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Coconut Rehabilitation Techniques And Post - Rehabilitation Technologies To Sustain Coconut Production

In recent years, there are strong indications that -the inherent soil fertihty of most coconut areas have been inadequate to satisfy the annual mineral nutrient demands (estimated at per ha needs of 95 kg K, 65 kg CI, 50 kg N, 11 kg Na, 7 kg P, 8 kg Mg, 5 kg Ca and 4 kg S plus micronutrients B, Zn, Cu, Fe and Mn) of the current stands of non-senile pahns. The declining productivity and uneconomic yields of less than 1.25 t copra/ha/yr of these coconut areas had resulted in significant losses of nut production or the raw material of the coconut industry, estimated at 50% or more of the achievable yield of coconut, either produced from tall varieties or hybrids. Under monoculture coconut farming, soil degradation is largely attributed to both naturaUy-occurring processes and man-made interventions such as: (1) nutrient depletion and soil exhaustion; (2) soil erosion; (3) compaction; and (4) decline in soil organic matter and beneficial biological organisms. This paper deals mainly on soil nutrient losses or main nutrient deficiencies of coconut in the Phihppines (indicated by leaf analysis and field survey) and practical methods to rehabilitate degraded coconut soils by judicious fertilization. Moreover, it presented some development models and significant research findings and field experiences in the rehabihtation of poor-yielding, nutritionally deficient stands, and suggested post-rehabihtation technologies — capable of at least increasing and sustaining annual yield of at least 80 nuts/tree or 2 t copra/ha (largely tall varieties, still about 95% of current commercial plantings).

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