Vol. 17 No. 3
Identifying soil fertility constraints and evolving management strategies for Pencil Point Disorder in coconut
Abstract: Pencil point disorder is a serious menace constraining coconut production throughout the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Although the disorder is witnessed in palms ageing more than 40 years, a cluster of soil fertility conditions favour the condition. Survey conducted in 56 pencil point disorder manifested palms of Tamil Nadu revealed that shallow depth of soil, rocky substratum, heavy soil texture and erosion hazards were the common physical constraints favouring the disorder. Although coconut gardens affected by pencil point disorder expressed plethora of soil fertility constraints, deficiencies of available potassium, organic carbon, DTPA Zn, DTPA Cu and hot water soluble (HWS) B were highly correlated with its expression. Zinc, copper and boron were the most critical micronutrients contributing for the disorder and application of these nutrients either as solid formulation or through root feeding was imperative to improve the growth attributes and nut yield of pencil point disorder affected palms of Tamil Nadu.
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