incorporate Lindane 1.3% dust @ 30g/tree. Spray
malathion 50 EC or endosulfan 35 EC or quinalphos 25 EC at 2
ml/l Use polythene bags fish meal trap with 5g of wet fish meal
+ 1 ml dichlorvos in cotton. 50 traps are required/ha, fish meal +
dichlorvos soaked cotton are to be renewed once in 20 and 7
days respectively.

Diseases Spraying of fungicide chlorithalanil (0.2%) twice at 20 days


Aonla Rust interval followed by copper-oxy-chloride (0.4%) and mancozeb
(0.3%). The bio control agent Pseudomonas florescence @ 10
g /l twice at 20 days interval can also be used.

30
The occurrence of ber fruit fly and fruit borer are the major constraints in the ber cultivation. To
manage theses pests an IPM module was developed and test verified in the field. The available
germplasm ber varieties, viz. Banarasi, Umran, Gola, Kaithali and Kathapal at Regional Research Station
were screened for their resistance to fruit borer and fruit fly complex for three years (2001-02, 2002-03
and 2003-04) and the observations revealed that variety kaithali recorded the lowest infestation of 25.77
per cent as compared to kathapal which recorded the maximum infestation of 36.48 per cent.

Fruit borer damage in ber

Fruit borer damage


Varieties % TV
Banarasi 34.27 35.14
Umran 32.59 33.92
Kaithali 25.77 29.86
Gola 33.00 33.24
Kathapal 36.48 36.51

Seasonal incidence study was conducted during 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98 and the
observations on the fruit fly and fruit borer in field showed that the incidence was attains
maximum during November-December in all the three years coincide with the fruit development
period. The pheromone traps with methyl euginol attractant was set up to attract the fruit fly
adults during 2002-03 and 2003-04 and the data showed that the peak attraction was found
during the month of December and first fortnight of January, which coincides with the peak
harvesting period of ber fruits.

Seasonal Incidence of ber fruit fly


Months Per cent incidence of ber fruit fly
1995-96 1996-97 1997-98
September 25.00 15.55 8.45
October 43.33 25.24 10.55
November 55.00 28.55 10.10
December 68.55 32.60 12.15

The study to find out the efficacy of insecticides and plant products against the fruit borer and fruit
fly complex in ber revelaed that fenthion 0.1% recorded the lowest mean fruit damage of 26.46 per cent
and are on par with endosulfan 0.07% (26.67 per cent) and both are equally effective in controlling the
fruit borer and fruit fly complex. The azadiractin 1% and Ocimum sanctum extract 1% are not effective as
that of chemicals in controlling the pest complex of ber even up to 10 days after spray.

31
The plots applied with folidol dust @ 80g + NSKP 320 g/tree recorded the minimum fruit fly
incidence of 23.37, 16.60 and 7.00 per cent as compared to 62.96, 38.70 and 18.30 per cent incidence in
untreated control during 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98 respectively.

To study the Incidence of fruit fly in relation to various pest management practices on the
ber fruit fly incidence, the damage was minimum with 7.00 to 45.48 per cent in IPM adopted
plots followed by the use of insecticidal spray with 10.17 to 58.97 per cent as compared to
control with 18.30 to 62.96 per cent when studied during maximum infestation period of
November – December.

Incidence of fruit fly in relation to various pest management practices

Treatment Per cent incidence of ber fruit fly


IPM adopted field 22.83
Insecticides sprayed field 30.56
Untreated control 39.99

Apart from chemical control, attempts have also been made to use botanicals for control
of pests in arid fruit crops. It has been demonstrated that application of Neem Seed Kernel
Extract (2.5-5%) was effective in controlling pests in aonla, chilli and brinjal .

Spice crop

Coriander

The studies to find out seed hardening treatments under rainfed vertisol conditions have
revealed that the seeds hardened with 2 percent calotropis leaf extract and pelleted with the
dry leaf powder of pungam 2.5 g per kilogram of seeds was the best with the highest seed
yield. The pre-sowing seed hardening treartment with potassium di hydrogen phosphate @ 10g
per litre of water for 16 hours is also recommended.

The field studies for the maximization of yield in coriander under rainfed vertisols
indicated that application of 10 tonnes of Farm Yard Manure with the recommended dose of
fertilizers at 20, 45 kg of N,P and K per ha registered high yield with the highest benefit cost
ratio of 2.6.

Conclusion

32
The availability of vast land source, surplus family labour, plenty of solar radiation etc.
provides ample opportunity for cultivating rainfed horticultural crops in Tamil Nadu. The recent
awareness regarding the potential of these ecological fragile lands for production of quality
horticultural produce has opened up scope for providing economic sustenance for the people of
this region. Although great efforts have been made to develop technology compatible for
commercial production of rainfed horticultural crops, yet there is a need to address various
issues like infrastructure development, knowledge development, generating information and its
integration, empowering the farmers for rainfed farming and participatory research to solve
location specific problems in order to improve the socio-economic status of the people of
southern India.
*********

33