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The Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) was established in 1955. The Institute has attained a prestigious position in the international rubber scenario through its research contributions. RRII is a member of the International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB) and actively participates in many international research programmes. RRII has played a significant role in India achieving high productivity by developing high yielding rubber clones and good agricultural practices.
Indian Institute of Information Technology & Management - Kerala (IIITM-K) is a premier institution of excellence in Science, Technology and Management related to Information Technology that develops professionals and leaders of high calibre imbued with values of entrepreneurship, ethics and social responsibility. IIITM-K is actively promoting higher education and industry across Kerala and beyond through its IT facilitated education programs and services.
Rubber tree can grow on a wide range of soils. The soils of the rubber tracts in India are highly weathered and are mostly laterite and lateritic. These soils are acidic in nature and generally high in organic carbon content.
Major sources of nutrients are manures and fertilizers.
Manures are decomposed materials that were once part of plants or animals.
These materials are usually bulky in nature and low in nutrient contents. However, these materials improve many soil properties apart from supplying nutrients at a slow pace.
e.g. Farm Yard Manure
Fertilizers are natural or synthetic in origin which can supply one or more plant nutrients. Fertilizers are broadly classified as follows.
N, P and K are applied to rubber plants in general. Mg, Zn and B can be applied when soil is low in the status of these nutrients. The rate and quantity are decided based on the soil test reports as well as considering the age of the plants.
Common fertilizers used in rubber plantations are Urea (N- 46%), Rock phosphate or Rajphos (P2O5 - 16-18 %) and Muriate of potash (K2O-60%). Zinc sulphate (Zn-21%) and Borax (B- 11 %) are the common sources of micronutrients applied in rubber plantations.
In the first year of planting, fertilizer application is done 2-3 months after planting. From second year onwards, the fertilizers should be applied in two equal split doses during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons.
In mature plantations, fertilizers may be applied in two equal split doses. First application should be done 3-4 weeks after the onset of pre-monsoon showers (when there is prolific growth of feeder roots in the surface soil). The second application should be done during the post-monsoon season.
Micronutrient fertilizers are recommended in small quantities and for uniform distribution, they can be mixed with equal quantity of farm yard manure or top soil before applying in the field. These fertilizers are to be applied two weeks after the application of NPK fertilizers. If the soil moisture content is not adequate, micronutrient application should be postponed till there is adequate soil moisture.
The method of fertilizer application depends on the stage of growth of the plants. During the first year, fertilizers should be evenly distributed over a circular band of 30 cm around the base of young plants, leaving about 7 cm from the base and slightly forked in to the top 5 to 8 cm soil. Fertilizer application in the second year should be done in a circular band leaving 15 cm around the plant base. The applications in subsequent years till the canopy of the rubber plants closes should be made in circular bands of steadily increasing width. Once the canopy closes (about five years after planting), fertilizers can be broadcasted in the inter-row areas of rubber.
Deep pocket placement of fertilizers and application too close to the base of the trees should be avoided.
At the time of planting, rock phosphate @ 200g/pit may be incorporated with top soil.
In areas with soil pH less than 5.0 (extremely acidic or very strongly acidic soil) and with low available Calcium status, it is highly desirable, if not essential to apply burned powdered shell lime (Neettukakka) @ 250g /plant or dolomite @ 500g/ plant in the planting pit at the time of pit filling or 2-3 weeks before planting, and this should be thoroughly mixed with soil. Planting should be done after the receipt of a few showers.
Basal application of farm yard manure either in planting pits or plant basins also should be done.
Fertilizers should be applied when there is sufficient moisture in the soil.
Usually in rubber plantations fertilizer application is done during the months of May/June and September/October.
For maximum nutrient absorption by plants, soil should be moist while fertilizers are applied.
Do not apply fertilizers during heavy and continuous rainy days to avoid wastage.
Fertilizer mixtures containing Urea and Magnesium Sulphate should be applied immediately after mixing.
There should be a gap of minimum two to three weeks between lime and fertilizer applications.
Micronutrient fertilizers are to be applied two weeks after the application of NPK fertilizers.
Care should be taken that fertilizers do not come into direct contact with young plants. Sufficient gap as per the recommendation to be given.
Ensure application of correct dose of fertilizers. Overdose of fertilizers is not beneficial; instead this is harmful to the crop, soil and environment.
Rubber Research Institute of India
Rubber Board P.O.,
PIN : 686009
Ph : +91 481 2353311
Indian Institute of Information Technology & Management - Kerala
IIITM-K Building,Technopark Campus,
PIN : 695581
Ph : +91 471 2527567