Mango cultivation

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Mango Cultivation

India is the major mango producing country in the world with an annual production of 8.50 million tonnes from an area of one million hectares. Mango is basically a tropical plant but endures wide range of temperature. It grows well under tropical and sub-tropical conditions. It gives profitable yield in semi-arid conditions, especially with irrigation.

Mango (Mangifera indica L.)

Family: Anacardiaceae

Origin

Cultivation of mango is believed to have originated in S.E. Asia. Mango is being cultivated in southern Asia for nearly six thousand years.

Mango is the most important commercially grown fruit crop of the country.  It is called the king of fruits.  India has the richest collection of mango cultivars.

Soil and Climate

Mango is well adapted to tropical and sub-tropical climates. It thrives well in almost all the regions of the country but cannot be grown commercially in areas above 600 m. It cannot stand severe frost, especially when the tree is young. High temperature by itself is not so injurious to mango, but in combination with low humidity and high winds, it affects the tree adversely.

Mango Cultivation

Mango varieties usually thrive well in places with rainfall in the range of 75-375 cm. /annum and dry season. The distribution of rainfall is more important than its amount. Dry weather before blossoming is conducive to profuse flowering. Rain during flowering is detrimental to the crop as it interferes with pollination. However, rain during fruit development is good but heavy rains cause damage to ripening fruits. Strong winds and cyclones during fruiting season can play havoc as they cause excessive fruit drop.

Loamy, alluvial, well drained, aerated and deep soils rich in organic matter with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5 are ideal for mango cultivation.

Variety

In India, about 1,500 varieties of mango are grown including 1,000 commercial varieties. Each of the main varieties of mango has an unique taste and flavour.

Based on time of ripening , varieties may be classified as under :

Early: Bombai, Bombay Green , Himsagar, Kesar, Suvernarekha

Mid-season: Alphonso, Mankurad, Bangalora, Vanraj, Banganapalli, Dashehari, Langra, Kishen Bhog, Zardalu, Mankurad

Late: Fazli, Fernandin, Mulgoa, Neelum, Chausa

Hybrids:

Amrapalli (Dashehari x Neelum), Mallika (Neelum x Dashehari), Arka Aruna (Banganapalli x Alphonso), Arka Puneet (Alphonso x Janardhan Pasand), Arka Neelkiran (Alpohonso x Neelum), Ratna (Neelum x Alphonso), Sindhu (Ratna x Alphonso), Au Rumani (Rumani x Mulgoa), Manjeera (Rumani x Neelum), PKM 1 (Chinnasuvernarekha x Neelum), Alfazli, Sunder Langra, Sabri, Jawahar, Neelphonso, Neeleshan, Neeleshwari, PKM 2 (very few of these hybrid varieties are grown commercially in the country).

Mango Cultivation

Planting Material

Mango can be propagated from seed or propagated vegetatively. Plants are generally propagated vegetatively by using several techniques like veneer grafting, inarching and epicotyl grafting etc.

 Planting Season

Planting is usually done in the month of July-August in rainfed areas and during February-March in irrigated areas.  In case of heavy rainfall zones, planting is taken up at the end of rainy season.

Spacing

 The planting distance is 10m. x 10m. and 12m. x 12m. in dry and moist zones respectively.  In the model scheme, a spacing of 8m. x 8m. with a population of 63 plants per acre has been considered which was observed to be common in areas covered during a field study.

Training of Plants

Training of plants in the initial stages of growth is very important to give them a proper shape specially in cases where the graft has branched too low.

Intercultural Operations 

The frequency and the time of inter-culture operations vary with age of the orchards and existence of inter-crops. The weed problem may not exist immediately after planting the mango crop but it is advisable to break the crust with hand hoe each time after 10-15 irrigations are applied. In case of mono-cropping, the area between the basins should be ploughed at least three times in a year i.e. during the pre-monsoon, post-monsoon period and in the last week of November.

Mango Cultivation

 Inter-cropping

Intercropping can be taken up till the mango trees attain suitable height and develop canopy (at 5-6 years of age).Leguminous crops like green gram, black gram, gram etc., cereals like wheat, oilseeds like mustard, sesame and groundnut, vegetable crops such as cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, potato, brinjal, cucumber, pumpkin, bitter gourd, tinda, lady’s finger etc. and spices like chillies can be grown as intercrops. The partial shade loving crops like pineapple, ginger, turmeric etc. can be cultivated in fully grown orchards. In addition to field crops, some short duration , less exhaustive and dwarf type inter- fillers like papaya, guava, peach, plum etc. can be grown till these do not interfere with the main mango crop .It is advisable to take vegetable crops as inter crops for better returns.

Manure and Fertilizers
A young orchard be supplied with 10 kg FYM + 100 Kg Nitrogen (N) + 50 g Phosphorus (P2O5) + 100 g Potassium (K2O) per tree in the first year and it should be increased with age. The 10 year old tree should get FYM + 1 Kg N + 500 g P2O5 + 1000 g K2O. If irrigation is available, additional dose of 500 g N be given in the month of February – March.

Irrigation
Newly planted grafts be irrigated at 3-4 days interval for 6 months, thereafter interval should be 8 – 10 days depending upon climate Irrigation interval of 10-15 days is adequate for 1-5 year old plants. For bearing trees, irrigation should not be given prior to flowering for 2-3 months as it promotes vegetative growth and reduces the crop. When the fruits have developed to the size of a marble, irrigation can be started and continued at weekly or fortnightly intervals. This helps to reduce fruit drop, promotes rapid fruit development, early maturity and improves quality. However, mango is mostly grown as rainfed crop.

Mango Cultivation

Common Pests and Diseases

Diseases

Category : Other

Algal leaf spot Cephaleuros virescens

Symptoms

Orange rusty spots on both upper and lower leaf surfaces which may coalesce to form large irregularly shaped patches; scraping away the orange spots reveals a grayish discoloration of the leaf lamina underneath

Cause

Alga

Comments

Disease affects many fruit trees in the tropics; infection is unsightly but often harmless

Management

Ensure that trees are properly pruned and fertilized to promote vigor; remove all weeds from around tree bases; employ a wider tree spacing to increase air circulation around the trees; badly infested trees can be treated with copper containing fungicides

Category : Fungal

Anthracnose Colletotrichum gleosporioides

Symptoms

Small, dark spots on flowers; spots coalesce to cover entire panicle; infected flowers dropping from tree; dark flecks or spots with yellow halo on young leaves; dark, irregular, sunken lesions on fruit; fruits dropping from tree before ripe

Cause

Fungus

Comments

Disease emergence favored by wet conditions; serious disease of mango wherever it is grown
Management

Susceptible mango varieties should be protected with fungicide in commercial production and the timing of the applications are critical to successful control; appropriate fungicide should be applied during flowering and fruit development

Phoma blight (Phoma glomerata)

Symptoms

Angular or irregular brown lesions on old leaves; lesions may develop gray centers and dark margin; withering leaves; defoliation of tree

Cause

Fungus

Pink disease (Erythricium salmonicolor)

Symptoms

White, silk-like threads at forks of branches which coalesce to form a pink crust during wet conditions; twigs and branches above this site may be killed and foliage will begin to dry out and die; orange pustules may be present on infected bark

Cause

Fungus

Comments

Pink disease is a destructive disease of mango grown in the wet tropics

Management

If pink disease is identified the recommended treatment is an application of an appropriate fungicide which can be applied by spraying or painting onto infected bark with a paintbrush

Powdery mildew Odium mangiferae

Symptoms

Gray-white powdery growth on leaves, flowers and/or fruit; curled, distorted shoots; fruit aborted and dropping from tree

Cause

Fungus

Comments

Found in all mango growing regions; outbreaks sporadic but can be severe

Management

Fungicides are very effective at controlling powdery mildew if applied at the first sign of the disease; chemical sprays only need be applied at flowering and fruit set

Sooty mold Several species of fungus

Symptoms

The leaves, twigs, inflorescence and fruits are covered with shiny black and sticky growth of fungal mycelium. The sooty mold won’t cause any direct infection to plants, but it may effect the photosynthetic process which may cause premature aging and death of leaves. Also plants may show stunted growth.

Cause

Fungus

Comments

Sooty mold mainly develops on honey dew secreted by sap sucking insects like whiteflies, aphids, leaf hoppers, scale insects, mealybugs and psyllids. Also this insects are always associated with ants.

Management

1. If plants are small wash mold with strong stream of water 2. Spraying starch also removes sooty mold 3. Control sap sucking insects 4. Also keep the trees free from ants by applying a sticky compound around the trunk .

Category : Bacterial

Bacterial black spot (Bacterial canker) Xanthomonas campestris

Symptoms

Angular, water-soaked spots on leaves which coalesce and turn black; black cankerous lesions on stems which crack and exude a gummy substance; irregular black lesions on fruits which extend into the flesh and exude gum; fruits dropping from plant

Cause

Bacterium

Comments

Bacterial black spot is found in most tropical and subtropical areas where mango is grown

Management

Provide windbreaks for plants; prune out infected twigs; protective sprays of copper during wet weather help to protect plants from the disease

Pests

Category : Insects

Fruit fly Ceratitis cosyra
Bactrocera obliqua
Bactrocera frauenfeldi
Anastrepha spp.

Symptoms

The adult female flies lay egg just under the skin of semi repine fruits. The maggots develop and feed inside the fruit, causing the flesh to turn brown and soft which emits foul smell. This damage also act as entry site for fungal and bacterial pathogens.

Cause

Insect

Comments

The mature maggots fall out of the fruits and pupate in soil.

Management

1. Collect the fallen fruits and destroy them.

2. Also harvest fruits early to reduce flies damage .

3. Use traps to monitor fruit flies. Traps can be purchased in the market or one can prepare themselves. Take plastic container with lids (one quarts yogurt container is fine). Drill holes (10 to 16 holes) that are 3/16-inch in diameter around the upper side of the container. Add 1 to 2 inch of pure apple cider vinegar (not flavored one) and a drop of unscented liquid dishwashing soap into the container. Hang the container in shade near berry trees before fruits ripening and check the traps frequently for flies. Change the vinegar every week.

5. Spraying protein bait under leaf surface attract flies to single spot which make easier to kill them. 4. If infestation is severe spray suitable insecticide.

Mango hoppers Idioscopus clypealis
Idioscopus nitidulus
Amritodus atkinsoni

Symptoms

Reduced plant vigor; sticky substance coating leaves; may be a growth of sooty mold on sticky residues; curling and drying leaves

Cause

Insects

Comments

Insect emergence favored by shady and humid conditions

Mango mealybugs Drosicha mangiferae

Symptoms

Both nymphs and female insects sucks sap form all parts mango tree (i.e., tender leaves, shoots and inflorescence). The infected inflorescences may dry up affecting the fruit set and may cause fruit drop. Severely infected plants may show wilting and thereby affect fruit setting.

Cause

Insect

Comments

a. Mealybugs lay eggs in soil near tree trunk. b. The mealybugs secrete the honey dew which causes sooty mold. c. It feeds on wide range of plant species.

Management

1. Collect and burn fallen leaves and twigs.

2. Flooding orchard with water during October kills egg present in soil. Also deep ploughing in November exposes egg to sunlight.

3. After hatching the nymphs start climbing tree and suck sap. To avoid this band the tree trunks with polythene sheet (400 gauge, 30 cm wide) at a height of about 30 cm from the ground level and apply grease at the lower edge of band. Or you can use Funnel Type Slippery Traps.

4. To control insects already on tree you can spray fish oil rosin soap or azadirachtin (neem products).

5. Also soil application of the spores of the fungus, Beauveria bassiana helps in reducing mealybug population.

6. If infestation is severe you can spray suitable insecticides

Mango tree borer (Batocera rufomaculata)

Symptoms

Mango tree borer damage may first be noticed as circular holes in the bark. This damage indicates that the tree has been attacked by borers which have chewed exit holes in the wood. Mango tree borers feed on the bark of twigs and chew green growing tips; when feeding damage is severes, branches may be killed and the main stem of the tree may collapse; insect frass (feces) collects in cracks in the bark and around the base of the tree; holes become visible in the bark.

Cause

Insect

Comments

Mango tree borers are a pest of mango trees in many parts of Asia, Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and the Solomon Islands; female tree borers lay their eggs in an incision made in damaged mango bark; larvae bore through the wood as they feed and eventually pupate within the tree; adult insects emerge from an exit hole that they cut in the wood. adult insects are 25–55 mm long with distinctive long antennae which extend the length of the body

Management

Application of appropriate insecticide to the trunk and branches of the tree when adult insects are present acts to kill any eggs and larvae that are present; insecticide applied to growing twigs and green shoots may deter adult feeding; probing injury sites with a knife or piece of wire can help to destroy larvae and eggs

White Mango Scale (Aulacaspis tubercularis)

Symptoms

Scale insects suck the sap from leaves, branches and fruits which causes defoliation, drying up of young twigs, poor blossoming and also affect the quality of fruits by causing conspicuous pink blemishes. Infestation of young plants results in retard growth. In case of severe infestation the fruits may fall prematurely, whereas the mature fruits are reduced in size. Another major problem with scale insect is the development of sooty mold due to honeydew secretion.

Cause

Insect

Comments

The insect have wide host range and can be seen in all mango growing countries like Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Italy and in many South American countries.

Management

Remove the infested plant parts and burn them. Spraying emulsive oil or suitable insecticides at recommended quantity will helps in reducing scale population.

Harvesting

Mango Cultivation
Mango fruits mature in 3-4 months from flowering, Fruit colour changes from dark green to light green on maturity. Harvesting should be started after few fruits drop, during morning hours. Individual fruits are clipped with 1.5 cm stalk using mango harvester. Harvested fruits are kept on gunny bags under shade. Under sized, bruized and infested fruits are sorted out and healthy fruits are graded into 2 – 3 grades depending upon colour, shape and size and packed in wooden or corrugated boxes.

Yield

There will be a total of about 204 mango fruit trees per hectare from a spacing of 7m by 7m. The average yield per hectare of a mango orchard would be 16000kgs with yield of 80kg per tree per year.


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